Thursday, November 20, 2014

Santo District

      We had not been to Santo before.  Santo is the largest of the islands that comprise Vanuatu.  It is closer to the equator.  We anticipated really hot weather. However, it rained every single day.  We joked that the sun never shines in Santo.  It did shine the day we flew out.
      The Santo District includes Santo, Ambae, Guau, Banks, etc.  The main city is Luganville.  We found the members to be just as kind and loving in Santo as Port Vila.  We were traveling with Dean and Arama from Auckland.  Again we were checking out schools for our members.  We also visited all of the branches on Santo, except one.
      This is the branch president in Pallon Branch.  He is a subsistance farmer. This young man built this house for a member.  He finished the house and was to leave in three days for the MTC in England.  He is called to serve in the London Mission.
     This the president in his home where he also teaches seminary every morning.  The young people  can attend seminary but there is no school beyond year six in the entire area.

       Here the president is showing us his kitchen.  The kitchen is never in the house.  usually the members cook on an open fire.  Here the president was excitedto show us his kitchen house.  It is an actual room.  He has food storage there, too.  Some of the storage is in the form of canned goods.  They call them tins here.  Some of the storage was root crops and fruit.

       His young man was headed home to his house.  He had gone to get meat.  The cow was just butchered.  They have to use everything immediately,  because they do not have any refridgeration. There is no electricity in Pallon at all.
       This is Elder and Sister Kerns.  They are from Oregon state and are serving in Santo.  Notice the wonderful table that  they are sitting on.  It was built by the same missionary that built the house.
       This is a burial in the yard of the house.  It is not uncommon to bury family on the property.  Well, these are the men.  In towns there may be a cemetary.
      This is the new pulpit in the Pallon Chapel.  Yes, they have a real building.  A member built the pulpit.  The wood was beautiful.
         One of the schools that we visited was the Vanuatu Agricultural College.  Here you see the eggs that are for sale. They raise chickens, pigs, ducks (for the Chinese resaturants), and some cows. They also teach forestry and farming.  They have a demonstration farm and ssedlings for sale.  

      Here are Dean and Arama and the two instructors that showed us around.
       His is the young man that heads upthe Edwards Computer Foundation in Luganville.  He is from the Philippines originally.
       One thing that we did in Luganville was to hold an education fireside.  After the fireside, we met Caroline.  She is one of our great Vanuatu students that has been selected to attend Vaiola College in Samoa.  We will have twenty three young people there in 2015.
       This is Arama and Dean with President Mahit.  He is the Santo District President.  In our meeting with him after the fireside, he had a hard time containing himself.  He was very emotional as he said "Tank yu tomas" (thank you very much.)

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