Monday, October 31, 2011

the Ferris Wheel

Last Saturday was Carnival – the High School’s annual fundraiser.  It’s kind of like a fair.  They sell food, have face painting and a dunk tank, among other games.  Live music, pony rides, and of course, the ferris wheel. 

Ukarumpa’s ferris wheel is a homemade contraption with 4 seats, and it’s powered by High School boys.  Although we’ve been to Carnival before (see this post from last year), none of us has ever ridden the ferris wheel.  So we decided it was time to take the plunge.

One of the operators said apologetically, as he was having trouble fastening the seat belt, “These aren’t very good belts.”  This photo is of me replying , “Well that’s reassuring!”

Greg did surprisingly well.  He cried a little bit, but for the most part seemed to do ok as I prattled reassuringly about how fun it all was.

With a man-powered ride, getting a good weight balance is important.  Unfortunately there were no other adults when it was Brian’s turn to ride, and so he was on with three small-ish boys.  More work for those spinning the wheel trying to keep it going at a steady rate!

Greg tries on mom’s sunnies.

Friday, October 28, 2011

belly button

Greg has been learning his body parts.  The current favorite is belly button.  If you are familiar with the Veggie Tales Belly Button song, then you will appreciate the fact that when we say “Belly Button!” to him in a South Asian accent he replies “Ah, ah!” just like in the song.

A close second is teeth.  Greg loves brushing his teeth, and also loves to watch us brush ours.  At bedtime he’ll excitedly say “theeth, theeth, theeth!”

When you ask Greg where his head is, he responds by smacking himself on the forehead.  This comes from many, many readings of the book “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” ( fell off and bumped his head)

Toes are popular too.  Like teeth, this is one that he can actually say (sort of).  Toes are important because that’s where your shoes go.  And shoes mean you’re going outside!

Phew!  Got to take a rest after showing off all my knowledge!

jealousy and mandrakes

This morning was very refreshing for me (Susan).  The Imbo-Ungu translation team is here in Ukarumpa this week for a work period.  It is often very hard for translators to get translation work done in the village because of so many other responsibilities and distractions.  So we invited several teams to come to Ukarumpa for two weeks to have some time to give their undivided attention to their translation work.  Kerry, Jonathan and Rombe have been working hard all week translating rough drafts on their own, but today they wanted to have an advisor check on chapter 30 of Genesis. 

There are many steps in getting translated Scriptures to the point where they are ready for publication.  The translation is checked over several times by different people along the way.  The advisor check is generally when someone other than the translators takes a good hard look at the first draft of the translation.  And this morning I got to be one of the advisors helping to go through the chapter.

Kerry had already provided a “back translation” of the text.  Basically, she translated the Imbo-Ungu text back into English for us whiteskins to read.  We sat around a table heaped with different versions of the Bible, commentaries, and of course, laptop computers, and we went through the text verse by verse, asking the translators to explain anything that was ambiguous, or asking about parts where we weren’t sure that their translation captured the actual meaning of the text.  I was pleased to realize that I still remembered quite a bit about the Imbo-Ungu language.  I’m very far from being able to speak the language, but I know enough to be able to recognize key words and the little markers that show things like possession, or who the subject is in the sentence.

Genesis 30 is all about Jacob’s wives, Leah and Rachel, and their struggles over bearing children.  One of the issues that came up was the word they chose to translate jealousy.  We asked them to give examples of various situations in which they would use that word in their language, in order to determine if it was fitting for the Biblical situation they were trying to portray.  That wasn’t too difficult.

Other passages proved to be more of a challenge.  It was harder to translate verse 3, where Rachel gives her maidservant Bilhah to Jacob, telling him to “sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and that through her I too can build a family.”  We had to make sure that it was understood that even through Bilhah was the biological mother, the children would be seen as Rachel’s.

And then of course is the whole bit about Leah buying the rights to sleep with Jacob with a bunch of mandrakes.  That turned into a long discussion, because of course the Imbo-Ungu had no idea what a mandrake was.  They had originally translated it as “grass seed.”  Thankfully Ruth, one of the other advisors present, had done some research and came prepared with a drawing of a mandrake plant, and the explanation that the Hebrews thought that the mandrake held medicinal (or magical) powers to help a woman to conceive.

