Economics 101, a Novel, ch_09 -- In the Islands

(The framing story starts is here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.jp/2016/03/economics-101-novel-ch00.html. If you haven't read that, you might want to. Otherwise, the rest of this may not make much sense.

Introductions and characterizations begin here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/05/economics-101-novel-ch01-introducing.html.

In the the last chapter, Karel and Bobbie get ready to go to do their fieldwork in the Islands: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/08/economics-101-novel-ch08-getting-ready.html.

If you don't care about characterization, you might want to jump ahead: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.jp/2016/03/economics-101-novel-ch10-bobbie-and.html.

Of course, we're almost done telling you how they ended up still not openly committed to each other when they were finished with their research projects, so why don't you just go ahead and read this chapter?)



Orson Hyde University campus is nestled against the foothills of a very long mountain range. It is a part of small city that sits between a lake and the mountains.

There is a large city about an hour to the north, which has a major airport. It was this airport at which they said goodbye to their families and left in the company of the MacVitties, after completing their preparations at the university.

During the flight, Bobbie did not pay much attention to the men giving her the eye. She noticed some of them, but she didn't pay much attention.

While waiting at a layover, she said, "Karel?"

"Yeah?"

"Have you noticed the guys looking at me?"

Karel replied, "Have you noticed me noticing some of the women? Sometimes a guy gets distracted."

"Are you trying to make me jealous?"

"Maybe, but I was really just thinking that beauty draws the eye."

"Telling me I'm beautiful again."

"Just telling it like it is."

"Heh. Well, anyway, guys used to hit on me."

"You've mentioned that before."

"Now it seems like I can ignore them before they get that far."

"Good."

"I'm sure part of that is because I'm with you. And I've gotten into the habit of dressing down."

"When you doll yourself up, you're just gilding the lily."

"Give me a break."

Sister MacVittie leaned across her husband's lap and said, "He's just telling you the truth."

Bobbie looked at the back of the seat in front of her. "I know I am cursed with good looks. Hmm. But that's actually kind of what I'm trying to talk with Karel about."

"I'll keep my nose out of things."

Professor MacVittie thought it was the better part of valor to stay out of things, too.

"Something's changed inside me. I used to be like a deer caught in headlights when guys looked at me. Now it doesn't mean much to me. And that means guys mostly don't hit on me."

Karel said, "Mostly. But I've warned a few off, so far."

"And you've missed a couple."

"Yeah. but I'm trying."

"It's okay. I was able to warn those guys off, myself. And I don't feel upset about it any more."

Professor MacVittie finally spoke up here. "That's an important thing. I hadn't realized you were struggling so much with that."

"Guys are generally more civilized at the Orson Hyde University."

"Not all that civilized. I think I have said some things I have to apologize for."

"No, you've never offended me."

"I'm glad of that."




[JMR201608161652 -- woops second => first:

At the last layover before they reached the main island, they met the second first counselor to the President of the District of the Church which nominally included the islands to which they were going. He confirmed the information they had received at the university concerning their church activities.

]

He also gave them contact information for a family from the closest branch who were assigned as their home/visiting teachers.



Visiting teachers are sent from the Relief Society, and home teachers are sent from the priesthood quorums. In the less fully organized branches and wards, sometimes they have couples assigned to do both at once. It wasn't official policy at the time of this story, but it is sort of official now.



He hoped they wouldn't mind if no one was able to actually come to the islands to visit them. They had promised to try, but it would be rather a sacrifice to do so.

Karel and Bobbie said they understood, and appreciated having people nearby who would be praying for them, whom they could at least contact in times of emergency.

[JMR201608161652 -- woops second => first:


He mentioned in passing that he was also the second first counselor in the temple presidency. He told them they would be happy to have them come to the temple any time they could get out that way. He refrained from mentioning anything specific.

]

Then he repeated the encouragement that they had been given before to be good examples as members of the Church. And he sent them on their way.

And they flew on to the main island near where they would be doing their research.



Their charter pilots, Wycliffe and Zedidiah, met them on arrival at the main island.

Professor MacVittie introduced himself and gave them contact information for the university and requested to be contacted immediately if anything untoward happened while carrying Karel and Bobbie from island to island.

Then Wycliffe and Zedidiah introduced them to Officer Paalo, who stamped their visas as a representative of the government and gave their luggage a cursory check, and took care of other such necessary paperwork.

And Karel and Bobbie went over their schedules with Wycliffe and Zedidiah.

The MacVitties spent a couple of days vacationing while Karel and Bobbie made contacts, learned a little more about the islands, and reviewed their preparations.

