Saturday, October 16, 2010

Who Can Know The Maciel?

If I HAD to describe Javier Maciel i'd say that he is an open book. The only problem is... the words in this book are written in a language no human can understand. Javier is a man of few words, but when those words are spoken, controversy is ignited. For the life of me i can't explain how he creates such strong reactions within people, but he does. Regardless the reaction, everyone whether they can explain it or not, loves javier.Why is that? I don't know. You have to meet javier to truly say that you don't know him. He IS confusion. I've spent nearly five months of my life with javy (the majority of this time as his room mate) and i could ramble on and on about him for hours, the only problem is , at the end of those hours neither you nor i would know him any better. I do know this though. Javy is a kind and mild guy.He is a spiritual man. He has taught me what it means to have a passion for studying. He truly loves spiritual things. I have the utmost respect for him in this regard. He is one of the most sincere people i've ever met. He is loyal and he is honest. And when this adventure is over and we've all gone our separate ways i know that he'll be the one i miss the most. I love the guy and there is nothing i wouldn't do for him. Every experience whether happy or sad, i've shared with him. When i crawled into bed early one morning from being locked out of the office, he was the one i shared the story with first. When the mangrove crab tried to rally the troops and escape from his certain death, javier was there in the kitchen, salad tongs in hand, preparing for war. Every moment at the site and every adventure away from the site i've shared with javier. So when i leave this island in november it will be appropriate that javier and i board that plane together. Two more different people than javier and i you may never meet. I have no doubt that our lives will go in different directions once we say our goodbyes in hawaii, and that will be fine, just as long as he knows that no matter where he is i'll always be there for him. Why is that? I don't know, but i'll be there.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bicycle




There is a very fine line between love and hate. Both words stir up strong emotions and they both trigger hidden feelings when prodded.Some thrive on love. Others love to hate.So with this brief explanation behind us I make this declaration: I LOVE this bike. When i was a young boy i used to dream of the day that i owned my own bike.I wanted a bike that had lightning bolts tattooed on the chassis.I wanted my bike to be so fast that when i was peddling down the street it felt like i was on the verge of flying. I wanted a bike that would make my classmates pause and reflect... then go home and re-write their letter to the north pole. I never owned THAT bike, but i own this one- a girls bike from japan. As far as i know, no passerby has ever been left jaw dropped and wishing that they were in my shoes. Oh people are smiling at me as i peddle by, though i've yet to figure out why. I have a light on my bike but no light(ning) bolts. It's all the things i never wanted in a bicycle, but i've never appreciated a bicycle as much as this one.It's my ride. When the air is cool outsde just before sunset, or early in the morning before the island is awake, i go for a ride and there is peace, refreshment. Every song playing through my headphones is just a little prettier than i had remembered, and all the thoughts in my head become a little clearer than the night before. And while i'm fairly sure that somewhere in japan there is a girl that is "missing" a bike very "similar" to my bike, i can't help but wonder if she would love or hate to know that somewhere on a little island in the pacific there was a boy who when he went on these rides felt transported back in time, to the days when he would peddle as hard as he could and he'd feel the wind against his face as he prepared for takeoff.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Livingstons

Anton&Evangeline Livingston have been in kosrae since this island emerged from the pacific ocean. Through those years they've acquired many a story and experienced more than many will experience in a lifetime. They are a constant at the meetings and they always bring refreshing treats to the site on warm sunny days(you can imagine how often this is living on the equator and all). Anton is always quick to grab a shovel and hard hat...for his wife, but soon there after you'll see them working side by side together, through the duration of the day. Always together and always happy to be that way. They've been a positive influence on so many here on the island, but none more than three of their grandchildren, Vanston, Mary, and Mora. Before school started up, Vanston would come and work with us at the site everyday. Quietly, but with always with a smile, Vanston at first would keep to himself. As he continued to come to the site, he became more comfortable with us and his true personality shined through. He is a very hard worker( his nickname is little T. / A later post will explain this nickname) and he is a very funny and kind young man. One day in the not so distant future i can see Vanston traveling from island to island helping with the construction projects here in Micronesia. His sister Mary is shy but eternally kind. She always seems to muster up the courage to participate at the meetings and you will routinely see her working in service by the side of her friend Kathy Miller. And then there's Mora. One of the sweetest children you'll every meet. Mora is the extrovert. Mora will walk up to you, tap you on the leg, then fold her arms(all the while smiling), and wait for attention. She usually gets what she wants. These are the Livingston grandchildren, three kids who really are a breath of fresh air here in kosrae. I don't think they truly appreciate what they mean to everyone here, but maybe that's a good thing. Children aren't aware of these things and if they were they would probably get a big ego, move far away from home, and write a blog just to garner even more attention. And really, who wants to see that happen??? Vanston, Mary, and Mora are just happy kids who happen to make the people around them feel a little better than they do. Their youth and disposition brighten the eyes and the smiles of the older ones, and their presence at the meetings makes the future feel very bright.



