News: Letters from Kiribati

Marlene Rasmussen

Ntara, Sr Teretia, Marlene and Moreata

These are my favourite 3 girls. They are best in the world.

Kiribati is a very special country.  It may be surrounded by a million square kilometres of many colours of the Pacific Ocean. It is God’s chosen country.

God only knows how and why I put my name on the Palms list to become a volunteer. It has been the happiest time of my life and a very rewarding challenge.

I work in the Headquarters of the Diocese of Tarawa and Nauru as the Bursar.  I also help out in the main office with priest travel and projects. The local I-Kiribati are warm, kind and generous.  They are poor but they give everything they have.

The Catholic religion is strong and alive here and that is a bonus for me. I love doing the larger gardens and each week I dig, prune or rake to improve our compound.

I have been by surveillance ship and speed boat to Abaiang, I flew to Abemama and Makin and I went to North Tarawa by fishing boat.  I have been invited to many church and government celebrations which I enjoyed especially the local singing and dancing.

The mighty magnificent coconut tree is, as I refer to it, the “Tree of Life”.  It provides food, drink, housing, bedding and craft. The large scrumptious yellow fin tuna, shellfish and sea worms provide delicious meals.

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The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress
and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. - Octavio Paz