Education’s vicious circle

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Journal 10/22/1976

P2 A new business A new business began this past week in the Marshalls: Salvador Harris has opened a two-chair barber shop in Majuro. Staffed with a barber from Laura Village, haircuts will cost $2. The shop is located just north of Momotaro’s store on the south side of the Harris’ take out store. Shaves may also be had if desired.

P11 What They’ve Said — About Ebon Atoll 1858 by Mary Browning. Some extracts of letters written at Ebon in 1858 by Rev. Dr. Pierson, which were published in the Missionary Herald, May 1959. First, Dr. Pierson reported that in the early spring months, great fleets of canoes were arriving at Ebon, one fleet bringing about 200 visitors. At the same time, other large fleets were leaving for other atolls. Dr. Pierson’s explanation for what he felt were these odd circumstances had something to do with the “migratory habits of the people.” But, it must have also had to do with Ebon being temporary headquarters for the chiefs of the Ralik Chain “because it is the best provisioned island,” as he explained. A few years earlier, a typhoon had so leveled islands to the north that famine resulted, leading in turn to “bloody fights by which many … were killed.” Pierson estimated that the population of the chain at that time was six to eight thousand people.

He also conducted an investigation which led to this interesting report: “These people believe in a heaven and a hell. They say there are two supreme deities, who are the only beings, so far as we can learn at present, that reside in heaven. There is also an evil spirit in hell. The soul, at death, goes to a distant early paradise, where it takes up its abode, and occasionally returns to these islands to communicate with friends, in their dreams; so that they suppose there are, all the time, a number of departed spirits moving about in the air around us. When I tried to ascertain something of the character of their paradise, from the high priest (who by the way is one of my warmest friends), he replied that he did not know, as no one had ever appeared to them from that land and given reliable statements respecting it. He went on to say: ‘A man dies, and his soul is gone, and we know not its condition; we are ignorant of what is beyond.’ He made these remarks with a frank yet sad tone of voice, which touched my feelings…” It is an interesting picture, isn’t it? Shop talk. A couple of old pros, both engaged in the same line of work, discussing and comparing notes on the finer points of their respective theologies. One of them, of course, was preparing his brief; he was building a case, a foundation of knowledge from which to convert the other.

Journal 10/19/1990

P1 ‘Vicious’ circle surrounds schools Education’s new Secretary Marie Maddison said it is time for parents and teachers to lead education out of a ‘vicious cycle’ which is not producing newly qualified teachers or trained students. She was speaking to students at CMI about education’s blueprint for change in the coming years.

P5 Report: Malnutrition leading killer of kids in 1980s Malnutrition was the number one killer of young children in the Marshalls during the 1980s, and health officials see the number of cases of malnutrition increasing to the point where it is becoming one of the most serious problems affecting the Marshalls.

Journal 10/13/2000

P3 US agent checks out forged passports The attempt by several Chinese nationals to enter the US through Majuro last month may have been a test of local immigration and airline officials by sophisticated criminal rings in Asia that are forging and selling US passports, according to a State Department official. David Zebley, vice consul of the US Embassy in Manila, is assessing whether the Marshall Islands is being targeted as a new transit point for entry into the US by Asian criminal groups. He was delighted with the high degree of cooperation he received from officials in Majuro.

P6 AMI grounded again All Air Marshall Islands pilots and most of the maintenance department walked off the job late last week, halting all of the national airline’s flights. As the AMI strike continues, nine tourists are waiting it out on Bikini, while another three twiddle their thumbs in Majuro hoping for their chance to dive on some of the world’s most famous wrecks.

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