It’s has been far too long since I’ve been involved in an advisor check, and I’d almost forgotten how much fun it can be.  At this point in my life, with a small toddler at home, it’s hard to be involved in this kind of work.  Typically when a team comes here for an advisor check, it’s the sort of thing where you all work very very hard for a week or so, and then the team goes back to the village.  Our daycare here at Ukarumpa is only open 4 mornings per week.  And even if I arranged for other childcare in the afternoons, it would be hard on Greg not to see his mom all week long.  (It would be hard on mom too!).  But, as I left this morning, Kerry said she hopes we can arrange another time to get together to do more advisor checking, since they have done a lot of first draft work that needs to go through an advisor check before they can move towards getting it checked by a consultant and eventually published.  So pray that we can find a workable solution – I’d like to be able to do some more of this!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lego Men

Right now Greg’s favorite thing is the big yellow tub of Duplo Legos that Grandma Kathy gave him.  And while the cars and blocks are fun, the best part is the people. He likes to bend and straighten their legs and stand them up in a row on the floor.  He also carries them around the house and puts them in odd places.

These are some the places that I found Lego people this morning, and this was just before 11am!  Who knows what other adventures they will have before the day is through.

Carefully arranged on a plastic bag on the floor of the pantry.

Going for a ride in the dump truck…

I found this one in with my measuring cups when I was baking bread this morning

Hiding out in Greg’s hat.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

all wet

Greg had a great time helping Dad wash his work truck this afternoon.  He got a little surprise from the hose though…

Friday, October 14, 2011

A bumper sticker you will never see on my car

I had to laugh when this bumper sticker fell out of the newspaper when I was cleaning up this morning.  Regardless of the brand, I will never put a bumper sticker on my car saying “I prefer the taste of milk powder”!  


The ironic thing is that since Greg has been raised on powdered milk or boxed UHT milk (the kind that can sit on your shelf for months and only needs to be refrigerated after it has been opened), I’m afraid that he won’t like good ‘ol homogenized, pasteurized milk when we go home on furlough.  That makes me kind of sad…

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brian's Birthday

Today I got an email from my mom.  “I still haven’t seen any pictures of the cake on the blog…” she said. Oops.  I had forgotten about it!

So here it is.  See, I told you not to get too excited.  It sure tasted good though.  All that butter and chocolate did the trick.

The birthday present I had ordered for Brian did arrive – the day after his birthday.  But luckily there were some packages from family that arrived the day before, so Brian had some presents to open at breakfast.

One of the packages contained some Peeps.  We gave one to Greg, just to give him that little extra sugar boost to finish off his breakfast.  At first he just thought it was a great new squishy toy.  But then dad demonstrated that it was edible.  Wow!  He wanted more of those!  (Needless to say they were hidden when he wasn’t looking, or I know he’d beg me all day long for them)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kodiak #3

Yesterday the PNG branch’s newest Kodiak airplane arrived – number three for the aviation fleet.  Eventually the plan is to get four Kodiak airplanes to replace the old Cessna 206’s that are becoming too expensive to maintain and fly. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cake Decorator

When it comes to decorating cakes, I live in the shadow of my wonderful mom.  She’s not a professional per se, but she has always produced fabulous cakes.  As kids, my brothers and I always looked forward to seeing what amazing creation she would come up with for our birthdays.

Here is me on my first birthday with my lion cake.  I wouldn't be caught dead in a bikini that skimpy these days...

She has also done several wedding cakes, including our own.

So, tomorrow is Brian’s birthday and wouldn’t you know it – the store is out of cake mixes! So today I have been on a quest to make a delicious from-scratch chocolate cake for his birthday. For my first attempt (yes, there was more than one…) I tried to go the frugal route, choosing a recipe that didn’t use a lot of expensive ingredients.  (we're always trying to save money on groceries here) The results were disappointing.  It barely tasted chocolate enough to deserve being called a chocolate cake. 

I had to try again you see, because I was feeling bad that the birthday present I ordered and had shipped via DHL has still not arrived (there is no such thing as guaranteed delivery time for mail in PNG!).  If he wasn’t going to get a present on his birthday, then he should at least get a nice cake!  So the second recipe I tried didn’t cut any corners.  A huge brick of butter, a whole cup of cocoa powder plus some melted dark chocolate and some strong coffee to bring out the flavor went into the mix.  I must say that I am happy with the results as they come out of the pan – it looks awful chocolaty and it came out even and tall enough that I should be able to do three layers.

After it cools I’m going to do a crumb coat and then I’ll do the actual decorating tomorrow.  It’s going to have an Oreo cookie filling.  I haven’t decided how exactly I’m going to decorate it, but I think I’ll keep it simple.  Nothing that you would see on a reality TV show.  Besides, now that I’ve written a post about it I have the pressure to show a picture of the final product!