Stella

This is my brother Aaron and Angels daughter, Stella. I love Aaron and Angel very much, but i miss Stella. Here are a couple pictures of Stella. I love you Stella!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Certain People I Know

Over the next month and a half I'll start introducing you to the friends I spend time with while here in Kosrae. I wanted to do start introducing everyone on the island much earlier in my stay, but I tend to put things off ( When I was younger I wanted to be a pilot. I'm not a pilot yet, but the dream hasn't died).Since writing about people and pasting their faces on a web page is easier than landing a plane... here are some faces that live in a beautiful place(s).

Sean and Kathy Miller are one of the two missionary couples on the island. Originally from hawaii, they've been living here for about 6 months, before kosrae, they served as missionaries on the neighboring island of pohnpei. Kinder people you will not meet. My first day in kosrae I worked with sean on the construction site, and he made me feel at home instantly. When sean smiles grandmothers around the world, with their cheek pinching desires, turn green with envy at the thought of having him within arms length. He has the ability to make you feel like you've known him forever, when in reality you've just met. He has a trmendous amount of work to do here in kosrae, but everytime you see him, no matter the situation, sean always has a smile on that cheek pinchin face of his. His wife kathy is equally tremendous. The moment that stands out in my mind when i think about kathy is the tuesday that we poured the roof of the kingdom hall. It was 90 something degrees outside and we had a full day of shoveling and mixing conrete ahead of us. While men twice her size were wilting in the sun, small little kathy worked tirelessly. And i think that's what impresses me the most about the millers. They work so hard but they are always so happy, more importantly they make the people around them happy. They are a special couple. If there is any doubt about this, all you have to do is notice where the children flock after the meeting. You find the children and there you'll see kathy encircled by a group of smiling kids, eager to share what's on their mind to someone who they know is listening, and happy to do so.

Pictures Of Kosrae

Some pictures of the island, Saturday the 18th of September, taken at halftime during a highly competetive game of Kickball. I wish some of these scenes could be shared with you in person, as always, i'm afraid the pictures don't do the scenery justice.




Friday, September 17, 2010

The "Hatch"

If this is the LOST island i'm pretty sure desmond doesn't want to be in this hatch any longer.... just sayin.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Jony Be Good




jony medina. first off, i think jony has removed an H and an N from his name for one of two reasons-
1) he is lazy
2) mexican is his first language and the nuances of the english language were to much for his H&N

Whatever his reasons are for omitting letters from his name the world may never know, but i do know this.... jo(h)n(n)y medina is a really solid guy. born and raised in el paso texas, jony has made a career for himself in construction. he's had the opportunity to travel around the world as a construction volunteer( ecuador, bolivia, and kosrae to name a few) as a result there's hardly a project nor problem on the site that jony can't handle. these accolades alone are impressive, but even more impressive is the person that he is. many times we'll come home from work and jony will go into the kitchen and make an authentic mexican dish for everyone in the house. one day jony went fishing and caught a 30 lb wahu, he brought it home, cut it up, and shared it with the entire group. he was also the first out of the construction volunteers to muster up the courage to give a talk in kosraen. what was impressive about this was not the elegance in which he spoke( there was none to be found), but when you looked at the audience and you saw the locals smiling from ear to ear, hanging on every word he said, you knew that he had touched their hearts. the point of this is not to shower mr. medina with praise but it's to point out that his skills as a worker pale to his talents as a human. he is a good man and the crew & kosraens will miss him very much.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Group Photo- Late August 2010


( back row- allen, zak, jarrod, jake& amy / middle row- val& dave, kevin, obed / front row- javier, matthew, jony, shem, ramir

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Many Marvels Of The Missionary Home

during my brief time on kosrae i've had the opportunity to see the versatility of the future missionary home. Obviously one day soon it will house the hard woking missionaries here on the island of kosrae, but in the meantime it has served for some very interesting events.....

