Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week 3 in Gaua January 13-January 19, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

We started the week with a good laugh.  Monday morning we checked our rat traps and one rat was stuck to the glue trap.  The trap is a plate with very strong glue and you put bait in the middle.  Elda Velly took the rat off and started speaking in English to it.  He said "thou shalt not steal".  "The law of Moses says so, and if you steal you shall die!"  After that he said "I'm going to teach you a lesson".  Then he put hand sanitizer on the rat (the rat couldn't move because of the glue) and lit a match and lit the rat on fire (this is where Shauna cringes a bit).  It just squeaked a little bit and then it died.  It was a mean way to kill a rat, but it was pretty funny!

I learned a card game called "I lock", just about everyone in Vanuatu knows it, it's a fun game and I will have to teach you guys how to play it when I get home.  I decided to show some of the people how to play "the ultimate poop head".  They love it!  We've played it quite a few times!

The next paragraph is in Bishlama, and Shauna can't translate it, so we'll skip to the next paragraph.

But on Thursday we were able to make one service.  There's a man in our unit ready to prepare to go on a mission.  He will be coming to zone conference with us to interview with the mission president.  The guy's name is Tyrone.  He's trying to earn money for his mission by making "kobra".  Kobra is roasted coconuts ready to be sent and processed and used in lotions, oils and many other things.  The people here gather old coconuts that have fallen from the trees and they take out the flesh inside and fill up big bags with the empty coconuts.  Then they put all the coconuts in a big tray and light a fire underneath and it toasts and the coconuts.  Then they put them in the bags and carry them to a place by the beach so when a ship comes, they will put them on the ship and take all the kobra.

So me and Elda Velly helped fill up the bags of roasted kobra and helped carry them to the beach.  They were very heavy bags!  The first one I carried was about 60 pounds!  At first it was hard to stay balanced because the bags are so big.  You put them on your shoulders behind your neck.  So we carried them, I think it was about a mile and a half to the beach.  Then we went back up and grabbed more bags.  This time my bag was about 90 pounds.  Me and another buy switched off because the bag was SO heavy and you have to walk really far.  It's amazing though because the people here are small but are able to carry all that weight!  Don't underestimate the Ni-Vans (Vanuatu Natives).  It was a very good workout though.  We were really sore the next day. 

Many people here make kobra.  It's a good way for them to earn money.  The pay isn't the best though.  People pay about 20 or 30 cents for every kilogram of kobra.  So with all the bags we carried, 10 bags I think, Tyrone earned about 80 dollars.  And we are the first missionaries to carry kobra here, and I'm probably the first white man to carry kobra.  I hope to do it again.

All has been well, but we will probably have to teach many members about the word of wisdom.  Know that I am happy and I still haven't been sick.  Life has been good and I'm glad to be serving Papa God (bishlama for Heavenly Father).

Mi Lavem Yufala Tumos!

Lavem, Elda Baenon

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