Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 6 in Gaua February 3-February 9, 2014

Dia famle mo fren blo mi,

Yufala i olsem warem?  Mi harem se mi stret.  Wik ia i bin wan gudfala wik, speseli lo Mondei.

I think most of you are wondering if the island here is beautiful?  I think it's different here from Tanna because this island is mostly flat and you can't look very long distances, but when looking at the island in a plane before landing, it looks gorgeous!  When close to landing you see the volcano with a big lake around it and a beautiful waterfall.  The island is very beautiful, but my area is hot and full of trees so you can't see a lot of scenery.  But on Monday this week me, Velly, Passey and Echols decided to go see the waterfall.

One of our neighbors named Philip has a truck, one of the two trucks on the island, and he drove us down the road and up towards a trail that goes to the waterfall.  We were higher up when the truck dropped us off.  Our perspective missionary Tyron and his brothers came with us and showed us the way.  We walked a long way and walked along the river and walked through man bush.  It was a rough hike there, but the waterfall was amazing!  It's about 350-400 feet high!  Tyron and his brothers swam while we were there, and we were jealous because missionaries aren't supposed to swim in the water.  We were soaking wet because of all the mist from the waterfall.  Then we decided to try to hike to the east side of the lake.  We hiked up a steep hill and continued to hike up hill and Elder Passey started to get VERY tired.  We then all rested and Passey said that if he walks any further he won't be able to make it home.  Elder Echols was really bummed because he really wanted to see the lake.  So I told him I would stay with Elder Passey and we walked back to our house.  It was all downhill on the way back.  So it was easy!  We made it back safely and everyone came back okay.

Echols and Velly said the lake was cool, but not as cool as the waterfall and the volcano.  I can't remember if I told you about the volcano?  It's not hot like the volcano in Tanna.  This one just smokes but I've heard that every couple years it comes close to erupting.  I was a little bummed out that I didn't see the lake, but I will probably see it sometime.

I have a feeling I will be in Gaua for a while.  It was an awesome p-day!  So I'm thinking you all are wondering the living conditions here in Gaua.  We have a kitchen to make all of our food.  It's not really a kitchen, it's just where our stove is and all of our pots and pans and dishes.  We don't running water, but we do have a faucet outside that's hooked up to a pvc pipe.  That is hooked up to our water tank.  So we do our dishes under the faucet outside.  There is a little hut about three feet away with a REAL toilet.  But the water doesn't work so you pour water into the toilet.  We have a hand pump and filter for drinking water.  The living conditions are about the same as Tanna, but it's just a lot hotter!  I haven't washed my clothes here.  The owner here has a big metal dish, you put clothes, water and powder in the big dish.  Then you grab a plank of wood and a scrub brush, and wash your clothes.  And then you have to dry your clothes.  The living conditions might seem really hard, but it's really not that bad.  I'm really happy and I'm learning to love Gaua.

It's kind of fun to live on a small island in the South Pacific.  But the island is bigger than it seems.  And don't worry, I sleep on a mattress with a bed frame.  We also have mosquito nets over our beds.  But the mosquitos here aren't that bad.  The island has just about all the important things you need.  Like soap, laundry powder, toilet paper, super glue, toothpaste, shampoo, playing cards, and food.  It has a lot more things than this list so don't worry!

Our neighbor Philip has a laptop computer, he doesn't have internet though.  I was able to borrow his computer and show Elder Velly the video of me opening my mission call.  Dang that was a good day!  Oh and I bet you guys are wondering if you write in my journal?  Everybody has pushed me to write in my journal.  Well just so you know, I have written in it every night since I have been in Vanuatu!  I have an account of every day.  My first journal is almost full but I have another one too.

On Tuesday Elder Velly was too sore to teach, so we didn't teach and I was bummed out!  I was a little sore, but that wouldn't hold me back.  Wednesday morning we had district meeting at Eapot, after the meeting the branch president asked us to stay and they made a meal for us.  Because it is the last week for Elder Velly.  We stayed there throughout the afternoon and didn't have any more people left to teach because at 4pm our unit would be holding a small program before Velly leaves.  We went and they gave us leis that they made.  They smelled so good!  Then they gave Velly baskets and stuff as gifts.  Then they made a big meal.  We ate rice, lap-lap, corn and soup.  It was a good night and the food was great!

Thursday morning our neighbor Bruce, he's the owner of the house we stay in brought us a big fish to cook.  It's pretty cool that the people here dive into the ocean every morning and every night and use small harpoons to spear fish.  They use snorkels to breathe and they have goggles to wear.  At night they use flashlights while diving.  The fish here is really good.  I like to eat fish a lot now.  Whenever the people kill fish, they always give some to us.  They are very nice.  On Saturday night, we waited for the zone leaders to call and let us know who will be my new companion.  They called and told me that Elder Leva from Tonga will be my new companion.  I was psyched! Elder Leva was companions with Elder Jones in Tanna.  And he was in my district.  Elda Leva is the one that answered the phone when you tried to call on Christmas.  And dad was speaking bishlama to him, and he couldn't understand bishlama yet.  I got to know him very well while I was in Tanna.  And I am very excited for him to come.  And Elder Leva will be the district here.

Elder Passey will be transferred to Tanna and Elder Ransica will take Passeys place. It's cool because Elder Ransica is from Siet Siwi and I already met his family while I served there.  We are going to have lots of fun here, I know it!  Work is starting to improve here and I really like it here. It's kind of like my area in Tanna.  I don't want to leave here.  Know that I am happy and everything is going well!

Mom, don't stress about me!  I am having a blast!  It's like everybody says, your mission is the best two years of your life.  Sunday was great we were able to teach five lessons, and our perspective missionary Tyran taught with us.  It was a good end to the week.  I love you all and hope all is well.  Everything is great here and I love it.  Bae no continue lo wok had lot ples in from se ma save se papa god inidim mi lo sev lo plus ia.  Mi lavem yufala bignon!

Love, Elda Baenon

P.S. I bet if you go on google earth you can find pictures of the waterfall, I wish I could send pic's 

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