Then Zedidiah flew the five of them to their first island, which was close by. Zedidiah and Wycliffe generally flew without co-pilot, saving the weight for cargo.

On the first island, Zedidiah introduced them to Nazoru and his daughter Hanaka, who were fairly comfortable with foreigners and with English, and could serve as intermediaries if necessary.

Nazoru and Hanaka offered to let them both stay in their hut. They were surprised and somewhat amused that they wanted to stay separately.

Ultimately, it was decided that Bobbie would stay with Hanaka and Nazoru, and they found another family for Karel to stay with.

And they found a family for the MacVitties to stay with, as well.

Nazoru and Hanaka introduced them to many of the people on the island, and Karel and Bobbie got to work and met more. At first, they just let the islanders teach them how they lived. Then they started helping out when they could see ways they could help.

They compiled their notes in the evenings, being careful to change names and otherwise keep the private information private. They found it worked best to go over their data with the families they stayed with, for accuracy, and also to assure that the private information was kept anonymous and private.

Again, the MacVitties stayed out of the way, leaving the work to the students. Their job was simply to be there if they needed help. On the other hand, they were also interested in the island life, and spent most of their time learning how the islanders lived. Professor MacVittie took some notes of his own, but refrained from recording details that might be private.

Towards the end of the week, they got together to compare notes. Other than that, they spent as much time working separately as together.

Sometime during the first week, one of the islanders came to Karel looking for medical help. One of the children had cut her leg. They were surprised when he deferred to Bobbie, insisting that he be there even though Bobbie did the actual cleaning and bandaging up.

They asked about the usual procedure, and the islanders explained that the village elders had already prayed over the wound. But they knew that foreigners did some other useful things, so they had asked.

The next time, Bobbie and Karel had the parents come, and let the parents perform their traditional first aid. Bobbie showed them a few more small things they could still do when she and Karel were gone.

[JMR201608161421 -- Forgot this, too:

Nazoru and Hanaka joined their first Sunday services, watching with interest. Afterwards, they asked Bobbie and Karel about their beliefs. They continued to join the services for the whole month, and continued to ask questions.

Other islanders also visited during the later Sunday services.

]

After two weeks, Zedidiah came to pick the MacVitties up. They were sad to go. (And the family they had been staying with was sad to see them go so soon.) Professor MacVittie took Bobbie and Karel's initial reports back to the university with him, with some letters home, and to Dan and Kristie and other friends.

During the month on the first island, Bobbie and Karel participated in the birthing of two babies. Again, they let the islanders teach them what they usually did, trying to avoid teaching them things they would not be able to continue after they left.

And then Zedidiah picked them up and flew them to their next island, introducing them to islanders who would help them get started before he left.

And Zedidiah took their reports and other mail with him to send on.



And that was pretty much the way it went on each island.

Except that on the third and fourth islands Wycliffe picked them up. The distances were longer, and Wycliffe had more experience with long distances.

While they were on the second island, they wrote letters to professors they were talking with at Harvard and Berkeley, detailing their work to that point and adjustments they were making to their approaches.

A plane came in after about two weeks, and they sent those letters with the pilot.

On the third island, they got enthusiastic responses from their respective schools, both hinting at the possibility of assistant professorship positions.

On the last island, having become accustomed to their work, they had a little time, maybe once a week, to spend together walking on the beach and talking. Not wanting to tempt each other, they focused on their work and refrained from even holding hands.

[JMR201608161355 -- Of course I'd forget one little thing:

"Got everything?"

"Double and triple checked."

Bobbie and Karel were pushing their luggage out of the hut that served as the airport building on the last island, to the plane waiting on the airstrip.

"I'm gonna miss these islands."

"Me too. In some ways it seems like I've been back on my mission."

"Sans companion?"

"No, not really."

Karel and Bobbie looked at each other. Wycliffe must have missed the meaning that passed without words between them in that look.

"I've been silly."

"No you haven't."

"I wish I could just ask Wycliffe to let us fly back by ourselves. I really want to talk with you all by ourselves."

"Would you be okay navigating over ocean?"

"True. The weather's different, and you have to depend more on instruments."

"And, of course, it's their plane, not ours."

"Do you think those two joke about us?"

"Listening to their chatter on the radio, yeah. Does it matter?"

"Guess not."

"Let's get our luggage on the plane."

"Hi, Wycliffe! Good to see you again."

]



And now we know enough to continue with the story. Once again, here is the link to chapter 10, where our two co-protagonists begin adjusting to the uninhabited island where Wycliffe took them: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.jp/2016/03/economics-101-novel-ch10-bobbie-and.html.

(The chapter index is here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/04/economics-101-novel-index.html)

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