Monday, October 1, 2018

September: Birthday, heights and no ducklings... yet

Here's some September photos for your viewing pleasure:

Still no ducklings.  By my calculations, they should have hatched four days ago, but I guess I was wrong.  I suppose that "35 days" is when they're in an incubator with perfectly regulated temperature and humidity. I really wanted to show you a pic of a day-old duckling, because, I mean, what's cuter than that?  But as of my writing this, four of the eggs have only just pipped (the first hole through the shell) this morning.  It could be another 24-48 hours.


We scheduled a trip to the dentist over the school break.

We have a new six-year-old in the house!  
Caleb had a Lego Ninjago-themed birthday party.

The balloon swords at Greg's party were a hit, so we carried that over to Caleb's party as well.

I was happy that Caleb decided last minute to do the green ninja and not the red one, because red frosting doesn't taste as good.

...and what good is a Lego birthday without some new Lego to play with?


Brian and I attended the wedding of two PNG colleagues.

 The new cherry picker that Brian ordered for his department finally arrived, so one weekend Brian took the kids down to try it out.  It goes a lot higher than the old one!

A view from up in the cherry picker.  You can't see our house from here, but if you follow that road up the hill until it turns to the right, you'll find our house.  This is Brian's daily commute up and down the hill.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Photo Friday: August

Sorry.  After a few years of faithfully posting on the blog every week, I've really let it slide lately.  I'm realizing that using my camera for work now means I am much less apt to pick it up when I'm not working.  But here is what I've got for this past month:

Last Monday was a holiday (National Repentance Day), and since we didn't have school or work, we took the kids on a little "field trip" to see the milking of the cows.

Thanks to one of Brian's new co-workers, who brought milking equipment (plus the knowledge and experience) with him from the Netherlands, we have fresh milk available for the first time in years!

If you're thinking "these are not dairy cows," then you're right.  Most of the cows here are beef cattle.  Work is being done to bring some better dairy stock into the herd, but for now, these will do.

BTW, I don't think I've ever seen a Holstein here in PNG...

Fresh milk is a nice treat when you're used to long-life boxed milk or powdered milk - even if you have to pasteurize it yourself.

We had a visit from a representative of the U.S. Embassy, so we took the opportunity to have Greg sighted for a passport renewal.  Outtakes from the passport photos:

 And I don't think we're in dry season any more...


 The weather can still be chilly, but we've been seeing more and heavier rain, so the warm days of rainy season are on their way.

One of our ducks is sitting on thirteen eggs.  Expected to hatch the last week of September!!  The chickens are all laying now too, and so we've got a good supply of fresh eggs.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Photo Friday - Catch Up

Here are some highlights from the rest of the month of July:

 A Narnia-themed birthday party

 I made a laundry basket full of balloon swords before the party.

I think it was a hit!

 The new favorite (and actually quite hilarious) game is to dress Kate up in the dog costume, and then cram as many stuffed animals as possible inside the costume with her, so that she can barely waddle around, and if she falls she can't get up again.

We started a new school year:


 Kindergarten.  (It's either rain boots or barefoot for this guy lately)

Third grade!

Other than that, it's just the usual:


 A tea party in the back of the truck?  Why not?

This kind of scene really plays out all the time.  How did I get such a girly-girl?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Photo Friday: Fourth of July Fun

You would think we would get used to having a chilly Fourth of July by now, but it still feels a bit strange....  thankfully we had no rain.

We gathered together with a group of neighbors for a cookout to celebrate U.S. independence day.  We may have even allowed some Canadians to join us. 

The weather was right for a warm fire and s'mores.

After dark we made our own fireworks with steel wool.

 Three at a time!

We also had a dozen or so paper lanterns to send off into the night sky.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Photo Friday: Scooters and Swings

This week is what we could call a grandma post... because all it is is some pics of the kids.  You've been warned.

Kate inherited this Barbie from a neighbor.  She's had great fun playing with her hair.

Caleb found a nice resting spot at the playground.

Rope swing!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Baruga New Testament Dedication

Let's travel to a new part of PNG: Oro Province!  As you can see, the coastline near Tufi is known for it's fjords.  (Yeah... and you thought they were only in Scandinavia...)

By the way, if you are into diving or snorkeling, then Tufi would be a dream come true for you.  It's a little out of the way, but worth it.  I didn't get to snorkel at Tufi, but from other places I've seen in PNG, I know that Papua New Guinea will ruin for you any other snorkeling experience.

From Ukarumpa we flew in a Kodiak to Tufi, and then the helicopter shuttled us inland to Erika village.  It's only a 15-minute helicopter ride, but would take you several hours by boat if you traveled inland via the Musa River and its tributaries.

Erika village from the air.

Each helicopter shuttle was met by a sing sing group, which formally welcomed the visitors and danced them into the village.

The Baruga people took very good care of us.  They had been instructed to build very minimal sleeping porches for us (i.e. a platform with a roof and no walls.)  Instead, we got this:

A not-so-minimal longhouse with men on one end and women on the other.   They probably used three times the amount of materials than they needed to in order to make really nice sleeping quarters for us.  A ton of work went into this!

Inside there were little cubicles with two beds each.  

My bed (before the mosquito net went up!)

There were also brand-new, rather deluxe men and women's toilets:

And a bath house each for men and women:

Bathing involved standing on the wooden platform and dumping buckets of water on yourself.  Women from the village re-filled these water drums every morning for the guests.

I spent three nights in the village, which I loved, since it gave me quite a bit of free time to wander around and capture daily life in the village.

 We hiked down to the smaller tributary near the village and saw their canoes.

And we even hiked all the way down to the much bigger Musa River.  Baruga from other villages made these rafts from banana trees to come for the dedication.   We could swim in the smaller river if we wanted, but not the Musa.... because crocodiles.  

One morning I got up a dawn and saw all the women walking out of the village with their pots and pans.  So of course I followed.

Since most of the people eat their evening meal after dark, the dishes don't get washed until first thing in the morning!

Snack time!

On Saturday some of the visitors held a mini VBS program for the kids.

 This huge platform was loaded down with food contributions from all of the Baruga villages.  I can't imagine how long it would take to eat that all!

There were also a couple of pigs brought to help feed the crowd.

 Jim and Joan were the translation advisors for the program.  The translation was started by Jim and his first wife (it was their second language program in PNG).  When Jim's first wife passed away, he continued alone until he married Joan about 10 years ago.

They had a LOT of help!  These are all the members of the translation team!  Jim and Joan will be retiring this year, but the Baruga plan to continue with Old Testament translation.

The dedication ceremony itself started with a big procession and more singing and dancing.  Then of course, lots of speeches.

 Some of the translators were pretty emotional when they were presented with their copies of the New Testament.

 After the dedication, audio recordings were also for sale in addition to the New Testaments.  These were pretty popular, and I heard a lot of people listening to them the next day.

I've got more photos and stories than I could share here, but hopefully this gives you a glimpse of this corner of PNG.  The people were just as beautiful as the scenery.

Now that the party is over and life goes back to normal for the Baruga, we pray that the Scriptures would continue to change lives in this community.