Saturday, April 21, 2012

Liberation Days at Aur

April 17

We've had a wonderful time at Tobal, Aur, enjoying the Liberation Day

We already wrote about all the field day activities. On Sunday, a day of
church and rest, we joined the crew of SuperMario on a trip to the North
Pass, where we would do a drift dive through the pass. It was a great day -
the diving was fun, and Mike and I had a great day. John stayed behind on
Renova to fight off a cold.

On Monday, the Liberation festivities continued. We went ashore and watched
several baseball games, were served another delicious lunch and bought
several handicrafts from the local women. We returned in the evening to
watch the grand finale event...the SPELLING BEE!! All the student of both
schools (Tobal and Aur) competed for the honors. We finally left at 10:30,
and the spelling continued until after midnight. When we returned in the
morning, they had resumed the spelling contest. In total, the finalists had
been spelling for over 7 hours!! WOW.

After the closing ceremonies, the Aur residents quickly packed up and loaded
the boats to return to their island before lunchtime. The island of Tobal
became very quiet. John helped James to fix his outboard. Mike and I walked
the island with Kendra (WorldTeach volunteer that we met here on our last
visit). We all returned to Renova for a dinner of pork stirfry later that
evening - a rare treat for Kendra!

Labels: Aur, Marshall Islands, visitors, cruisers

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Party on Tabal

(April 14 - posted by Mike)

Hello from Tabal!

We arrive at Liberation Weekend here on the island and it is the local
equivalent to Canada Day and second only to Christmas. We brought with us
deliveries for the locals, some mail and care packages for the teachers, and
some supplies for James, the medical officer on the island. We spent
yesterday meeting a few of the locals and then retreated back to the boat to
do dinner with our friends aboard Super Mario. Naomi, John and I joined 2
of the girls from World Teach, Kellyn and Kendra, and Super Mario's crew,
Sylvia, Noortje, and Paolo, for steaks, baked potatoes, salad, grilled
pizza, drinks and Birthday cupcakes!!! What a treat!! A super Thank-You to
Super Mario and Paolo for hosting a great evening.

Today we went ashore to check out the local festivities. After a few
speeches, we watched the field day competition between the local school kids
from Tabal and the school kids from neighboring Aur. There were races of all
kinds including running, basket weaving, juggling, tug-of-war, and
coconut-between-the-knees races. I've never seen an entire town get behind a
single baseball game before!!

For lunch, we were served chicken and rice on local plates woven from
coconut fronds, freshly made during the basket weaving race.

People here are very welcoming and the kids are always excited to see new
white faces. After lunch, we went back to the boat for a little R&R,
including a second wakeboarding session for Mike. It's hard to believe you
can be so sore after such a short period of time. I guess I'll have to work
on my technique a bit more.

Tomorrow we plan on meeting with SuperMario and exploring a nearby reef and
doing a little diving.

Talk to you soon.