Farewell to the Cabrals

Front pages from 1987, 1999, and 2010.

Journal 5/29/1987

P1 Tackling suicides
It was not long ago that nobody wanted to talk about the suicide problem in the Marshall Islands. But a workshop here last week attended by nearly 60 people showed that it is an issue that people are not just concerned with — they want to take action, too. Various ministries, churches, women’s and youth groups attended. This year of the seven suicides, five have been committed on the outer islands — more in the first five months of 1987 than in all of last year.

P14 Laura residents selling ‘yellow babies’ for profit
Yellow Babies, Sugar Babies and cucumbers are the favorite crop of the Laura local farmers, according to Chang-Ta Chang, the leader of the five-member ROC agriculture technical mission in Laura. Chang said that farming in Laura can be profitable. Yellow babies are delicious yellow meat melons and sugar babies are red.

Journal 5/28/1999

P1 RMI/ADB script rewritten
Most Pacific countries initially jumped at the opportunity to get low interest, long term loans from the Asian Development Bank. But for some, such as the Marshall Islands, the burdens of increasingly difficult to meet conditions put on each succeeding loan engendered ill-will and anger. In August, President Imata Kabua re-shuffled his cabinet, bringing in one-time cabinet minister and long-time opposition leader Tony deBrum, naming him Finance Minister. It didn’t take long for deBrum to rewrite the script. “Before, when the ADB said ‘jump,’ the government asked, ‘how high?’” deBrum said. The difference when he took over, he said, is that when the ADB made demands, “I said ‘why?’”

P3 ‘New look’ fisheries agency
Construction of a PM&O Line/Star Kist tuna loining plant got off the ground in late March after the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority guaranteed a $2 million loan needed to complete the $5.2 million deal. While the plant is expected to open 300 new jobs later this year, as well as draw in the American purse seine fleet to Majuro, its symbolic value may greatly outweigh these tangible economic benefits. The government support of the foreign investment — one of only a handful in the Marshall Islands — is demonstration of how the Marshalls can remove its “high risk” label and improve the business environment to attract future investments, said the government’s Private Sector Unit coordinator Robert Muller.

P6 End of an era
Frank and Nikki Cabral left Majuro last Saturday, heading for Guam and a return to their former roots and family there. As administrators for Majuro Coop School over the past decade, the couple served as a mainstay contact for many families, serving both transient families and permanent residents with substantial doses of education. The town was also beneficiary to untold hours of live musical entertainment from Frank, always served with that special approachability of a runaway Colombian drug lord. There are extremely few people in the extended Marshallese community who didn’t at one time or another have opportunity to cross paths with Frank and Nikki. To that minority, we express our condolences. You missed out.

P14 Adoption awareness training
Mary Jarman, a licensed social worker from Wasatch International Adoption Agency, conducted a workshop earlier this month to address local adoption concerns. With adoptions in the Marshall Islands increasing at a rapid pace, Jarman talked about the controversies surrounding them. She explained that in the US, it is illegal for birth families to be approached and asked for their children. The parents should be the ones to approach the adoption agency, not the other way around. She addressed the concern that many parents were being harassed by facilitators: “Why would these American agencies allow this to happen in the Marshall Islands when it is illegal in America?” she asked.

Journal 5/28/2010

P3 WAM builds canoe in China
A team from Waan Aelon in Majel has built a traditional Marshallese canoe at the Shanghai World Expo. “It took the boys (Tiem Clement, Andy Caleb, James Jali and Marton Philip) about 14 days to build the canoe,” said WAM Director Alson Kelen. “Once again, the guys impressed the world.”

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