Ebeye Island

I remember when I was trying to decide if I was going to move to Ebeye and start a whole new chapter in my life.  I scoured  the internet for any peek at what life on Ebeye had to offer.  I found some pretty good info but it wasn’t very detailed.  Hence the desire to post what I’ve learned living on Ebeye these past two years for those who find themselves in the same position.  So if you’re thinking about taking an adventure to the islands as a missionary teacher but aren’t sure what to expect, check out the info below.  Feel free to email me with any questions.  I’d be happy to assist you in your journey any way I can.  Other islands will differ greatly in what they offer as many are not as developed as Ebeye.

Internet Connection

The island has a very good communications center called NTA – this is short for National Telecommunications Authority. A fiber optic cable was laid last year and allows Ebeye to tap into high-speed internet connections.  The cost per minute at NTA, I believe, is somewhere around 8 cents. They also offer the option of service at your place of residence. You can pay about $40/month for the slowest connection plus activation fees and essentially receive unlimited access.  The higher speed you want, obviously the more you will pay. Quick note: Kwajalein is not connected to this cable. Perhaps military reasons, but they are still on dial-up as of the date of this post.

Skype

Yes, you can Skype your friends and family from Ebeye. The connection is fast enough and the signal is good enough to show video. I would suggest getting Skype before you leave and have your friends and family get setup. Because communicating via phone is nearly impossible.

Telephone Communication

This also runs through NTA and is extremely expensive. To phone anywhere beyond the island you will pay $1.80/minute. It may be a better option to have your friends at home buy a calling card and call you. Also, if you call after midnight, the rate goes down. You must purchase a calling card from NTA which you will then use to place your call. Calling cards are $10, $20 and $50.

Cell Phones

I’m sorry to break the news but….your cell phone will not work on Ebeye. It’s a bummer I know. But if you must have a calling gadget, you can purchase a cell phone from NTA and buy minutes to use for local calls on the island. Sounds odd that an island 1 mile long would need so many cell phones but really, it does come in handy. I’m not sure the cost but you can plan to pay around $50 for a moderately featured phone.

Restaurant Dining

Indeed Ebeye has three diners that I know of along with dozens of little shops in people’s homes that sell food and goods. But the diners are located in the Triple J department store, Litaki Fast Food, and a new addition, The Little Mermaid, located in the Ebeye hotel, Anrohasa, on lagoonside. I have eaten at all three places and found the meals satisfying. Litaki and The Little Mermaid both offer mainly Asian cuisine. Triple J is a bit more American with fried chicken, cheeseburgers, French fries and chicken nuggets. One tip that I didn’t find out about until only a month ago is that you can take the ferry across to Kwajalein and call their local pizza joint, Donatos to have a pizza delivered to the check-in gate. You cannot actually enter Kwajalein because it is a military base for the U.S. (unless you have a sponsor who will sign you in.)

Recreation

Ebeye is certainly an adventure and most of the time, it’s up to you what you want to see and do. Beach Park is a small beach at the southern tip of Ebeye which is a good place for swimming and barbecuing. There are plenty of places to explore and you can always rent a water taxi (or better yet, befriend someone with a boat of their own) and head out to some of the outer islands. They are absolutely gorgeous! The fishing and surfing is also good here. There is a causeway that has connected Ebeye to Guggegue island. The northern tip of Guggegue (from what I’ve heard) is a good place to surf. Beware! There are sharks…lots of them. Mainly reef sharks…but still!

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

If you want to scuba dive, you have found the greatest place in the world for it. There is no larger, more pristine atoll than the
Kwajalein atoll. I prefer snorkeling but whichever you fancy, it will be a fabulous time. There is someone here on the island that offers scuba diving lessons. Sorry but I don’t have that information. I’ll post an update if I get it. FYI: for anyone staying on Kwajalein who happened upon this blog, you will find there is an excellent scuba diving club located there. Here’s a link to the Kwajalein Scuba Club which also has great maps of the entire area. If you live on Ebeye, I don’t think you can join, but the maps are helpful for your own exploring adventures.

Grocery and Clothing Stores

There are many small shops scattered all around Ebeye. You may never know it because they don’t advertise like we do in the U.S. But the best grocer in my opinion would be Triple J. They do a good job at keeping food on the shelves and they are cleaner and more organized with a decent variety of selections. They have frozen meat and canned goods. Items for household cleaning and so on. They even do good keeping the fresh vegetables as fresh as possible when you live on an island.  There are different little nick-knack stores and clothing stores you can peruse. I don’t know the names of all of them but one of the more popular would be Sunrise. It seems almost everywhere people have storefronts in their little homes where the kids buy candy and sugar drinks.

