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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MGM Office Couple, School and Seminary Graduation Time

The Martins are our new Micronesia Guam Mission office couple.  They came for a short visit, to "assess" circumstances on Chuuk and 2 other of our mission zones.  I think they got an idea of how "rustic" Chuuk is.  They took us out for dinner at Blue Lagoon.  It is always fun to go there, if we are not paying... The Martins have a hard job, and a long day each day of the week.  Our days are varied and different from day to day.  Some days have a bunch to do, others not so much.  We often need the off-time to recuperate from all the jostling on the boats and/or car ride.  It is often painful.  No work is being done on the roads, and the ruts are some a 12" drop down.  We never see the grader working to level them lately.  They pay the workers around $1-2 dollars per hour for most jobs, so I think the gas expense must be the culprit for lack of doing anything to help this place!
 We went to the rehearsal day for Chuuk High School graduation.  We went to see a music concert, and our kids from Sapuk do a number or two as well.  The school has around 1200 kids, so we presume around 300 seniors graduated.  Bottom right pic shows 2 young men helping with music for some practice of a group dance thing. These guys have been security guards around campus this year.   The young man on the right, yellow shirt, and below, has been on the job, without missing much work days, and may well be
getting a promotion soon (to Vice Principal!!  Is that possible?)  I don't know if he went to C.O.M. college or not--but COM is like our high school classes, even first two years. Being dependable in your job is the most important thing here.  So few are!
 After some graduation practice time, this blue-grass band gave a concert!  It was great.  The kids were very responsive, and the band, "Sierra Hull" was cheered at the participation and enthusiasm.  Each instrument in the band was demonstrated and explained.  Our "future vice-principal", if it comes to that, told us and the Martins that the school was very grateful for our Church, who had given guitars and other equipment, to help the kids have access to instruments.
 This is our "Team Sapuk" doing a number with their guitars and singing, at the end of the concert.  JT Ande and Nuno Kata lead the group, and are very talented.  They will be leaving this summer on missions to S. Africa and Australia.  JT learned that the banjo originated in Africa, and now wants to learn to play it, while serving there!  I knew there was a reason he was sent there!  He will find many more reasons once he starts doing the work there.  Johannesburg is quite a beautiful area, and quite a lot more modern and clean, than Chuuk!  I think JT will do just fine there!  He had wanted to trade his call to one of his friends, when first opened!!
 Before the graduation practice, Nuno took the microphone, put on music, and sang a beautiful song!  We thought he was shy, but I think he is mostly not that comfortable talking to us, in English.  He knows a lot of English, however, and will only have to learn the rest, with an Australian accent!  Tricky.
 Elder Vehikite plans to play football for a college after his mission.  He happens to have weights in his apartment, which are large cement chunks!  It weighs more pounds than Elder Crisp and I could lift--together! We went to Sapuk with the Martins and shared some fresh hot bread from Sapuk Bakery with our Elders Rainey and Hunter.  They shared some fresh coconut with us!  Yum, tasty...
High School Graduation is a big event here.  There were not enough chairs for everyone, so we stood for an hour, and then could stand no longer, so left early and avoided the masses at the end.  Everything seemed to go fine.  We never know for sure...it is mostly in Chuukese.  The Valedictorian actually gave his speech in English, with a good accent.  I think he has lived outside of Chuuk for some years!
 Most of graduates were in green, but a few in black gowns.  We thought they were the honor students.  Nope, just short on green gowns!
Now, why didn't I smile?  Our camera has a 3 second delay, so I never know when the picture will click!
We visited this Seminary class at Mwan Branch. This was at 6 a.m., and they were busy learning from Oriko Ewar, our ONE most faithful teacher of Seminary
Our Institute teacher at Mwan also is faithful, one day a week.  We are plan-ning end of year activities for each group.  We will do their Graduation "ceremony" this Sunday.  There are 2 graduates, and a few certificates.  Our other Branches and Group have not followed through. We are not celebrating with them. Everyone in Chuuk loves a party, with FOOD!! They may not go to a single church meeting, but will show up for fun, games and food. You get the idea... So, we have been doing "tickets" for some of our activities, so that everyone who never attends anything doesn't reap the rewards that could be available to them.  The Church pays for most of the food for these activities, and we want it to be for those who participate.  (We may NOT be the favorite "Senior Couple" that has served here!!)

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