Everyone always says, "What a great opportunity you're giving Jake...to see the world and learn about other cultures..." Well, I'll tell you, he's learning culture now. And so are we...
|A young boy with his ration of fish.|
There are four clans on the island. They're not necessarily family, but "like family" is what I was told. As a matter of fact, the chief's stepson, Mannuel, is in a different clan than he is. Not sure how that happens, but it does. Each of the clans control a different part of the island; one controls the sea, one the land, one the tuba (remember the coconut toddy?), and one does the administrative tasks (not quite clear what this entails yet). There was a meeting the other day (and apparently, days after that), to discuss the tuba. Since the holidays are coming up, they want to decide if they're going to let the men drink the fermented tuba, or make them drink the sweet tuba (non-alcoholic) that the women drink. They want everyone to have fun and be happy, but they don't want them drunk all the time and useless. One night, the meeting results were handed out and it was a yes, you get to drink the tuba (interestingly enough, the women have a large say so in this), but last night another meeting decided that no, you don't get to drink the tuba. I don't think it's much different than our politics at home, actually....
|The fish to be divided among the various families on the island.|
Michaeila (I totally spelled it wrong in the last post, sorry. Pronounced, Mi Kay La, very common at home, I just don't know how to spell) told me how women get married here. I was very curious as there just doesn't seem to be a lot to pick from. She said a boy decides he wants to marry a woman and goes to her parents and asks permission (much like we do in the south, right?). If the parents say yes, the boy and girl go "away" for a few days to get to know each other and basically to let the girl decide if she wants to marry the boy and "how" they want to get married (I don't know what "how" means). If she decides she likes him, they go back and tell her parents, yes. Then they go to each of their family's houses and tell them they're going to get married and "how" they want to get married. Then they wait for the priest. On this island, there is a deacon, so they can get married anytime they like. If they are from two different islands, the man moves to the woman's island. I like that they get to say no if they want to...
|Mannuel and Andy|
|Kira and Jake playing. Kira was afraid|
there were sharks in the water so we couldn't
get her off the ladder, but she had fun
Tomorrow is the big celebration. It's the day of Mary's Ascension. After Mass, they're having a big party, complete with turtle. The poor thing has been laying on it's back for two days huffing and puffing trying to stay alive. We thought about secretly letting it loose, but we think they harpooned it in the neck. We'll have to go for the "we're not going to waste it" attitude and have a taste tomorrow. Then on Monday, we're off....
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com