Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Day Four in Majuro

As I believe I told you, I left Honolulu on Sep. 17 and arrived here 5 hours later on Sep 18th. Britt met me at the dinky airport, and later that evening, no less than 30 Relief Society sisters from the church Britt's Uliga Branch came to her apartment bearing food and gifts in honor of my birthday (really a tribute to Britt). They sang several songs to me and each presented me with a flower or piece of jewelry they had crafted from shells and palm fiber. I was quite overwhelmed and humbled. Generally, they are quite a shy people, but in this setting they laughed and giggled and we had such fun. Britt had invited them for birthday cake, but they made something of a feast of the occasion. Most had to sit on the floor, as you can imagine.

Today I sat in on one of Britt's math classes and wished you could have joined me to gaze out the window at the palms bending in the wind and the gentle ocean waves rolling in. The young people are so sweet and well-behaved. They are responsive to a kind math teacher.

This is definitely a Third World country. The housing is so very humble. I look out of Britt's bedroom window (third floor) and see mostly shanties with corrugated tin roofs. I'm so very grateful for the opportunity to be in circumstances where Britt has lived and worked for several years of her life (So. Africa and RMI). I have met several of her colleagues at school, and many/most of them express the same sentiment that I encountered on Britt's blog: They would find it difficult to live in the USA again--conspicuous consumption, materialism, etc. This certainly does place our corner of the world in a much larger perspective.

Oh, one more thing: Yesterday I treated myself to a one-hour Swedish massage! I'm going to do it again before I leave. If I could do that every week, I think I would feel much better!

It is a challenge to get good produce, as you can imagine, but the fish I have had (halibut steak yesterday) is fabulous.

I'm in Britt's office using her computer, but she will be returning from a meeting any minute, and I need to get back to her apartment because someone will be coming to replace her plexiglass bedroom window (after a whole year!), and I need to let them in.
A little hard to see, but yes, that's me snorkeling.

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