Yesterday we spent the day doing oyster service. Interestingly enough, this was in Omotehama where we went to a thank you ceremony a while back. The Church donated (among other things) some rope. Then a week or two later we were back and Calvin was cutting the rope into lengths. This week we were back again and this time we were using the rope to help with growing oysters.
It was a cool, drizzly day but we were prepared with light jackets, boots and gloves.
We began with rope and some shells that had oyster eggs on them:
And yes, they are as gross and they look! The egg part looks like a big glob of snot with little specks in them. Not being an expert on oyster reproduction, I can't really tell you how those eggs got on those shells except that they were in the ocean and somehow the eggs attached themselves to the shells.
Next, there were long lengths of rope that were first UNWOUND a bit:
And then we placed the shells with the eggs on them every few inches apart in the rope:
When we had placed the shells into the rope, the rope was REWOUND by the same machine that went into reverse. After that the ropes and shells were stacked on a pallet:
From there they were taken on a boat out into the bay (not too far away but far enough we couldn't really tell what was going on) and somehow tied to something where the oysters will grow for two years! The shells act like rocks and the oysters cling to them and grow. Maybe in the fall we will be a part of the oyster harvesting. Who knows?!
At any rate, I am now even more interested in the "all you can eat" oysters in the fall and winter. The oysters here are supposed to be some of the biggest and best. Also, I am a fan of shellfish so this should be right up my alley. When we were on our cruise last fall, I probably ate escargot 8-10 of 14 days we were on the cruiseship! Okay, so snails wouldn't really be considered shellfish, but you get the picture. I do like mussels, clams, and scallops . . . and oysters, although my history of oyster eating has been limited.
We finished the day wet (it started to rain pretty good by the end of the day), dirty with debris from the shells that was flung in our direction when the machine wound the rope, smelly and tired. But it was an experience not to be forgotten!
So this time up the mountain, we realized how green and lush everything has gotten:
And not only that but the purple lilac-looking trees were gone (my brother Brian said he thinks they were chestnut trees) and now there were white flowers on large bushes next to the road:
Marie (pronounced Mar-EE-AY) in our branch has had her mission papers in for six weeks or more and finally got her call! We were in institute class on Wednesday night when her mother called her and said it had come but it was at the post office (8:00 p.m.). So she couldn't get to it until the next morning. But she promised to let us know the next morning.
The next morning at 9:00 a.m. she called and asked if she could come over with her call. We said SURE! She was here within a minute and a half. And she had NOT opened her call yet and was going to open it with us in our apartment! We asked about her family being there and she said no, they couldn't get together until the weekend so she was opening it at our place! Here we are with her call (both crying):
She is going to the Japan Kobe mission!! She is so excited. And actually that is a great mission. It has Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Okayama (where my ancestors are from) and other great places to go to! Our district leader was saying tonight that Kobe and Tokyo were the missions everyone wants to go to in Japan.
Church today was also an adventure. We usually have around 30 at our sacrament meeting and today we had 74!! The reason: a young adult group from Tokyo was in the area doing service this past weekend and came to our branch for Sunday meetings. We actually thought they were only coming for the sacrament meeting (last hour) but they showed up for the entire three-hour block. We barely had enough chairs for everyone. They were all wearing their Helping Hands service t-shirts and after the services we had a dessert bar set up and they lined up chairs and gave everyone shoulder massages:
Notice how much Calvin was enjoying his! Apparently for their service, these young adults, among other things, gave massages to some people in the temporary housing units.
Also Marie was able to announce her mission call to everyone at Church (she kept it a secret to everyone except us and her family). And she even knew some of the young adults from Tokyo!:
And may I mention that our branch knows how to do a bang-up job of a dessert bar! Tons of food and so good!
Not much else in the way of news but we have a full week of activities scheduled (zone conference, stake conference, English classes, and a discussion, among other things) for this week.
Hope this finds you all well!