Saturday, November 15, 2014

Oct. 14, 2014 First Week in Kiribati

(Letter received Nov. 15, 2014)  Postmarked Oct. 24  Written Oct. 14th

Dear Mom and Dad!
     I realize that it will take about 2 weeks for this to get to you, but I want to tell you all of the things that I forgot to put in my letter on Monday.  (I think he meant Monday Oct. 13, his first Monday there.)  First,  I have started taking the vitamins.  I started on Sunday.  I don't remember to take them every day yet, but it is still an improvement.

     #2  Most of the food here is palatable.  I arrived on Thursday (9) and on Saturday the 11th  I had my first meal at a native's house.  I always want to take pictures of the food, but it kinda seems like that would be rude.  (Ex.  Oh, that really looks gross, let me take a picture so that my family can see how gross it is.)  anyways.....I live in a relatively developed area.  There is a main road with stores and houses on it that are pretty nice.  But the further you get away from the road the less traditional the living gets.

So we went all the way to the beach,  (maybe 3-4 hundred yards).  The people (my companion's parents)  had a raised hut about the size of Rachael's bedroom.  It had no walls.  It looked basically like a table with a thatched roof.  They wanted to feed us, so they gave us rice, breadfruit (when raw tastes like a dry baked potato, without flavor, when cooked tastes like a moist baked potato with a subtle sweet potato flavor.  This was uncooked),  something else, and this bowl of slimy black rings of something, in something that wasn't water.  Imagine you were served raw intestines, then double that feeling because you know that this will be worse, but you don't know what it is.  I tried to ask, but all they would tell me was that it was saw fish, but I really don't know.....
Well, I am determined to eat everything, so I tried it.  It tasted like a slimy version of eating the sea.  Pure salt with a fishy taste in there somewhere.  I started gagging, really bad and they started laughing and I started laughing.  But they took pity on me and took it off of my plate.  I have found that that was just an exceptionally bad meal.  Since then I have had raw fish, the whole fish (it was staring me down) and a whole slew of other things and not gagged once and they were all do able.  Some were actually yummy.  I tell you this story for 2 reasons.  #1  Right after this experience I felt it would be wise to start taking the vitamins :) and #2.  for you to have a laugh.  I laugh about it and especially since 85% of the food is good, it is nothing to worry about.

You were worried that the rice would clog my system.  Well good news!  My bowels have never been more free in my life.  Only problem is that we are out of toilet paper....   The store with toilet paper in it is on the other side of the island (sad face drawn in)  (guess they don't get to the other side of the island very often.)

I really like showing off the picture book that Midori gave me.  People love seeing all of my family and I like talking about you guys.  Here's a bit of culture.  The youngest is the most loved.  People always want to know where I fit in the family, so when I say that I am the youngest they all laugh and either say something like, "I feel sorry for your siblings because you were loved more."  or Oh, your parents must miss you!"  So since I am the youngest they love to see the rest of my famly.  One time when I was showing off the picture of all of us in our pjs on the couch, I introduced every one then they asked if it was taken in our home?  When I said yes.  They responded in English, "You are a millionaire!!"  I told them that I wasn't but they didn't believe me.  They saw the wood bookshelves and said,  "Wow  expensive,  You lie,  you are a millionaire!"  Then they saw the picture with me and a cow.  They said,  "Now I know you are a millionaire!  You own cow."  So, I tried to explain, that I worked on a dairy, but I don't think they ever really believed me.  Plus when you compare our living conditions, we almost are millionares. The difference is incredible, but the people are happy in both places.  Just remember this,  if you start to wish you had something more or greater.  "you are a millionaire." Plus it should make you smile because their Kiribati accents are funny when they speak English.

The food I brought has been quite helpul.  It helps me wean myself from America, because the food here is, as mentioned quite different.  Also, thanks for the package.

I love you both so much!  Have a great......... however long until my next letter!
Love Elder Morley.  Also, I sent Justin a letter so ask him for more stories.

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