Hello Friends and Church Family,
I know, I know, I’m sorry it has been forever since I have written. I have some time to try and get you caught up on my events at Ebeye and will admit to you that I am cheating… I am using some inserts from Emily Lorenz and Ashlee Chism to help fill in some details.
The major event in November was a Thanksgiving dinner at the principal’s apartment. It was a potluck style dinner with lots of yummy food. Oh, please tell the Delays thank you sooooooooooooo much for the thanksgiving dinner! Megan and the girls were so excited to see everything. “We invited another missionary from another school to join our group. It was nice to have a big gathering so we could spend time together and be thankful for all of the blessings God has given us this year (blessings too numerous to count!).”
“Between November and December there was only one week that was a full week of school. It seemed like each week had a holiday or some kind of an activity happening! It was nice to have long weekends to spend with the other teachers, but most of us felt a little frustrated about not being able to cover as much material as we were hoping. It seemed to work out though, and we are now done with final exams and grades are turned in to the office.” These two paragraphs “” were from Emily Lorenz.
I'm definitely ready for Christmas break, which is only one week away. I'm so excited! I did get my divers license and I bought some better flippers with some boots that. It cost me $200 for the lessons and about $100 for the gear, but that's ok it is well worth it.
Next was the Christmas program. The program progressed very well until the sound of sirens and loud music came from down the street. It was the annual Christmas parade where taxis and other vehicles are decorated and people throw candy as they drive around the island loop.
Picture by Emily Lorenz
Christmas Eve we had our staff Christmas party. We had a potluck dinner with very good food. Emily made brownies and garlic bread. After the food we had a gift “exchange”. It was more of a stealing event, but it was pretty funny. Each of us drew a number to see in what order we would choose a gift. The person could either get a new present or take one from another person. For example: “Emily got number four, so there was plenty of opportunity for people to steal from her. The first gift she got was a Frisbee with a cute frog shower scrubby thing. Megan ended up taking it from Emily on her turn. Emily went to get a new present and what did she find inside? A new frog scrubby thing!” “” From Emily Lorenz
I didn’t have to worry about anyone stealing my gift… I got dental floss.
I was able to go to Majuro Island after Christmas and spend time with April and other student missionary’s. I hear Mom sent in some pictures she received of that event. Majuro is a beautiful Island and I was able to enjoy hot showers and a lot of swimming.
Since I wasn’t here, I have to share with you what Ashlee Chism said in her blog about New Years Eve and day on Ebeye…
“The year 2008 passed into the year 2009 rather anti-climatically. After the large New Year's Eve party that we had at the church, which ended about 9:30 or so, and a long game of scrabble, the night petered out. It was almost midnight, Ryan and Emily and I were stuffing the couch cushions back into their covers (well, I was sitting in a chair, spinning and watching) as the clock changed from 11:59 PM to 12:00 AM. So, the passing of the one year into the next was rather anti-climatic.
What was annoying was trying to sleep after 2009 had arrived. Apparently the Marshallese way to celebrate the New Year is with loud music that has its bass line jacked up to a subwoofer that shakes the entire house, go singing loudly from house to house (and I am quite sure that some of the revelers in those groups were staggering), and in general being loud all night long. For a while the music quieted, only to re-start at about 6:00 AM. *sigh* That was one long New Year's Day.”
We were preparing for school to start back on January 7. Some of the school started on Monday, but others started on Wednesday. It was nice to have a couple extra days to recover from break.
“Pastor Rich Carlson, the Union college chaplain, came to visit on January 12. He visited the school and we went to Shell Island to go diving and snorkeling. That same evening we had Parent-Teacher conferences, which went pretty well. We caught up with the parents what happened at the end of last semester. We had a pizza party at the principal’s apartment with Rocky Road ice cream and root beer. It was a good time!” Emily Lorenz
January 15 - It has definitely been a struggle this past week to get the kids to listen. Other than that I'm doing fine. We've been trying to work out some situations in the apartment. Things have been kind of crazy. Tell everyone thank you for the packages. Thank you for your prayers and support. It's been really hard, it just seems like I'm not making a difference.
January 29 - I'm done with classes, yay! Today was an adventure as the kids were very talkative. They are doing better though. We were able to get through three subjects before recess, which is amazing! I thank God for that.
February 10 - We had Kwajalien Liberation Day yesterday!
I would try and explain it to you but I'm really not sure what the holiday is for. They did not give us a clear answer. My guess is that it's like our 4th of July back at home. Anyways it was a lot of fun!
All the schools on the Kwajalien Atoll came together here on Ebeye, made floats and had a parade. There were some parents at the school helping to decorate the taxi and get the sandwiches and drinks organized. Each family was to bring two loaves of sandwiches and several waters and sodas. Needless to say the office was overflowing with drinks and sandwiches.
It was supposed to start at 9:00 but it didn't start until 11:30 almost 12. The kids were hot, hungry, and very *antsy (I hope I spelled that right). Finally we were able to go to the tents that they had set up for the program then we listened, or tried to listen to the speakers. Some of the speeches were in English and some were in Marshallese but we really couldn't hear much over the kids. That finally finished around 1:30. We ate lunch at the school and went to Beach Park and played games against the other schools.
I ran the "marathon", which was only about 2 miles. I won 1st place and received $150, which was really a blessing! Emily L. won 2nd place and won $125. It was a lot of fun.
While we were doing the race our team was playing the
championship game. We saw one of the team members when we were walking to the
school. They had won! When we were at the school we saw the team riding around
in the back of the taxi the school rented for the parade, screaming and
yelling. They must have been excited about winning…
The school got the day off today because of yesterday’s events and now I am resting because I am very tired and sore from standing all day and then racing. This is how I am able to ask Mom to put together bits and pieces of my short e-mails to her and put together the main body of this letterJ Thanks Mom.
Lorraine wanted to make sure that everyone knows how much she has appreciated your packages, letters and prayers… She can’t wait to get home and give each and every one of you a BIG hugJ
This Mom thanks you too.
Lorraine and Kim Rollins