The Kitchen has served as a Kingdom Hall-




The Roof has transformed into an Olympic size pool-




Last and Certainly Least....Walking On Water???-

video

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Progress On The The Hall

the past three weeks have been very productive at the site. in that time we dug, formed, and poured 20 yds of footings( all by hand). two of the hall's walls are blocked to the finished height. we formed and poured two of the four pilasters, and today we poured an finished the concrete floor. during the three weeks it's been either uber hot or it's been pouring down rain, but the work has continued. the work has been difficult but spirits are high, life is good in kosrae

Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Of The Gang To Die

(left to right- the late scratchy, zippy, and itchy)
he was hit by a car one too many times. where most dogs would call it quits after one fender bender, scratchy lived and ultimately died because of his love of the four wheeled vehicle. born in kosrae in late 2009 on the border of two villages lelu/malem, "scratchy" lived his life to the full- chasing cars, eating food, chasing girls, barking at stuff that didn't even exist, taking long naps on the construction site on warm sunny days, and tormenting the stew out of his little sister zippy. this is what scratchy liked to do. this is who he was. he had a pleasant limp to his walk (mostly because of the afore mentioned car incident), a limp that i looked forward to seeing when i would arrive to the site each day. he would gratefully gobble up any food ever given to him and he'd sit quietly, wait patiently- for more food. sadly though on july 13th when we arrived at the site we found scratchy with no more life to live. it wasn't pleasant finding him at the site but it was heartwarming to know that when he had been mortally wounded for the last time, he sought comfort and refuge from the pain here, with his family,at the construction site. this was his safe place, his home. scratchy- a life lived to the full but not fully lived.

The Office And Police Station


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Words?

it's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. well... i don't have a picture for this one. the story will have to do. as background to the story, all the single brothers that work at the site take turns during the week doing guard duty.it's not a difficult assignment, the office we sleep in is a small structure made out of plywood with a tin roof, we have an air conditioner and a fold down bed, simple but comfortable enough. the site is about a fifteen minute drive from where i live on the island. last monday was my night for guard duty. i drive to the site at 8:30, do a quick walk around the grounds and the go into the office, set the alarm clock, and go to bed. the alarm clock goes off, i wake up, but it's still dark outside(sun rises around 5:30 am) i check my phone and i realize i set the alarm wrong, it's 2:30 in the morning not 5:30 ( quick explanation- my phone has been on airplane mode since i left hawaii, so it's still synced with the time in hawaii, hence why my phone's alarm went off at the wrong time) i still have three hours of sleep! since i'm up though, i decide i'm going to go outside and check the site and use the restroom. i grab a flashlight and unlock the door and head outside. all is normal i thought. i walk back to the office and turn the door knob and.... it's locked. i am in a state of disbelief. i turn the handle again, still locked. my disbelief is turning into sadness. as i turn the handle one more time, (this time accompanied with a violent shaking of the door) raindrops begin to fall on my sad face. there i am standing in flip flops, a t shirt, and a pair of shorts, in the middle of nowhere 7,000 miles away from home. i turn off the flashlight, because if you cry in the dark, you're not really crying, your eyes are just sweating. once my denial of the situation had passed, and it was apparent the no amount of prayer was going to make the keys pop out of the office, i assessed the situation. 