Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Miscellaneous Marakei

OK, time to finish off my section on Marakei
The following are semi-random items ...
if I spend any more time, I might miss something!

I-Kiribati are very creative and resourceful.
Here is a lady assembling a head wreath ...
Te mae.
The finished product.

They make one for visitors when they depart, or
attend special events.
I have 5 sitting on my counter at the moment.
Just wish there was a way to preserve them ...

Here is a dance that was put on for us by one of the villages.
They were practicing for the upcoming Christmas singing
and dancing competition.
Of course, we had to dance as well ... they love a good laugh!
The sillier you are, the better!
The locally built native canoes are said to be
among the fastest in the Pacific.
To reverse directions, the sail is just unattached from
one end, and attached to the other.

The coconut ... so many uses ... deserves its own posting later.
Here a man is preparing some muimoto for us.
The liquid in the coconut is so pure it was injected
intravenously during a cholera epidemic some time ago.

Waro are yummy! Put one of these on the barbie!
Also known as a mantis shrimp.

I think these girls were on their way to church ...
though it seems they usually wear white to church.
They are happy and gorgeous, none the less!

Best way to get around Marakei ...
because it is a circular atoll and you can ride all the
way around in one day.

Maintenance is something that doesn't get
high priority from what I've seen in Kiribati.
Of course, it could take months for a spare part to make it there
... and they are expensive.
Heard of one man having to take out a loan to get a door
for his house ...

The Marakei Airport
Doesn't have to be too flash if it's only used a couple hours a week.
You don't even have to take your shoes off at security!
Wait! Most people don't wear shoes!
You do see some interesting things here ...

Pilot and co-pilot?

Next to the airport is a little village where we found the
friendliest people ... do these 5 sisters
look a little cheeky, or what!
Trying to get them to all look at the camera as the eldest took
our picture was fun ... the girls on either side of me
are Mo Mo and Sara ... the other's names
were much harder to pronounce and remember!
Funny thing was, we were there the day before and didn't
see any of these girls ... but several other kids ... who
I didn't see this time. Happens often!

A lot of hand labour here ... but everyone pitches in to help.

They were only repairing the bridge ...
that's right ... there is no concrete mixer in the picture.
Everything was being mixed by hand!

And if you need a new roof or fence ...
all the family helps ... age is not a problem.

Even the police are helpful!
Here the chief officer is loaded with our backpacks ...
he took them to the airport so we could walk the distance.
I was hoping he didn't get stopped for being overloaded!
Not that that ever happens!

Lastly, even though this wasn't taken on Marakei ....
when we returned, we were invited by the MP
from Marakei, to join him at the president's maneaba.
President Tong asked us to sit next to him and offered
us a beer ... even though it was VB, I couldn't turn it down!
Where else could you sit next to the president ...
and be offered a beer!
I was very impressed!


  1. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favour:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Kiribati? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Kiribati in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and a original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia, 39 Bajo C
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com, where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

  2. loving your photos and stories about life in Kiribati. I love that the I-Kiribati celebrate each day and find the joy in the smallest things. Also great to read Marita's stories too.