Family and friends.... WHAT'S UP?! <3 Yes, I am emailing from a computer. Yes, that means that I have internet (at least for a while). To start off, I am not in the outer island of Tabiteuea as I would've hoped that I would be today. Air Kiribati (the country's national airline) has 2 toy-sized planes. 1 of the planes is down and the other one has been flying like crazy. I went to the airport this morning at 5:30 in the morning to board my flight only to find out that they cancelled all flights for the next 3 days. Apparently the planes can only handle a certain number of hours and the 1 plane that is in operation has hit it's number for a few days. It looks like I will
The first few days in Kiribati have been CRAZY. Part of it feels like a dream, and part of it feels like a nightmare. I have SO many moments where I think to myself "what the heck am I doing" or "I wish my mom and dad could see me right now." Like "I berita nakoim" (I promise to you) this place is like nothing that you have ever seen before. There are pigs, wild dogs, chickens, and people EVERYWHERE. The houses that people live in are crazy... They are generally "kiekia's" which are small stick houses with sloped roofs made from palm fronds and possibly tin. they have no furniture and we generally sit cross-legged on the ground on things called "Kie's" which are the woven mats. The people literally have no material things... I have seen probably seen 1 T.V. since I've been here. They have mats, things to cook, and that's basically it.
As you could probably guess, I've been in a little bit of culture shock. The life that these people live is so different from the life that I have ever lived and ever thought I would live. It's amazing to me that people live like this... but they're so happy and so friendly. We have been fed dinner every single night that we've been here. The food, as you can probably guess, consists of rice, a whole fish, some weird drink, and occasionally chicken. It's really good, just taking a little adjusting to.
Sitting cross-legged is probably the HARDEST thing in the world. It hurts every square inch of my legs and even my back. We went to a SHORT "bootaki" (a party) for a couple getting engaged. It consisted of sitting cross-legged for 2 WHOLE hours and questioning every decision I've ever made. We were the some of the honored guests. There are a lot of in n outs of the culture that will take some getting used to. I'm ready to take it head on. I can't speak the language and it's really frustrating. I want to be able to help these people but until I speak the language I can't.
My first few days here have been crazy. We have been with the AP's and Zone Leaders the whole time. We easily can teach 5 lessons a day even with their responsibilities. We even had a people come up to us in the car this week asking if they can have lessons. The people are amazing :') Hopefully the language will start to come along with the ability to understand the culture and a growing love for the food. Pray that I will be able to leave for Tab this Wednesday.. oh and also that I can sit cross-legged lolz <3
<3 TIABO NGKAMI :')
P.S. I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting... Thanks Bishop </3