For the past several weeks, Conn's mom has been helping administer the Junior Secondary Certificate exams and Kiribati National Certificate exams in North Tarawa. Last weekend, we were able to go and visit her there on the outer island. We went on Saturday by boat and returned Monday by outrigger canoe. The boys had a great time with all of our experiences over the weekend. When we got there, we stayed with the Assistant Principal of the Secondary School where Mama was staying. Their house faces the area of water between the lagoon and the main part of the island, so there was water in the front yard at high tide. The boys were eager to go straight from boat to lunch to water. They stayed in the water for about 2 hours before coming out to shower and change. While the boys played, Conn, Parker and I took a motorbike ride to our old stomping ground just a short way up the island. We pulled into the school compound where I worked in the Peace Corps on our way to the village where we first knew each other. We were disappointed to see the school compound in worse condition than when we left. I didn't know it could get worse with falling down classrooms, worn out school yard and houses that were not kept up but now the brush and trees have grown up, the houses are also falling down and have holes in them (including mine), the school classrooms look like they had been fixed, but were falling down again, and the window screens of the library/office were coming off. We turned around and headed into the village. There weren't many people out, and the ones we went to see weren't home, but the village is nice and kept up and the house we went to was well taken care of. We saw the people when we came back to South Tarawa and we're planning to return during the school break to stay with them and visit. When we returned to the Secondary School, it was getting dark so we had our showers and relaxed until dinner. We had the best food there! Pork that was so tender, fresh fish, soups, and my favorite - te bekai, which is grated taro mixed with coconut cream and sugar. The boys really liked it too, and it was a great dessert for them. We slept outside on the buia - a roof with a platform floor and no walls. It rained all night and the wind blew to keep us cool. Mama had complained about the heat and mosquitoes, but we thought it was better there than at our house! On Sunday, we enjoyed the relaxed environment of having nothing to do and the cool, constant breeze so we laid around, the kids played and we just relaxed and refreshed. In the afternoon when the tide came in, the boys played out in the water for another 2 hours or so. There was more kids playing after dinner and Conn and I packed our bags for the early morning trip the next day. We slept again with wind and rain all night and woke to clear skies. We got on the wa - outrigger canoe from the village with about 35 other people and sat still for about an hour and a half until we returned to South Tarawa. Although we were tired from letting the kids stay up a little later and getting up early in the morning, we were refreshed from not having anything to do while we were gone and being able to enjoy the company.
from Tanielu: The weekend me and James went swiming we had lots of fun and we made freinds with a boy and we wer in the watr very long but then daddy calld us back then we went back home and had a shawer then we had dinner but the boy was older and he cepet falling.
from James: swimming in North Tarawa.
Me and Tanielu were swimming in (I guess what you call an ocean pool.) It took a long time till we got out. eniy way we were playing power rangers and Tanielu was Dustin, power of air, water, earth, I was the leader of the bad guys but desighned as Dustin's freind. I was trying to steal a scroll which was rilly a peace of wood. Tanielu was tossing it around shouting, "fech." I tryed to get it but it always landed near Tanielu and he always got it. only 2 times I got it. we then went to a moniaba that was kind of streaching in the, as I said, ocean pool. We hunted and chased crabs along the stones beside the moniaba with sticks. One big crab with big claws fought back. I jumped back and called Tanielu to come see this. he said "cool." I told him how the crab fought back. a kid with his dad came over to where we were. The dad knew how to speak english and he asked us what we were doing. I said "looking for crabs." Then we started playing with them. the boy was tanner, just a little bit more than us. the dad was darker than broun but lighter than black. they both had short hair. the boys funny. we're playing hide and seek (we taght 2 people how to play hide and seek.) I'm hideing on some big roots from mangroves. I put my leg on the roots and he triped. he looked back and I went under. then it was time to go back. the end