1) i'll find some way to pick the lock or break into the office 2) i'll sleep in the car till everyone shows up to the site 3) i'll walk home. i liked option 1. surely i could find something around the site to pick the lock of the door and save myself from the humiliation of telling anyone this story! clearly, option 1 failed. after an hour of failed attempts(you'd think that on a construction site you could find something rather quickly to help you pick a lock. nope. everything gets locked into containers at the end of the work day. everything)- searching through the garbage in search of a plastic knife, using a machete to pry the door open, breaking a cd into sharp pieces to pick the lock, using a razorblade to try and move the locke, etc... accompanied with each failed attempt was the sound of the ac unit turning on inside the office, mocking me and reminding me of where i could be, where i so desperately wanted to be. i'd look down at my feet with the gloom of sadness and frustration hanging over my head, and i'd see four to five mosquitos enjoying my ankles as their midnight snack. it was time for the next option. i decided quickly that option 2 was never really an option. the car was hot and humid( cars here are not like cars back home, this car was not designed for comfort but rather to get you from point A to point B and thats all) and i realized that there would be nothing worse or more humiliating than having the crew arrive at 8:00 am well rested and with a belly full of food, seeing me there, hungry and tired, in my shorts and flip flops, and being forced to explain the whole story. that would not be my fate. option 3 was no longer a plan, it was a reality. with my dying flashlight i started my long journey back to my home. it was 3:30 in the morning, thankfully it was no longer raining, but it was very dark. there aren't really any street lights in kosrae( which is nice on a night with a clear sky, it's breathtaking. the only breathtaking thing on this night was the walk home.... and my constant sobbing, my eyes were really sweating.) so the walk of shame was dark, very dark. you'd think that walking home on a small island in the middle of the pacific ocean would be serene and peaceful, a time to reflect and ponder over the great mysteries of life( like how on earth did i lock myself out of the office). you would be wrong. there is a lot of wildlife on this island and they all seem to think that the road is a great place to come together and socialize at night. if the streets were lit up it would be no problem that there were giant frogs all over the place. but since they are not lit, walking becomes... an adventure. every dog on the island seems to be awake tonight, and it's their duty to inform the next dog of my arrival. some want to chase you, some want to taste you. fortunately for me, at this time of night/morning my disposition was such that i almost welcomed a dog to come at me. i was ready rumble. maybe they sensed this, because for the most part on this night, the dogs left me alone. halfway through my walk home i remembered that just over the next hill was the police station. i'll post a picture of the police station soon, but the station is a story in itself. i figured it was worth a shot to go up to the station and see if anyone was awake and if they were, maybe they would give me a ride home. i walk into the office and it's dark, no lights on except for one room down the hall. with cobwebs and spiders illuminating from my flashlight i walk down the hall to the office. i knock on the glass window and i startle a dozing "police" officer. i explain my situation to him and i can't help but wonder what is going through his mind. he calls his supervisor and asks if he can take me home. i again explain my "situation" this time to the police chief, and after we all share a laugh( at my expense) he agrees to give me a ride home. sometime around 5:00am on tuesday july 20, 2010, i climbed out of the kosraen police car and quietly climbed into bed. with a smile on my face and feeling ever so thankful for an hour more of sleep, i remember thinking to myself as i tried to fall asleep- man am i glad i put shorts on before i left the office.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Crew Goes For A Hike

