P1 President Kabua: Continued cooperation with US Defense President Amata Kabua pledged continued cooperation with US defense activities at Kwajalein Missile Range during a 24-hour stopover in Huntsville, Alabama last week as part of an eight-day official visit to the United States. “We will do our utmost to protect this very important mission that you are carrying out,” Kabua told officials of the Army’s Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command. President Kabua was presented with a plaque depicting the relationship between the Army and the Marshall Islands by Major General Grayson Tate, Jr., Ballistic Missile Defense program manager.
P5 Hotel plans firm Plans and construction siting are in the final stages for Majuro’s Nauru-owned Eastern Gateway Hotel. The new Gateway7 complex will be built where it is now but a lot bigger and out of concrete. Construction may begin as early as “a couple of months from now,” said a hotel spokesman.
P6 About atoll survival By Mary Browning The most important thing John and Frank Craighead learned about atoll survival was that nothing is quite as useful as a Marshallese guide. The Craigheads, as they report in “We Survived on a Pacific Atoll,” in the January 1948 issue of National Geographic Magazine, were on assignment for the US Navy to study survival techniques which downed fliers might use. For seven months they visited various mid-Pacific islands, and found that “understanding a few basic woodcraft principles and techniques, knowing how to make full use of the coconut, and how to get sea food from the reef” would enable anyone to live on the average atoll islet. “In many cases the difference between life and death, or between mildly rough going and extreme hardship, was the lack of a little knowledge or training, the simple kind of knowledge that governs the lives of Goniske and his people.” Goniske, as you’ve guessed, was the Marshallese man who accompanied the Craigheads and two others to an unnamed islet in Kwajalein Atoll, where the described survival experiment took place. There is an odd omission: no mention of water. Did they get water from a shallow well? Did it rain? We don’t know. We do know they survived to write about the experiment.
P10 Sign posted next to Micro Chief by dock: “Keep out KOKAN. Not allowed on board.”
P10 Ebb and flow There are now a couple of phones at the airport…The new main phone cable to Rita is about 15 feet short at the Communication Station. Who didn’t measure? …We received a purchase order from the Peace Corps in Saipan this week for a one-month subscription to the Journal. The PO was for all of $1, and has three very official looking pages.
P1 Have phone, will travel President Amata Kabua put through the first long distance call made on the new cellular telephone system at a Cabinet ceremony last week.
P3 Marshalls has 33% drop in birth rate A tremendous decline in the birth rate suggests that the Marshall Islands is no loner at the top of the chart when it comes to competition for the highest birth rate in the world. Ministry of Health birth statistics show that in 1989, the Marshalls had almost 35 births per thousand people. In 1993, the number of births per 1,000 dropped to 25.53, a 33 percent decrease. Health Planner Michael Jenkins attributed the decline in births in part to family planning and widespread use of the contraceptive Norplant.
P4 RMI, US farewell Col. Jerry There were more hugs at Kwajalein’s change of command ceremony Tuesday than you’d expect to see at your grandmother’s 90th birthday party. Outgoing commander Col. Jerry Brown left his mark on Kwajalein and the ceremony proved it — at the end Brown and his wife Jane and their two daughters received hugs and extended goodbyes from the hundreds of people who turned out for the event, including President Kessai Note, leaders from Ebeye and many American USAKA residents.