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JUST A LITTLE HUMOR FROM CHUUK

December 1991

Sunday as we were in church at Wichap the lady of the house where we hold church was having quite a time getting her 3 year old son settled down for church.  He was wielding an old butcher knife around he had found in the nearby kitchen.  She tried unsuccessfully to put a shirt on him.  After a while we looked over and the mother, who was sitting on the floor, had him calmly lying down in front of her.  The boy had the cutting edge of the knife in his mouth chewing or mouthing it around.  I turned to Bonnie and said, “So that is how the kids cut teeth in Chuuk!”

You know how we call the holes in our roads at home, “chuck holes!”  Well, over here I have christened them “Chuuk Holes!”

During Sacrament Meeting at one of the branches, a bright red rooster crowed and then flew up and perched in the open window of the room we were meeting in.  One of the young people sitting on the floor nearby reached up quickly and grabbed it by both legs.  He got up and took it outside.  When we dismissed for Priesthood meeting and went out to the little open (lean-to) shed where we met, there was the rooster staked out with a heavy string tied to one leg, the other end of the string was tied to a post. 

So there would be no more trouble, they lowered the rooster down into an empty 50 gallon barrel and covered it with a woven mat.  We went on with the meeting.  The bottom was out of the barrel.  Every once in a while I could see part of the string come into view as the ground was uneven.  An occasional sound of the rustling rooster was all we heard that might have detracted us from the lesson.  The lesson was given in Trukese, so I couldn’t understand it anyway.

BATHSHEBA AT BELLI BOT

There is a small boat landing (pickup spot) one half mile northwest of our place named Pelli Pot.  The Chukese pronounce it “Belli Bot.”  Now that we have moved from the luxury of the Continental Hotel docks, most of the Elders and the Couple at Uman use this place to put out with their boats and land again when they come back.

It is beyond a doubt the ugliest place I have ever seen in my life.  It is like a garbage dump almost.  There is a big old discarded wooden boat that is pulled up on shore right next to the narrow driveway where you park your car.  Only a photograph could describe the old boat and site\sight around it.  There are eight or ten of the most dilapidated cement block and wooden shacks there that families live in.  The whole one block long area is very littered and dirty and ugly.  The people come out and smile and talk to you when you stop there for any reason.

Last week Elder Gray and I and our wives went there to wait for a boat to come in.  The Sisters stayed back in the car and we walked the few yards to the water’s edge.  Out of one house came a naked little boy and his 250 pound mother.  She had on a suitable skirt but only a towel (a big towel) wrapped around her ample upper body.  In her hand was a half coconut shell filled with grated coconut meat.  It looked just like the coconut I had grated for Bonnie to use in her cooking the day before.  After I had sampled (tasted) it we had a stalemate conversation.  She apparently didn’t understand us, or we her.  She turned and went back to the car to talk to the sisters. 

After a bit we came back to leave.  The lady had gone over by the shed about 15 feet away, and taken off her towel.  She squatted down low with a large pan of water in front of her and proceeded to wash her ample torso and long black hair.  She put the shredded coconut in a cloth and squeezed the oil/juice out over her head to use as a hair conditioner.   We soon left, so didn’t get to see the whole procedure, but I thought, ‘ere I drove out sight,’ if King David of Old had been here instead of where he was, he probably wouldn’t have gotten in near as much trouble.

HE DIDN’T STEAL IT, HE JUST TOOK IT!

One morning I went out to the little shed where all the scrap lumber was kept, and picked out a 12’X1”X4” board to use on the back of a picture board we’re making.  I set it on top of the other boards so it would be ready later in the day to use.

After breakfast I was busy washing the car when two neighbor boys about 8 years old came over to visit.  As I talked to one of them inquiring his name, and he mine, and etc., I looked up and saw my 1X4 board just leaving the place on the shoulder of the other boy.

I didn’t have the heart to call him back and recover the board.  Over here, if you’re not using something like that and they need it, it is OK to just take it.

THE TAXI SERVICE

The taxi service here is very unique.  Anyone and everyone who wants to engage in the taxi business just gets a piece of cardboard or some other suitable material and writes “TAXI” in about 4” letters on it and puts it in the right front inside of the windshield of whatever car, pickup, or truck that they happen to own, no matter what condition it is in.

They all charge the same standard fare.  Fifty cents will take you almost anywhere on the island, 75 cents at the most.  Twenty-five cents is all, for just a mile or two.  The island is 8 miles long and 4 miles wide.

If your in the mood to be a taxi driver, you just reach over and stand your “TAXI” sign up so people can see it.  If you don’t feel in the mood to haul people, you just lay the sign down.

FAMILY HOME EVENING AT BANANA’S

As we met with Banana, Kipier Inai’s father, we read the following message written in English on the inside plywood wall of the family home.
In times of trouble, God’s trusting child may say,
“First, he brought me here,
It is by His will I’m in this difficult place.
In that I will rest.”


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 If there are any additions or corrections that would make this more complete please send them to  P. Blaine Hawkes.