Tuesday, March 22, 2016
We then went back to the apartment to finish packing and clean the apartment before going to the airport. Our return to Guam, the flight leaves Palau at 2:35 am and we arrive in Guam at 5:30 am, with the hour difference in time the flight is only two hours. The flight was late arriving and then the pilot missed the first landing so the airplane had to circle and make a landing. We arrived in Guam 2 hours late and without sleeping. We are too old (did I really say that? It is true!) to stay up all night. We went home to get some rest!
Friday we went to the the north part of Palau to pick up two cravings to bring to Guam. Toby carves mahogany to make story boards. Then we went with the last two sets of missionaries to an early dinner, the place had just closed but opened for the six of us. We then went with the missionaries to visit some people they were teaching.
Thursday evening we met with Brother Knight to discuss digitizing records on Palau and were able to see the equipment they have and what needs to be upgraded when the internet is upgrade in April. This will help us to be able to assist them remotely with family history while we are in Guam. We have the ability to use the FamilySearch help center to be able to assist when they have questions while we are in Guam. When the internet is upgraded we hope to have the ability to do this with the upgraded internet. At each location we taught the missionaries how to use the help resources of Family Search to help themselves and others.
The rest of the week we spent trying to work with the missionaries and others to further the family history on this island. We were able to take the missionaries out to dinner each evening. It was a treat to get to know them better and discuss family history and how it can be used in missionary work. We spent time learning about the people and what does and does not work in addressing taboos.
Wednesday Evening we had dinner with Sister Hilliman & Fulcher, we forgot to take a picture when we were at dinner.
Dinner with Elder Warr & Call.
Dinner with Elder Climer, Jenson, Striplin & Rupp.
Monday at noon we were asked to do a presentation at the Palau Community College. They offered a class on genealogy but no one signed up so they cancelled it. They found out that the LDS church has the largest collection of records and asked Vangie, since she was a member, if we would be willing to come and make a presentation. There were about 40 people at the presentation and we stayed after and answered questions. The presentation was well received and there were many questions that took what was to be a one hour lecture into a two hour discussion. In addition to the questions about genealogy, family history and DNA testing, there were many questions about the church. Some of the older participants were already tracing their ancestry and many of the younger ones had a genuine interest developed to look into their origins and the use of technology in family history. The missionaries are following up on those who wanted to know more about the Church.
Our flight to Palau was at 11:00 pm arriving in Palau at 11:05 pm (they are an hour behind Guam and Yap). We were going to stay in an empty senior apartment but the electricity was turned off so they took us to a hotel. Sunday morning we went to church, afterwards we attended a meeting and discussed Family History and what we could do to help the people on these islands. As we drove around the islands we tried to take pictures of this beautiful island.
The bridge in the first picture can be seen in the distance of this picture.
Palau is has many hills, they find flat places where they can plant gardens.
The main city here has several islands connected by bridges and Causeways.
Palau's National Capital Building.
Elder Williams with Toby and Elder Striplin & Elder
Toby does wood cravings and we are on his property. Each native family
has their own property the next pictures were taken on his property.
Our last day in Yap we had a little time to visit a couple of places in the main city Colonia. A cruise ship had docked so they had a native dance by the youth (these are the lower cast and they have no choice but to do what they are told). It was a hot day and they performed for half an hour.
There was a baptism that evening and after the baptism we had a fireside about Family History. The attendees showed great interest in family history and had many questions leading to a great interactive discussion. It was a great way to end our stay in Yap.
The next day was a Zone Meeting and we spent most of the day at the meeting with the missionaries. We did a presentation on Family Search and how they can assist families to record stories from their families and learn about their heritage. The following day we spent on the north part of the island with the missionaries helping three investigators to set up free accounts on Family Search and input their family’s information. We had a great day with the Elder’s and the people they are teaching. The people were friendly and really wanted to move forward with their family history. The Elders had cautioned us earlier that the people did not like to talk about their ancestors. We found this might not be the case if approached in the correct manner.
Working with the Elder's to explain how to use Family History in their missionary work.
We had a computer hooked up to a television screen to help do their family history.
The next day we went to the church and worked at the Family History Center. We are in the process of getting new computers for the islands and need to check to see how well they are working. We want to assure that they have the ability to Skype so we can train and help with Family Search issues. In the afternoon the senior couple came to teach the youth in the Seminary program. We went to dinner with the couple in a restaurant on an old boat and then they drove us around the island. We went to the Stone Money Bank, where we saw that they actually did use stone money. It was kept in a central location in a community and moved from one area to another as transactions were made. The holes in the middle are so they can put poles through to carry them.
They would use this money to make purchases but they didn't move the money.
There is money on both sides of this street and it is called the Stone Money Bank.
The Brimhall's are senior missionaries on Yap.
We are standing next to the largest stone money.
They have a cast system, the lower cast has responsibilities like cleaning the road side, and this is the cleanest island we have been to. This cast has to wear lava lavas, this symbolizes they are from the lower cast. Most of the lowest cast lives on the north part of the island. Many are from the outer islands and that is why they are the low cast. It is a beautiful island and one of the cleanest one's we have been on.
The roads as we drove around on Yap.
They always have live flowers on the graves in Yap.
They have men and women's gathering places, the one closet
is the man's place and the other the women's place.
There are places like this all over the island, most people don't
drive so they can sit in the shade and rest as they walk.
We stayed in this hotel, the lower building is the restaurant.
This was our view when we ate in the restaurant!
Typical buildings from earlier times.
Our next trip is to Yap and Palau. The planes to these islands fly in the middle of the night. We left Guam at 11:00 pm and arrived in Yap at 12:30 am. We were picked up by the hotel and arrived to our room at 2:00 am. At the airport a lady put leis around our neck, she is from the lower cast and are required to be there topless, except for flowers, to greet new arrivals. Many of the people from the outer islands and villages are the low cast and the women don’t wear tops and the men must wear distinctive skirt like wraps. It may seem strange to us but that is their custom. Most women wear leis to cover the top.
This is at 2:00 am when we arrived at the hotel and took this picture. We are getting too old to stay up this late, unfortunately all the flights to Yap are in the middle of the night.
After we finished at the Air Base we went to a beach at the north end of Guam just outside of the Air Base. It was a clean beach because it was taken care of by the National Park Service and they asked that you carry out your garbage. It is the cleanest beach we have seen. Park rangers came by on a 4 wheeler to make sure that everyone was keeping the place neat and following the rules.
The Eliason's went with us and snorkeled at this beach.
Saturday, February 21, 2016 we went to Anderson Air Force Base for an Open House where they had planes from different military bases. There were planes Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and the United States. We went with the Elisions (Medical couple). We enjoyed watching the different planes taking off especially the ones that can go straight up into the air.
Some of the armaments carried by the planes.
Getting a close look at the cockpit
A B-52 Bomber. These are based on Guam