Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kosrae - The Secret Island Paradise

It was a beautiful Friday morning in Guam and a great day to be traveling. Sister Martin and I are a little anxious what awaits us on the island of Kosrae, nearly 1400 miles away from the mission home. That's about the same distance as from Salt Lake City to Seattle.
One of the many beaches of Kosrae

Aboard the "Island Hopper" as they call it here, it hops from island to island, all the way to Honolulu, Hawaii. Our first stop was Chuuk. We stayed on the airplane while some passengers got off and others got on. As we were talking to a nice lady sitting next to the window, I saw the Chuuk Airport Fire truck spraying water at a runaway dog on the runway. The dog seemed to enjoy the game, going back and forth until the authorities finally chased him off the runway.

Next stop was Pohnpei. Since these small islands usually only get one flight per day, they always drive their fire trucks out on the runway awaiting the landing. It was fun to get a glimpse of these two islands that we will come back to later in the week.

Then we arrived in Kosrae. The Nautilus Hotel arranged to pick us up and have a rental car at the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel we walked around the back of the hotel where they were growing lettuce, etc. for the restaurant. The gardener/caretaker walked up and introduced himself and said his name was Benjamin, the branch President of the Lelu Chapel.

The Senior Couple, Elder and Sister Curtis, arrived shortly after.

We decided to take a drive with them around part of the island. They said the island only has about 7,000 people. I think we saw only 100 people during our short overnight stay.

They mentioned that the islands have various WWII remains like this Japanese Tank.

Elder Curtis said he was teaching piano and said he tried out for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir like I did and didn't get in. He was thinking about getting a community choir going, perhaps with the other churches to improve relations.

We then dropped by to see some of the young missionaries and the Utwe Chapel.

We also saw the Lelu Chapel.

We saw a lot of beaches, including the one the Curtis's live on. Living on a beach? Incredible.

It was very low tide and the rocks were showing on the beach. Sister Curtis described to us a big storm surge that they had recently.

And another view of their beach.

After sampling some of Sister Curtis's Breadfruit cake and banana bread...yum, yum, we went back to the hotel and enjoyed dinner together.

As it turns out, my brother Ken served in the same mission at the same time in Japan as Elder Curtis. I emailed Ken and he remembers him. What a small world.

This is a picture of the local gas station. No pump, just measure and pour.

Supplies are very limited on Kosrae. The Curtis's asked us to buy them some shoes in Guam that we brought on the plane with us. They appreciated it.

The next morning we joined the Curtis's for a fast exercise walk.

Later at the airport, we met President George, the other Branch President of the Utwe Chapel. It was great to randomly meet both branch Presidents on the island. They have warm hearts and a love for the people of their little island. Farewell to an exceptionally beautiful island paradise.

Next stop...Pohnpei.

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