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Thomas J. McGoldrick

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The Purpose Driven Retirement to the Marshall Islands
by Thomas J. McGoldrick   

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Books by Thomas J. McGoldrick
· The Missing Black Box
· A Senior Citizen Raising Infant Sons
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Publisher:  Lulu ISBN-10:  1413709958 Type: 


Copyright:  Aug 2007

A long awaited opportunity to implement retirement plans to build a tourist resort on a remote Pacific Island.

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After accepting an offer to retire early, Tim packed up and moved back to the Marshall Islands. He set about getting the necessary licences and permits and then started construction of the 15 pandanus thatched cottages adjacent to the lagoon beach. Every day after work he took a long swim in the warm lagoon waters and admired the progress of the construction. Sometimes in the evening Tokyo,his Alab, brought over young women to meet him and for mutual entertainment.
Dinners of very fresh fish, sometimes sashimi of rainbow runners, were often at sunset when the wetting sun caused the low and stirated clouds to glow in many hues from light yellow, to orange to lavender, to black. 


Upon arrival on Emidj Island after dark, Jashua Titus, Mattala Jack, Jina Jally, their wives, and their kids carrying kerosene lanterns, met the three brothers, Jhon Annas, and Tim. These people were all nieces and nephews of the Anjolok brothers. They left their baggage in the front room of the old concrete Japanese Communications bunker at Monkonant weto. They followed the greeting committee to Jashua's house stumbling over the broken concrete of the old Japanese parking strip of the seaplane base and over the tree roots in the path on the way. Out away from the city, Majuro, when the sun goes down, it gets really dark. There was no electricity on the island and few kerosene lanterns. Upon arrival at Jashua’s house, a tin roofed hovel with thin stick sides, Jashua’s wife greeted them and promptly caught, killed, cleaned, and cooked a chicken and breadfruit for them to eat. The Marshallese people were always hospitable. A girl child brought a bucket of water, a bar of soap and a towel for the men to wash their hands and face and to refresh themselves. Two little boys brought fresh green coconuts to drink to slake their thirst. Freshly picked coconuts always tasted better than store bought stale ones. The men visited and told stories until the food was ready to eat and then ate it with great gusto. Jashua was a quiet and friendly tall thin man with dark skin and septic looking eyes. He didn’t have whites around his corneas. He only had yellow around his corneas. His wife was very plump, had only two snaggle teeth in front, one upper and one lower. She smiled and giggled a lot.

Suddenly, Katabang said they had to go to Jina's house on the beach. They followed Katabang, stumbling over tree roots and the uneven surface of the path in the dark. Jina’s house was a tin roofed plywood sided affair with plywood floors over wooden cut lumber beams. After arrival and introductions/ hellos, another chicken was killed, cleaned, and cooked. Tim was no longer hungry and when offered the second chicken to eat, refused it. However, Katabang told Tim he must eat the chicken because it was a special gift and refusing would be an insult to their hospitality. So, he ate some of it and Katabang ate the rest. Katabang seemed to have a hollow leg. He was always eating and never gained weight. Tim listened to some of the story telling. Tokyo Lanri, the alab, appeared out of the dark; at first Tim could only see the whites of his eyes. Tokyo joined the group at Jina's. Katabang introduced Tim to him and told Tim to treat Tokyo with a high level of respect and to help him as he was almost blind and could only walk with great difficulty. Later, Tim found that wasn't true. Tim found out that the old coot could get around very well and see fine. If anything, he was just a crafty old devil taking everything he could.

Someone brought out an old ukulele. Katabang grabbed it and started strumming and singing old Marshallese songs. He had a nice voice and soon Tokyo started singing too. Some of the others also sang along when they knew the words or hummed when they didn't. The vibes were good and the stars twinkled in the clear sky without interference from city lights. Tim could see the entire southern constellation and an occasional falling star. With the pleasant singing in the background he soon fell asleep. About midnight, after much singing under the bright stars, Kalewa woke Tim up and said, "Time to go to Monkonant and sleep for the night. That was the weto where they had left their luggage.

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