Friday, April 29, 2011


This morning my yard meri Teya came to my door close to tears.  Her second-born child, a daughter, died on Wednesday.  She was coming to collect her pay and to let me know that she wouldn’t come to work for a month.

According to Teya’s story, her daughter was working in the garden, and just fell down dead.  I wasn’t too surprised to hear what came next.  “Ol I poisinim em” (they poisoned her).  You see, in a traditional Papua New Guinean mindset, no one ever just dies of natural causes.  Death is not blamed on germs, or disease or old age.  Bad things happened because of some sort of imbalance in the spiritual realm.  And “poison”, or black magic, is often blamed for these sorts of unexplainable deaths.  Unfortunately, this is often the start of many tribal conflicts.  The grieving family must find out who is responsible for the poison, and retaliate.

Teya and her husband have worked for us for over two years, and we always had the impression that they were very devout Christians.  But it’s amazing to see how quickly these traditional beliefs surface when something like this happens.

Teya’s daughter was married and had a young child (less than two years old).  It sounds like there is some conflict about who will care for the baby, since there had been some marital problems.  Please pray for this family, that they would meet God in their time of grief, and that they would not resort to retaliation for this young lady’s death.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy again

Yesterday was rough. Between lunchtime and bedtime, Greg turned into the booger-man… and a very crabby one at that. He was running a fever and had a major “number 11” going on (the phrase we use here to describe kids who run around with boogers hanging out of each nostril.) He was not a happy camper, and neither was I, since Brian is out of town and we’re also planning to take a little trip to the village this weekend. Not the time to have a sick kiddo.

So I asked our prayer supporters to pray about it, and today has been so much better! I was really surprised at how well he has done today. Still has a bit of a cold, but he was smiling and playing again. What a relief!

Greg is quite the bookworm lately. He spends about half (or more!) of his play time surrounded by books – turning the pages over and over, and yes, turning the books inside out sometimes too.

This is the reaction I get when I say “oops!” I found out by accident yesterday when I was reading him Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton that he thinks it’s hilarious. All of a sudden, the miserable, sick baby in my lap started giggling every time I read the word “oops.” (I must have read it to him 10 times in a row yesterday.)

He’s really gaining confidence in standing alone. I have yet to get a great photo of him doing it. This one is still a bit blurry, but it’s the best I have so far.

It’s so nice to have him almost back to normal. Thanks for praying.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

pancakes to the rescue

There are lots of websites and books out there that promote making homemade baby food.  Most of them encourage you to do it to save money, or to make sure your child gets the most wholesome, organic food possible.  Here in Papua New Guinea, we moms make homemade baby food because we have no choice!  Our store has a very small baby food section.  It typically has rice cereal, two types of formula, and one or two types of canned baby food.  It’s enough to get you by in a pinch, but not day-to-day.

I’m thankful that we’re getting out of the “spend two hours a day cooking and pureeing and freezing vegetables” phase and Greg is more into finger food.  Actually, at the moment, he’s not too keen on being spoon fed at all.  He’ll tolerate it if he also has something in his hands that he can feed himself.  But that can be almost as much work as pureed stuff.  Oh, how I long for a box of Cheerios!  Our store hasn’t had any Cheerios in stock for months. Since I don’t have any handy, healthy bite-sized cereal on hand, pancakes have become my new secret weapon.  Greg adores pancakes.  And it’s really easy for mom to fill them up with healthy things.  These in the photo, that I made today, are zucchini/banana/oatmeal pancakes.  They freeze well, and are a not-too-messy snack to bring along when we are out of the house. 

Speaking of my little pancake eater… I think I hear him waking up from his nap.  Gotta go! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Greg is Growin'

Yep, it's that time again - Greg is 9 months today.

Here is his 8-month tiger photo:

And today at 9 months:

Since standing is one of his favorite things right now, I figured I'd let him do just that while I snapped a few photos.

Check out these teeth!