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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Indonesia - First School Stop

After getting supplied in Fiji and Paupa New Guinea we set sail through the Torres Strait just above Australia. We arrived in Tual, Indonesia and after a day long check in procedure, we got ready to make our way west through some of the less travelled places in Indonesia.

After a boisterous overnight sail, we arrived at a small village called Tutumental.  We met the teacher on our first trip to shore and learned that he was the only person in the village who spoke English.



We arranged to bring supplies to his 50 students the next day and went back to the boat to put everything together.  The next afternoon we took our tender to shore to discover that the town was covered in bright flags and banners.  This can't be for us we thought....  And we were correct.  We learned that an important official was coming for a visit this day and that the children had been taken out of school and were performing for him...

Not too discouraged we found Hendric (the teacher) and left him with 50 sets of pencil cases and a soccer ball.  We did see all the children dressed up for the dignitary and eventually saw his boat entourage arrive (3 hours late)...


The village school


Hendric and their new school supplies!
 




From here we stopped a few times and gave small gifts to passing fishing families.  This is also the first tme we gave local families reading glasses!  We are still learning how to properly give these glasses away, as the locals are under the mistaken impression that the stronger the glasses, the better they are....  We will figure this out as we go along...




We have more about our personal lives at www.benger.blogspot.com

Blessings

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Getting Ready to Go!

We are also very happy to say that we have partnered with the Sea Mercy Organization and will be distributing reading glasses along with oour school supplies...  This is very exciting!




We found some great coloured pencils and have ordered another 500 pencil cases.  This, along with all the stuff we brought with us from Canada should see us through at least another 500 children.


Notice the packaging (in the bag on the left) is bigger than the pencils themselves!

More soon...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

THANK YOU CANADA!

After a few weeks back in Canada we have raised enough money to keep our work going.  We spoke at two churches and a seniors home and loved every minute of it.  We will be buying more supplies when we get to Fiji.

If you still want to donate, you can use the donate button here on the blog, or send a cheque to:

The Right to Write Ministry
c/o 100 Barnet  Cr.
Fergus, Ontario
Canada N1M 3E5



Our good friend, Dana helping sell shell necklaces....



God Bless...

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Abaiang, Kiribati

Abaiang is 30 nautical miles north of Tarawa in Kiribati but a WORLD away!  Folks here still live in a very traditional way.  there are very few cinder block buildings and NO ONE walks by with saying  "Mauri", which means literally, "you be well".  This is a greeting that these people really mean.



We visited a primary school that day we arrived and checked in and asked if we could come by the next day to bring some school supplies....  The next day came and we were greeted by an assembly of all 130 children, all the teachers and even a visit from the island school superintendent!










This is one of the classrooms.


The children sang and danced for us and after we gave each child their pencil case we were fed an incredible lunch.  When lunch was over it took 9 BOYS to carry the gifts of food they gave us!  From coconuts to Pandanus fruit, we feel like we received MUCH MORE than we gave....




Thursday, February 22, 2018

Marshall Islands...

There are places in the world that are very different.  People all over the world are very much the same... 

We just spent 7 weeks exploring the outermost Atolls of the Marshall Islands.  The Marshall Islands are a sovereign nation supported in many way by the USA and a few other countries.

Places like Majuro and Kwajalein are very "Americanized" but even a few hundred miles from these places puts you in a world where "being connected" is just a dream....

We were blessed in our journey to meet some amazing people.  From Queens to children, the Marshall Islands people have brought us more joy than we could ever give.

Monetarily, these folks seem to be doing OK.  They harvest Copra (Coconuts) and have a few small scale fishing operations.  As for infrastructure, it all seems to have been donated from one country or another.  The real challenge for these people is connecting with the outside world.  Most islands rely on short wave radios to communicate with the major centers.  Most islands only see a supply ship a few times a year.

Many of these island were occupied during WW2 and many reminders of that time are present even today... There are shell craters with palm trees growing out of them, there are dozens (maybe hundreds) of dilapidated and bombed out buildings, scores of abandoned artillery weapons, and many airplane skeletons all over the place...  From time to time an islander looses their life when an ordinance long forgotten explodes...  The US military continues to help remove these hazards if they are found before they cause any more destruction...










Our time here was incredibly rewarding.  Like so many other places we have been, they work with what they have, and while education seems important to the Marshallise government, implementation, still struggles.

We delivered almost 400 pencil cases and a few cases of teacher supplies over 6 local schools.  each school we visited really seemed to have a need for what we brought....











Shelley baked cookies!  What a treat!





The people here are very generous.  For example, when the Queen of Maleolap Atoll found out what we were doing she invited us over an presented us with a beautiful woven mat that she had made herself....  It was important for her to share what she had as we were sharing what we had....  People are so amazing!



We will be heading back toward Fiji over the next few months where we will leave the boat for one month and return to Canada to see family and friends.  Over the last few months Shelley has collected many shells from the beaches we walk almost every day.   We have started making jewelry and will be selling it when we are home to help raise funds to continue our work.  Some items are as little as $5....








God Bless....