Thursday, March 15, 2012

Back with friends

We've spent a few fun filled days (a little wet, but fun) here in Maleolap with our friends on s/v Renova. John gave us a tour on the main island, Taroa, of all the WWII stuff...bunkers, airplanes, generator stations. You can't walk 10 yards without running into something. Much of it has been grown over with vines and bush but that's part of the fun of feel like you're walking through the jungle. They get a lot of rain here so the place is very lush with more than the usual coconut tree and pandanus tree. They have breadfruit, bananas, and many flowering plants as well.

We decided we wanted to dive a few ships so we went up to another island in the atoll called Ollit. We spent the first day diving two Japanese ships and visiting with each other. The next day, John, Naomi, Jake and I went ashore to explore a bit and meet the people. After walking around a bit and getting our bearings, we walked by the school and met one of the local teachers, Louror. He invited us into his class and after school was out, over to his house. After having some lunch, Naomi and I went back in to visit with Louror and his family. We were greeted on the beach by the usual gaggle of kids and they walked us to his house. His wife makes the beautiful handicrafts that you see all around the Marshall Islands so we took a look at those while drinking the coconuts Louror provided for us. The crafts get sent to Majuro when there is a plane but when there isn't a plane, she has no way to sell them. We had some interesting conversations and after sitting out a few rain storms we made our way back to the boat. Just as the kids helped us get our dinghy back in the water, a lady we later met as Sally, ran out to us with her son and a basket of drinking coconuts for us to take back with us. We've found the women to be unusually friendly here...not our experience on other islands. They're usually shy and standoffish, but here, they smile, wave and make numerous efforts to show their hospitality.

There was a terrible accident here with the doctor concerning currents, tides and a lack of common sense (those are my words, not the locals) and the island is left without medical care at the moment. Louror's wife, Helpina was in desperate need of some pain killers for an infected tooth. We took her some antibiotics and Ibuprofen as well as some school supplies and finally headed back to the boat for good.

We're off to the atoll of Aur now. Our first day sail since leaving Mexico! From there, we'll head to Majuro next week and begin our preparations for Micronesia. I'll be able to post pictures in Majuro so you can see what fun we're having! This is definitely the way to see the Marshall Islands. I can't for the life of me figure out why we stayed in Majuro so long (well, I know it was for parts and stuff, but that seems silly now). The outer islands are so much prettier and friendlier and definitely worth the effort.

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