monday july, 12 was a rare day off for the construction crew. everyone had worked so hard on the roof pour, the overseers thought it'd be nice if we had an extra day to recover. some one in the crew (shem) thought it'd be a nice idea if we all went on a hike... up a mountain! relaxing it wasn't, but entertaining it was. as we trekked up one of the mountains of kosrae we came across several japanese caves from the war, there was a waterfall, and handful of breathtaking views ( mostly because we climbed so high and it was hot as heck and we couldn't breathe) but breathtaking they were. all in all we had a great time and it was neat crawling into the old bunkers and finding the remains of japanese soldiers! that last part about finding remains was not entirely truthful. hope you enjoy the pictures! final note- thank you all for your kind comments, sorry i don't respond to all of them but it's really great hearing from all of you. love you guys! krista, email me mattscibetta@gmail.com

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Roof Pour






this past friday, July 9th, we poured the roof of the missionary home in kosrae. the job called for 70-75 yds of concrete to be poured and finished on the top of the missionary home. in kosrae you don't just call up the concrete plant and say send me some crete in the morning, and you certainly don't call up the local pump truck and ask him to pour the concrete on a roof 15 ft off the ground. they don't exist here in kosrae. when you want to pour concrete you go buy sand, gravel, and portland, then you mix it yourself and pour it.... yourself. the previous roof pour that the construction crew had in micronesia was on the island of pohnpei, where they poured 70 yards with a 100 volunteers, a plethora of buckets, a couple of mixers, and some ladders to boot. pohnpei has concrete trucks and pumps but they decided to do the job by hand in preparation of this pour in kosrae. so it's the week of the pour in kosrae, everything on the roof is formed, braced, and re-enforced with so much steel that it could withstand a natural disaster of massive proportions. a few problems arise though, volunteers are not as plentiful as hoped for the pour. instead of the 100 volunteers in pohnpei, there are about 35 volunteers/construction crew members total. it's decided that we need to solicit some equipment help from a local construction crew. a giant mixer capable of mixing 7yds an hour is rented along with a front end loader( tractor ) for dumping the materials into the mixer. also rented was a crane that would allow us to lift&pour the concrete onto the roof. these moves make the pour possible. as a side point- when you live on an island in the middle of the pacific ocean thousands of miles from any noticeable country, you come to appreciate that once a machine breaks you no longer have a machine. there are no replacement machines or overnight shipping for quick repairs, you either find another way or you wait for a long time. the crane broke two days before the pour. the company apologizes and offers their forklift. this is helpful but it means that we will now be wheelbarowing all the concrete on the roof, a sizable challenge for such a small crew. we carry on though. later that afternoon the skies turn grey and it begins to rain. heavy rains continue all the way up to the day of the pour. for the sake of everyones eyes and your patience i'll try to make this story progress a little faster. the pour is set for 7 am friday morning because it's said that the operators of the machinery can not make it any earlier that morning. when the operators drop off the equipment thursday evening they say that starting at 6 is no problem for them. we move up our start time one hour. 5:00 am friday morning we arrive at the site to prepare for the pour. it's still raining. in fact it's raining harder than it's rained all week, a deluge. word comes in from the arriving missionary couple that the only rode on the island is now impassable because a giant mangrove tree has fallen across the street( the tree was at least a hundred feet long, natives say that it was one of the largest trees on the island,"coincidentally" the tree fell directly across the street where the old kingdom hall is in kosrae). if we had not moved up our start time the night before we wouldn't have made it to the site. the concern now is, how are the operators going to make it here. soaking wet we jump into a truck and head to the fallen mangrove tree, we will do our best to move it and then find the operators. now common sense tells you that maybe this isn't your day to pour concrete. no one in the secular world would pour concrete on a morning like this, i promise you that, the financial risk is far too great. i was right though, it "our" day... it is Jehovah's day. looking back at that day i'm reminded of the scripture at prov 3:5,6-"Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding.  In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight". as we arrive to the fallen tree we notice the operators walking down the street in the rain. these guys don't work on days like this with weather like this, their on an island, there's no rush. but there they are soaking wet and ready to work! we pile into the truck and head to the site. it's still pouring rain though. who cares at this point! we fire up the machines and start mixing the very first load of concrete. as the forklift raises the first bucket up to the roof, i kid you not... it stops raining. the rain stayed away until the very end of the 10 hour pour. we are given perfect weather for the duration of the pourimg of the roof slab. had the sun been out it would have been extremely difficult to work that long through the day. early the next morning, some time around midnight, we finished the roof under a beautiful night sky in kosrae. i've personally seen the magnificent things that can be accomplished when you work in sacred service. whether it's concrete in kosrae or knocking on a door in griffin georgia, there is no doubt that all of us serve the most magnificent creator. when we seek first the kingdom and rely on gods thinking, not our own, then, there is nothing that we can not accomplish.
video

Kinyeir Fulat (Lelu Ruins)

lelu ruins

you may have read in the jan 8th awake 2001 of the nan madol. nan madol is just ruins now, but hundreds of years ago it was a thriving citiy in pohnpei micronesia. the ancient city of nan madol is much larger than the ruins of kinyeir fulat here on the island of kosrae. that being said, kinyeir fulat is said to be the origin of all these tribes around the micronesian islands. regardless of who's ruins are bigger and who started what tribe where, one thing is for sure, the design, effort , and strength it took to build these ancient cities is incredible. hopefully the pictures i took of kinyeir fulat( lelu ruins) will translate all the hard work that these ancient engineers put into building and fortifying their one time fortress. if you get a chance please read that awake article. i think it will enhance your appreciation for the slideshows that follows. in the slideshow you will see ancient walls, streets, tombs of kings, and canals that were once an entry way into these cities from the ocean many hundreds of years ago.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The "Rise" and "Fall" of the Mangrove Crab

video videodisclaimer: some crabs died in the making of this post. if you do not want to see any crabs meet their maker do not watch clip one. otherwise... let's eat!

