Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rachel's Blog Entry

Here are some of my favorite pictures. 

My classroom. 

Frangipani flowers

Sunrise from our training center

Coconut tree

Bettle nut tree

Beautiful flowers

Playing UNO at our Was family’s house

Colorful fish from the ocean front

 

Rachel

 

 

 

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Michael's Blog

Here are some of my favorite pictures. 

At a Jay Saubin resort where we went swimming. 

Mom and me having homemade pizza

Dad bought me a bamboo bow and arrow

Me helping dad build our cooking shelter

Me crossing a river on a hike

Our class cooked lunch over a fire one day

Me at the school library

Noah and me made a machine out of bamboo

 

Michael

Malaria preventative

PNG is a high malaria risk area.  It is said that 1 in 5 expatriates not taking any preventative will get it.  The good news is that we are taking preventative medicine and it is treatable if we get it.  We sleep under mosquito nets and we take 150mg Chloroquine twice a week and 100mg Doxycycline once a day.  There are other options but we didn’t like the side effects some of the other choices have.

 

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Bart

Today we ended our time with our language teacher.  He’s a national named Bart (pronounced Bot).  We’ve met with him about 3 times each week for 4+ weeks.  He has been so patient with our small group!  There were some embarrassing blunders along the way; one day I was trying to tell him something about Rachel and I didn’t realize I was talking about my wife! (Laura) After our language lesson we have tea time and try to converse. 

 

Yesterday each student shared a 2 or 3 minute testimony in Tok Pisin.  Today each small group performed a skit to poke fun at ourselves and also honor our teacher.  In two weeks we head to village living and we’ll return to our training center after 5 weeks in the village.  The students will have one week left here and then we’ll head to our new home in Ukarumpa.  During our last week here we’ll have one more chance to meet with Bart and share our village experiences. 

 

In Papua New Guinea the main thing people have are relationships.  You spend time with someone here and you become a part of the fabric of their lives and they never forget you.   It was moving saying goodbye to Bart.  He told us that if we don’t see each other again here, we’ll see each other On Top.  I’m thankful for our brother in Christ. 

 

Coconut

Coconuts trees are very common here and there are lots of them around where we are living.  Last Saturday Daniel and some friends found some coconuts that had fallen the previous night and brought them back to our kitchen.  They haven’t learned to climb up and get them, yet.  Paul husked them and split them open and everyone enjoyed drinking coconut milk and eating fresh coconut meat. 

 

 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Was family visit

We went to dinner for the second time at our watch (was) family’s home last night.  We felt much more comfortable this time.  Our language skills have improved a little and we were actually able to say a few lines that they didn’t have to correct us on.  When we were done with dinner we sat outside to talk and the kids stayed inside playing UNO.  We talked with Was papa and mama Kivens and Aslika for quite a while.  We feel like we are getting to know them much better as we are able to ask them questions and learn more about their customs.  The people here are very community oriented and the village they live in contains mostly relatives.  On the hike down to their home we passed some teenagers playing Snookers.  It is kind of a miniature pool game that they made themselves.

 

Another Hike

Wednesday we went on another hike that took about 2 ½ hours.  This one was down a really steep hill and up a really rocky steep hillside.   We walked through a vanilla garden and it smelled wonderful.  Laura and I were exhausted and drenched in sweat after this hike.   We are getting in really good shape and will go on a 3 day hike in 2 weeks. 

 

This weekend we cook our meals outside again but this time we practice for when we are in the village by boiling all the water we are going to use.  This can be a time consuming process lighting the fire, boiling the water and then allowing it to cool.  We need enough for all 6 of us to drink, cook with and wash all our dishes. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Daniel's blog

Here are some of my favorite pictures.  One is of a school bell made from an unexploded world war 2 bomb shell.  One is of our classroom at school and the bug collection at school.  2 are from the field trip we took to we took to see a crashed world war 2 Japanese bomber. 

 

I just started school here and it is really fun.  My teacher’s name is Mr. Fuller and I am also learning the language here and it is really hard to learn.  We learned and sang the national anthem of Papua New Guinea. 

 

We see lot of really weird bugs here. 

Close quarters

There are 13 families here and 4 single women and 2 young couples without kids.  There are  33 kids here, 19 boys and 14 girls. The kids range from a 12 year old to a 1 year old so there are always kids for everybody to play with.  I feel sorry for the singles and those without kids because there is almost always a night where at least one kids cries.  The windows are just screens and none of the walls have insulation so you can imagine how the sound carries.  So far everyone seems to be getting along well.  Sunday we go to a local church.  We are told that the service starts at 10:00 but very few people have clocks or watches and they are not very time oriented.  They ring the first bell to remind people to get up.  The second bell is to   tells people to start walking and the third bell is when it starts.  The custom here is that men sit on the left and woman sit on the right.  We are going to stand up and introduce ourselves and our family so I had better start practicing. 

 

 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bamboo

Some of you that know Michael know that he is always thinking of machines he can make.  Well that hasn’t changes here.  He and Daniel made a water course out of some split bamboo.  It kind of reminded us of the things the professor created on Gilligan’s Island.

 

 

Watch family visit

While we are at training we are assigned a family as our Was family or watch family that lives in a nearby village.  Last week we had them for dinner at our training facility.  This week we went to their village for dinner.  We brought rice and beef stew which is a treat for them because they don’t get meat too often.   They generally eat one large meal a day and have snacks at other times.  We all sat on the floor and ate.  Their kids ate about as much as I did.  Our Was mama served us KauKau which is a sweet potato dish that was in coconut milk and had tulip green mixed in.  I wasn’t sure what it would taste like but it was delicious!  Our kids even ate a lot.  There were a lot of silent moments where I was trying to formulate Tok Pisin words to say something.

 

Papa and one of his 3 daughters came and walked us to their home which was about 1 mile away down a steep hill.  They have 2 separate buildings, one for sleeping and one for cooking.  We were surprised at how little material things they had yet they seemed happy.   We brought the game UNO and taught them how to play.  Rachel brought some Polly Pockets and the girls enjoyed playing with them.  I was just trying to imagine what was going through their heads looking at these miniature dolls with all the little accessories. 

 

Their house was on the edge of a ridge and the outhouse was about 50 yards down a very steep hill.  Our kids wanted to use it several times and were very curious about it.  It was a little house with bamboo walls and a very deep hole on the middle, no seat.   On our way back home I carried Jessica on my shoulders up a very steep hill and was sweating like crazy.  Their daughter who was carrying our bags offered to carry Jessica and I said no thanks in between gasps of air.  They are all in awesome shape from walking up and down the mountain every day. 

 

It is a  blessing to have patient teachers to help us along in learning the Tok Pisin language.  We’re having dinner again next week and the week after that we’ll spend the night in their village.

Michael's new friends

Michael met these boys the other day.  It’s amazing how kids don’t need to speak the same language to have fun together.

 

 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Volleyball

Friday and Saturday they had a volleyball tournament.  There were some incredible players and they are all in incredible shape.  You can see the picture of the concession stand selling green coconut (Kulou), Buai, Bannanas, and other things.

Independence Day

September 16th is independence day in PNG.  They gained their independence from Australia in 1975.  It is a national holiday and they celebrated by performing a “sing sing”  It is where they dress up in traditional dress and dance and sing.  Some of the musicians played a drum instrument where they had varying lengths of bamboo and would hit the hollow ends.  We enjoyed watching.