Since being back, we have both been a bit sick on and off. Sharing is caring. Kiribati is not a pleasant place to be sick, with the heat.
The year is only just starting at the theological college after a long break. I (Nic) will be teaching for the first 2 weeks of semester, and then we leave. Leslene, the Australian Librarian will be taking over the teaching then until June when she will be leaving also. UnitingWorld are looking for a replacement for both of my roles, so speak up if you know of anyone who might be interested.
We sent the weekend at Teirio. It is an islet of Abaiang, the next atoll over from Tarawa. This was our 3rd and final trip there. The water was rough, so we couldn't go on the smallish motor boat we had booked that would have taken about 2 hours. Instead, we had a 5 hour sail there on Friday afternoon, which went into the night. We saw a real shark in the wild, which was exciting. It wasn't a big man eating one, but was still about 1.5 metres long. We watched a lovely sunset, then a trillion stars filled the moon-less sky, some of them moving. There were even stars glowing in the water (maybe plankton?). Magical! We zig zagged back and forth a bit trying to find the passage through the reef into the Abaiang lagoon in the dark, then finally arrived, guided by a smaller boat with a torch, for a late dinner and bed.
When we left on Sunday, we sailed out about 200 metres then jumped back into the turquoise lagoon for our last swim/snorkel. Most of us had a go sitting in the nets at the front of the boat at times, but soon realised we didn't need to sit there to get wet. The sea was pretty rough, so we all got pretty drenched. It was fun. It was sunny most of the time with the occasional heavy downpour passing through.
|Looking back at Teirio as we left.|
The toilet on the boat is a throne/seat hanging off the back of the boat with a hole in it for droppage into the ocean and breeziness. When someone needs to use it, a sheet of material is held down for privacy. Pete had just pulled down his pants to go when a fishing rod next to him starting making a noise indicating a big fish had hooked on. So... up went the sheet with people diving for the rod, and everyone's attention was drawn to the back of the boat- and to Pete on the throne. How embarrassing! He pretty quickly pulled up his dacks and moved away until all the fishing action was over. A few people had a go at reeling in the fish. It ended up being a big sail fish, which was a beautiful blue colour when pulled out of the water, but lost its colour pretty quickly and spent the rest of the trip in one of the nets at the front, waiting to be eaten.
|Maria with the sailfish she helped reel in|
Flying fish are amazing. We had never heard of or seen them before coming to Kiribati, but assumed they were fish that jumped. However, they really do fly- for about 100 metres at a time. They must drink Red Bull. We are so used to seeing them flying around above the water now that they almost missed a mention in this update.
When we were nearing home, we spotted a large pod of dolphins who popped over to our boat to say hello. They were beautiful and playful, swimming underneath and boat and alongside it. What a wonderful end to a relaxing weekend away.