Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Second Week +

February 24

Busy, busy, busy.  It’s great.  In order to qualify for the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF), the students have to take a course called Planning For Success, so we spent two nights this week in those classes and another night we had a meeting scheduled with the District Self Reliance Committee.  During the days we are spending a lot of time in the office trying to learn all we can about what we are here to do.  The public schools only go through grade 6, and they don’t even start until they are 6 or 7 years old.  Many of the schools are overcrowded so a lot of the children have to find private schools, which can be very expensive.  Consequently, it is very difficult to attain a high school level education.  The more we get to know the people of Vanuatu, the more we love them, and want to do all we can to help them further their education. We’ll keep you posted on our efforts.

This is an amazing place.  When the young people of Vanuatu go to some other countries on missions, they see something they don’t see here. When they see people who are starving and having to beg for food, it is very shocking to them.  Although Vanuatu is among the least economically developed nations in the world, nobody goes hungry here.  They know how to live on what they catch and grow and look out for each other. 

On Sunday we attended our assigned Branch for the first time.  We arrived about 10 minutes early and heard singing when we got out of the truck.  They don’t have an organ or piano, so for the prelude music they sing hymns; and they do it beautifully.  At home, when we have to sing without a piano, we can hardly find someone to hum a starting note to get us going.  Here, the chorister will sing the first measure or two, and then say “ready, sing.”  The first time we saw that happen, we just sang with her when she started and gave everyone a good chuckle.  Bislama is a language that is mostly derived from a part French and mostly a pigeon English.  I tell people the English part I can understand if I listen very closely, but I’m having major problems with the pigeon part.  Our Church meetings are interesting in that we only understand a small part of what is being said, but there is such a wonderful feeling of peace and love that we don’t have to understand the words to know what is being said.  After the last meeting it was raining so hard everyone just stayed and visited until the rain went away.  It was fun and gave us a good chance to get to know everyone.

 This is a picture of the chapel as we were leaving after it quit raining.  Notice the separation of the buildings.  This allows the breeze to move more freely and keeps the rooms a little cooler. 
The building on the right is the chapel/activity area (as they call it –we call it the cultural hall), and the one on the left is for classrooms and the Branch President’s office.

You would think that in a place with so much rain, you would have a clean truck.  Not so.

It seems that the more it rains, the dirtier it gets.  Can’t have that.

We were looking across the lagoon one evening and VaLynne noticed a wildcat in the trees.  See if you can find it

             Something you don’t see in Wyoming in February.  This is a combined ym/yw activity

                                      A picture of us with President and Sister Brewer

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