Like many places, the Marshall Islands are keen on Christmas. The stores are filled with shelves filled with toys, Christmas decorations and trees. The stores themselves are all decked out in Christmas glitter and lights. There are holiday sales and with every ship that comes in "new arrivals" of stuff! We look forward to the fresh (or as fresh as possible) veggies and fruits – but the locals seem to be looking forward to the new array of toys and goods to buy for the holidays. There is only one newspaper (and it comes out weekly), and the ads were filled with special "3-day only" deals. The big difference is there is no Walmart or Target with "doorbuster" specials – so nobody was lining up at midnight to get to the sales. Of course, this is the Marshall Islands and "island time" does prevail. So even if there were midnight deals to be had – the doors probably wouldn't open until 2:38 am or so!
The stores have tons of Chinese merchandise so the array of lights for decorating are enormous (perhaps the same elsewhere) – but we bought a new set of LED decorating lights for $3.98 so Astarte will look festive.
Last night (Friday) there was an art festival called the "Jambo" which included local art, performing art and wearable art including a "Wearable Art" fashion show. A local film-maker premiered to the Marshall Islands his short film "Zori" that won the "People's Choice" award at the Guam Film Festival. It was delightful short film in Marshallese with english sub-titles. The young "star" of the film was also on hand (about a 7 year old boy).
We hope to take off from our Majuro mooring and head west down the atoll to another anchorage for a few days. It would be good to be able to get in the water to clean the propeller, bottom of the boat and water line – and just do some swimming and exploring. This active social scene is exhausting and it will be good to get away from the internet, temptations to buy stuff and the noise of the city. Of course we'll have to come back in a few days to check the post office to see if anymore packages of parts have arrived. So far we've gotten 6 boxes!
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