(We received a letter from a member of our
volunteer staff Ms. Sakurai who is currently
living in the Marshall Islands and working
as a member of the Japan Overseas
Hello. Long time no see! How have you and
the KIEA staff been?
I have been having a few stomach aches
lately, but other than that I am doing well.
Sometimes I wear the KIEA staff polo shirt
when I am working.
It has already been 3 months since I arrived in the Marshall Islands.
This week we had some new volunteers come
from Japan so I went and picked them up at
Meeting the new volunteers made me think a
lot about my time here.
Marshall Islands pretty much has everything
I need and at a glance does not really seem
like a developing country.
However, after living here for a while I
have realized that it is very different to
Our language seminar was held on one of the smaller islands called Arno
We caught our own fish, picked coconuts from the trees and were basically
We also had solar power so we hardly used
any electricity and at night we used only
the light from our lamps.
I couldn’t believe how many stars there were, it was amazing.
At the moment my job involves collecting
information on the current situation here
and using this to plan my goal.
I talk to various people in the field, take surveys about people’s diets
and also visit a diabetes clinic.
In my office there is the director and 4 other staff.
They are all very friendly, but they are
I feel that their attitude towards their
jobs is greatly different to that of
If I don’t understand something, I ask a lot of questions.
Even with my poor English my coworkers try
very hard to understand what I am trying to
In the hospital there are many foreign people so we mainly use English,
however all of the staff in my office are
from the Marshall Islands so we speak and
hold all our meetings in Marshallese.
Both languages are essential for living here
and while Marshallese is difficult to
pronounce, it definitely seems friendlier to
the listener so I am doing my best to learn
The first photo was taken when I went to a
nearby island for a medical checkup and the
2nd one was taken when we were having lunch
together with people from the Taiwan Health
You can see the ocean right behind us.
The Taiwanese volunteers do tests for diabetes and because their work is
similar to ours so we have become quite
The other day we also had a picnic at Laura
beach with some other people from the
program, some of the Taiwanese volunteers
and some Japanese tourists.
There was the unexpected event of our bus driver being pulled over by the
police, questioned for drink driving and
then running away but other than that Laura
was a very fun and beautiful beach with lots
of different types of fish.
I will write again soon.
Say hello to everyone for me and take care