Transportation

The main form of transportation on the island are the taxi trucks.  They loop around the island and provide a ride for only $.75.  You can ride as long as you want.  It’s a good way to see the island to, especially if you sit in the bed of the truck – ah, and the salty ocean views are great along oceanside!  The other mode of transit – if you are a male – is bicycles.  Women are not allowed to wear pants or shorts and so we could never figure out how to get away with riding a bike, especially in the sometimes 30 mile/hour winds.  If you find a way, let us know!

Future Updates

I will continue to update this blog as I receive additional information or think of other things that might be beneficial or interesting to know. Hope this helps in your planning and packing for Ebeye. I’ve been here for two years and it has been a grand adventure for sure. You may not always get what you want, but if you stay open to what the experience can offer, I’m sure you will find this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live an island life while making a difference in this world.

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9 thoughts on “Ebeye Island

  1. Hello.

    It’s a serendipity that I came across your blog site.

    I was just browsing the web aimlessley (starting from Japan-US naval history -> testing in Bikini-> Eugen -> Kwaj) I got curious to learn about Ebeye, and I was alarmed to find out about its current socioeconomic situations.

    Yet, Ebeye seems to be a place brimming with many smiles and blessed with much love.

    I’m left with sense of wonder and amazement about this picturesque settings of quasi-US island.

    I wish the best for your endeavor in Ebeye.

    Thanks.

    – Shao W. (a Japanese student currently studying in Boston)

    1. Hi Shao,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s interesting to see how you found the blog.

      The socioeconomic circumstance is a dire one that seems nearly impossible to address. I determined to capture a more pleasant side of Ebeye in my posts and ‘photo-window’ so that people could see a more relaxed, and to some extent, flourishing aspect of Ebeye. Much of the information on the web is rather depressing (though perhaps factual) and I endeavored to bring a certain balance to it.

      I appreciate your comment as it leaves me with confidence that the blog is serving its purpose.

      All the best in your studies,

      Ashley

      1. I hope you comes back to Ebeye. I have gone through your blog and am happy to know that you were once here. To know more about Ebeye add Triple J Department Store on Facebook. Special Thanks from Triple J for enlighting others about Ebeye.

  2. I stumbled upon this blog purely by just trying to Google anything in the world I possibly could for information on missionaries to Ebeye.

    My cousin in currently on a U.S. Department of Defense security job on Kwajalien. He visited Ebeye a couple of weeks ago, and was mortified at the poverty, even as the children smiled at him seemingly so happy.

    My question/wish is, to find someone to whom myself, as well al other family members could possible connect with a missionary on Ebeye, where we could send donations of good quality used childrens clothing for these sweet children? My cousin has said the governmental beaurocracies would make it near impossible for him to do this himself. Any help at all would be SO greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your help and reply.

    Kim – Southern California

  3. Hi ashley! I’ll be on Ebeye this may, I’m coming from Philippines and will be employed with Triple J. I just want to ask regarding communications, is there any way i can purchase electronic gadgets such as laptop on Ebeye? how about rubber shoes, any place would you like to suggest?

    1. Hi Allan Allanigue,
      This is Sonny de Torres of Triple J Ebeye Department Store, I suggest you bring your laptap and cell phone units or ipad as these stuff are very expensive in Ebeye. You said you are coming on May to Ebeye. Welcome then to Triple J Ebeye. Add me in facebook (Sonny M. de Torres) ynnomundo@yahoo.com

  4. Hi Allan taga triple J Ebeye ako anong magiging work o sir dito sa Triple J Ebeye pagdating mo sa May.I suggest yung mga tinatanong mo na mg agadgets at shoes clothes etc, magdala ka napaka mahal dito nyan at wala ka mabibilhan kundi online s amainland ng lahat ng yan pro may tinda ako sa department stor pero napaka mahal himatayin ka sa price. Ako ang department store manager, I am happy and glad to meet you this early. Currntly I am in Manila live sin Paranaque as I am getting china Visa and will fly to Shanghai China on the 17th April. you can call me at 09064491719. or email me at ynnomundo@yahoo.com

  5. Hi Allan,

    Get ready for a wonderful adventure on Ebeye! Buying flip-flops will be no problem at all. Almost every store or shop has them, though they may be more expensive on Ebeye. If there is another type of shoe you want, you should bring it with you. Most people simply wear flip-flops.

    I don’t think you can purchase a laptop there, at least I couldn’t when I was there two years ago. I would suggest buying your laptop before you leave. NTA does provide Wi-Fi so be sure the laptop you purchase is Wi-Fi capable. There is also ethernet, this may be less expensive, but not all laptops come with this port so check before you purchase.

    Hope this helps Allan! If you plan to keep a blog, let me know so I can follow you on Ebeye : )

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