the mangrove crab- they are vicious little buggers, they are feisty, ornery, and they want to do you harm. if one of these guys nip you, you will be more than sad. we came home from the meeting wednesday night, with shock and horror we discovered that four crabs had escaped and. there were three crabs in the kitchen, one of the crabs(the guy in the first clip) had ripped off one of his brethren's arms, backed himself into a corner and prepared for a battle with the humans. as clip one shows... he eventually lost. but i salute this mangrove crab. he had gall, he was courageous, and he was a valiant fighter. more importantly though... he was delicious. i like to think that this mangrove crab was also a hero. in my mind i see him on that late wednesday night, encouraging his fellow crabs, imploring them to make their push for freedom. and when they finally escaped, i like to think that he ripped off the arm of his fellow crab companion, not out of cannibalism and pure unadulterated hate, but because his friend needed help. he needed help escaping through the small opening in the screen door. he knew what he had to do. a missing crab and a claw lying on the kitchen floor is proof, that on this island, on that wednesday night, there existed a crab that was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. now watch the video clips!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Island Of The Sleeping Lady

videokosrae is known as the island of the sleeping lady. the locals say that if you look at the main island from one of the smaller islands( lelu island) you can see the silhouette of a woman lying down. decide for yourself. when you watch the video the camera will star at her head and well... work it's way down. i also posted some still photos of the main island and of lelu harbor. say what you will of the "sleeping lady", but on the evening when i took these photos i couldn't help but appreciate how fortunate i am to have visited this island. it is breathtaking more often than i can express or relate through these images. i'm a fortunate person.... wish you all were here, miss you all very much, even you jordan:) love, matthew






Saturday, June 19, 2010

A View From The Afternoon

1st picture- view from missionary home looking north. 2nd picture- fridays end of the week group photo)

here are some pictures from friday. this is the view from the roof of the missionary home. work wise, we have finished decking and putting up the guardrails on the missionary home, monday we'll finish forming for the roof pour and we'll begin placing the steel mats. i hope the pictures give you a good idea of how beautiful this island truly is. love you all very much... even you stephen!

3rd- johnny, sami, & melani hard at work. 4th-view from the westside of missionary home)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lunchtime At The Site




so here is a typical noontime meal. meals range from ham sandwiches to spaghetti. we eat like kings compared to how everybody else eats on the island. i kid you not, today our neighbor to the right spent half the day walking around with his gun looking for one of his chickens( he eventually found him, draw your own conclusions.) we really are spoiled when it comes to food. donna, dawn, and val( pictured above) do a tremendous amount of work when it comes to food preparation. everday they make us iced coffee or iced chai tea, onion rings and cucumber salad. with temperatures regularly in the 90's, without them there would be no missionary home. everyone appreciates them very much, including our mascots- from front right to left( itchy, scratchy, and zippy)
when i arrived on the site these guys were nothing but skin and bones. as kind as the people of kosrae are to humans, they have little respect for animals. these puppies have learned, everyday at noon they show up for the noontime lunch. they have easily put on a couple pounds each since ive been here. everyone benefits from the hard work of donna, dawn, and val!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Know Very Well What This Post Is About

Land on LOST island.... check
Find black smoke.... check
Find Dharma beer....
Find Juliet& Kate....

Friday, June 11, 2010

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is... how is it out here? Kosrea is a beautiful island. The weather is tropical, fruit is a plenty( 10 different kinds of coconuts, 6 kinds of bananas), the ocean is beautiful and blue(but there are no real beaches to speak of). The island is very green and alive, the island is defined by the beautiful mountains in the center of the island. The sun rises every morning around 5:30( if you manage to sleep through the early sunrise, yu usually are greeted by the crowing of roosters just minutes later). At dusk you will routinely see large bats roaming the sky. There is not much commotion on the island, so even from a distance, especially in the evening you can often hear the roaring of the ocean. (i'm pretty sure that was a run on sentence) It rains almost everyday, but so far, seldom does it rain all day.
The people of the island are extremely kind. Riding to and from the construction site you often find yourself waving and greeting all those who pass by. It seems like everyone on the island is also paying attention to the project. From the moment i landed to every time we dine out, people ask about the kingdom hall and missionary home that is being constructed. kosreans are so supportive of the work too. food is not cheap here, especially food not grown here. for example, a watermelon here can cost up to 20 dollars( does not grow on this island). the average income here is about 700 dollars a year. but people are constantly giving gifts( e.g. the watermelon) to the construction volunteers.
the site itself is coming along. we're about two weeks away from pouring the roof of the missionary home. following the pour, we'll start working on the footings and foundation for the kingdom hall. i'll try to post pictures of the work and the island as often as possible, but as of now, it's difficult to find reliable internet service, and it gets expensive quick when you do get service. I'll post a picture of the construction crew today. hope everyone is well, love you all. please give stella a kiss for me.
(left to right, from top row- dave, brent, dawn and jarrod, allen, johnny, javier, shem, vincent
bottom row- matthew, barak, shawn, louis)