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Monday, March 10, 2014

New Assignment: Tiapa Paea, Tahiti

10 March 2014 Tiapa Paea, Tahiti 

Well, the transfer finally came. I was ready to go but at the same time not ready. I left Elder Demuynck, hopefully I showed him enough to get him started there. HE's not really a fan of the outer islands. He was on Makaemo before, and he absolutely detested it because everything is so slow in the islands. 
  
Frere Guillan et moi (mon pere faaamu) at the airport on Raiatea
My New sector, Tiapa, Paea, is really small. It’s the quartier that sits in a little valley. It actually reminds me a lot of Raiatea. It’s not the city, so most of the people are actually from the other islands, but are just living there because they can find work in Tahiti. So, still lots of Tahitian to speak :)

This is the view of the valley from our house. That is looking into the island.
In fact there are lots of people from the Tuamotus, so sometimes I try to understand what they’re saying then I realize I didn’t understand anything because they are speaking Puamotu. Either way the people here still have that islander feel, and they are super nice. So I’m not complaining.

It will be interesting to see what happens this next transfer, in 2 weeks all the new Americans are coming close to 30, and it will interesting to see if Elder Lovelock stays with me or if I get transferred again. Transfers are really weird here, 3 week transfers are not uncommon. The reason I got transferred was because the Elder that replaced me was serving in his own stake. Normally I think I would have stayed with Elder Demuynck until the end of March.
This is my new house. There's no air conditioning, but it doesn't matter too much.
I'm so used to the weather at this point it doesn't really faze me.
Living with the Zone leaders is awesome, but we are always late for things in the morning because there are 4 of us and only one bathroom! So it’s a little bit like home. We have hot water-but I have no idea why anyone would use it!
This is my bedroom. We sleep with everything open like that.
My bed is a looooooot better. I am now not sleeping in a giant hole, my back actually had to get used to a normal mattress again. We sleep with all the windows and doors wide open, so I just pray every night for protection from mosquitoes and miraculously, I haven’t had a single bite during the night yet and I don’t even sleep completely covered. So that’s really nice. Even after it rained they were not coming to bite me at night. What a miracle. Well it’s that or the fact the mosquito bites tend to swell up and disappear really fast for me now. It’s really nice.

I got the package, it was awesome! Thank you so much. The black pair of shoes are really comfortable. And I got the sandals and everything that was on the list. So no worries. 

My bike came as well, but I’m currently using the bike of the other zone leader in the house since it is infinitely better and they have a car. The roads in the qaurtier that we are in are not really roads but more of paths and there are rocks everywhere; large, oddly shaped, in-the-way rocks. It may be the bumpiest excuse for a road I've ever been on. The other Elders bike is light. My bike is heavy, and the difference is enormous. In my old sectuer I always had my bike on the highest gear possible; here it’s always next to the lowest. The roads and the quartier are like a labyrinth. I kind of feel like I’m in a large hamster cage. The first day when I didn't know where we were going, I was amazed how every road seemed to bring us to the same spot :|  .  After 1 day I now know the sectuer, it’s one of the smallest in the mission! Let's see how ill survive.

This is Elder Tahiata on the left and my companion, Elder Lovelock 
Elder Lovelock is Australian, and he arrived in the MTC group before mine. He's awesome and we get along very well. I think he’s from the south of Australia. We are doing more lessons in Tahitian now (because of me ;) ) and the language is progressing well. Hopefully by the 8 month mark in Tahiti, I’ll have it down, “e mea papu”, as they would say. 

This Sunday, I played the piano for sacrament meeting. Wow, that was stressful. I really need to stop playing that tiny excerpt of Chopin that I can play from memory. It makes people think I know how to sight read music. It wasn't terrible however, since I had some time to practice the night before. So that's a first. The chorister told me she was praying to send an elder that could play piano. So she is the reason I'm here!