Our daughter has been in the Marshall Islands for almost 5 months now. We get letters infrequently - once or twice a month. We have Skyped with her twice. The last Skype was last Friday night and lasted nearly 2 hours. What a joy! She is well and has adjusted pretty well to the conditions there - no electricity, no running water, no phone. There is a CB radio for emergencies or communication between the islands.
Before she left, she asked me to talk with our Sunday School director and see if the Sunday School would be willing to collect books for her school and use the offerings to ship the books. Our Sunday School leaders and children have embraced this mission wholeheartedly and we collected over 200 books. Most of the children cleaned off their bookshelves and found lots of easy reading material for the children of Imroj. I have mailed off two boxes already and the photo is the remainder. I have even thrown in lots of old National Geographics and Time and Newsweek magazines as the adults like to look thru them and see all the photos even if they don't read the text.
We have sufficient funds from our offerings to also purchase some bookshelves and mail those off, too. They have none to store all these wonderful books. I also continue to send her paper and pencils and markers and any other school supplies that I think she can use.
I was able to get a donation of toothbrushes from my dentist's office a couple of months ago and my daughter sent photos of the kindergarten brushing their teeth. She said they are so excited to have them and love to brush everyday.
My next care package has lots more toothpaste, bandaids, more Tylenol, and eyeglasses. She seems to be a dispensary for everyone on the island and the older people are grateful to be able to read and get some relief from aches and pains. I didn't realize when she left that we would become a part of this bigger mission to the whole island.
Our biggest concern right now is an outbreak of dengue fever in the capital which is now starting to spread to some of the outer islands. This seems like one of those diseases which I read about in school like scurvy and beri beri, that should have been eradicated, but not so. There is no vaccine or cure. The treatment is hydration and sometimes hospitalization. They have had over 300 cases in the last two months. The WHO, the CDC and the US Navy have all been brought in to help. The Navy is working on spraying to eliminate mosquitos. So far our daughter's island has been unaffected.