Friday, April 29, 2016

Photo Friday [134]

A small photo Friday for you this week.

 Last Saturday we drove to Goroka (about two hours drive each way).  Our excuse was that we needed to buy feed for our chickens, and the local feed store had been out for weeks.  Really it was just an excuse for a family day out.  We drove behind this truck for a while. 

Bilums for sale on one of the main streets.

A work in progress.

A poster at the hardware store.  Pig giveaways are actually pretty common here.

 When your salad-spinner turns into a car wash.

Who is this big girl, and where is my baby?

On Sunday Brian left for another trip.  This time to Brisbane, Australia, where he and two other men did some training on the control system that we'll use with our new generators.

Brian was really looking forward to it, because our power generation system here is pretty complex, trying to switch between national power, generator power and solar power.  Brian went with lots of questions, and I hope he got them all answered.  We're really looking forward to having him back with us this afternoon though!

Until next week!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Photo Friday [133]

I caught this spider in action, spinning a web.

 Actually, I was so close and so absorbed with taking photos that I didn't notice when the spider attached a bit of webbing to my camera's flash!

I caught quite a few trampoline photos this week, though I swear I was taking them on different days.

 This one loves being out in the rain.  Jumping on a trampoline during a downpour is about as good as it gets!

 Even Kate is in on the fun now.  She asks every day to "bum-bump?"  She'll even try to stay on her feet while her brothers bounce her.

 Kate and Caleb love to play a game that Kate calls "baby."  It pretty much involves messing up all the covers on my bed.  My bed never stays made for long these days, but it keeps them happy.

 Saying "hello" to her favorite person when he gets home from work.

Riding in style!

This one is better shown with a video - she's finally walking!  Better late than never.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Photo Friday [132]

Lots going on this past week:

We started off with a 3-year-old's birthday party last Saturday at a coffee plantation nearby.   It was a very relaxing way to spend a Saturday - good friends, lots of food, and being off-center in peaceful surroundings.

Getting a tour of the coffee plant.  These are the pools where the coffee is washed to remove the pulp, leaving the "parchment" bean.

Coffee production is actually quite a process, with several steps before you get to the bean that we're used to seeing.  Our friends only roast a small amount themselves to be sold locally.  The majority is exported to Australia and the US prior to roasting.

 Loquats, anyone?  I actually quite enjoy this seasonal fruit, but our tree doesn't produce very well.  Probably because we keep trimming it so that it doesn't block out view.  This is about all we got from it this year.

And on Monday, we went to.... drumroll.... Madang!

The Admin team is down there this weekend for a retreat, but we have this rule in our bylaws that all of the Directors can't travel together (in case of accident), and so Brian was elected to fly down on Monday, so that he could spend some time visiting with our regional center staff down there (since he's their boss).  We decided that we would fly the whole family down on Monday, and then the kids and I flew back to Ukarumpa on the flight that brought the rest of the Directors to Madang.  Thus we got a short, but very nice little break.

 Caleb spent a lot of time in the sandbox at the guest house.

The guest house is right next to the ocean, but the rocks are very jagged and sharp and the waves often rough, so we didn't let our little kids swim there.  If they were older and better swimmers, I probably would have let them.  So instead we just looked for shells on the rocks and watched boats.

We did get some beach time in though.  For those two days we had in Madang, we drove out to a nice resort nearby, where for the price of a delicious lunch, we could enjoy the beach and snorkeling.

Swinging from the rope.  Some local kids were climbing up into the tree, swinging way out on the rope, and then doing flips into the water. 

 Kate enjoyed the water, and REALLY enjoyed the sand!

 This floating deck is actually anchored to a WWII airplane wreck that you can dive to see.

Being goofy with Greg's goggles.

And of course the boys had to take their pictures with the sign.  Sorry for the nudity... traditional dress, 'ya know...

We also drove around to see a few of the other points of interest in town, such as this WWII gun,

The Coastwatchers Memorial Lighthouse, which was unveiled in 1959 to commemorate those servicemen and PNG nationals who gathered intelligence about the movement of enemy ships and airplanes during WWII.

Completely worn out after a day in the sun.

 Goodbye, Madang, it was fun!

 On our flight home we got to make a stop at the grass airstrip at Saidor to drop off some solar panels and to pick up three passengers.  I intended to take more photos, but we were only on the ground for 15 minutes, and I spent most of that talking with a national translator that I knew who walked a few hours to the airstrip to collect the solar panels.

Then it was time to board the plane again, and Greg reminded me that I had promised he could take a photo, so the only photo we got at Saidor is his, of the people who came to greet the plane:


That's all for this week!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Photo Friday [131]

Happy Friday to you!

Mud puddles on a misty morning walk.

I don't know the real name of this tree, but we call them "rain trees" because they grow ridiculously fast when they get some water.  

Last Saturday we met some friends down at the river to play.  As it's rainy season the river is pretty muddy... well, OK, it's always pretty muddy... and the water was flowing pretty fast, but the kids had fun splashing in the shallows and playing in the mud.

Nice, smiley kid photos.

 Silly kid photos.

Greg needed a new sun hat, so I sewed one for him.

...And then I sewed some for Kate and Caleb too.

That's all for this week!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Photo Friday [130]

Hello friends,

We had a nice, relaxing Easter weekend last week.

Kate got to help hunt eggs in the backyard.

But then she discovered that some of the eggs had candy inside, and she lost all interest in doing anything other than opening the eggs she already had.

We get a nice four-day weekend for Easter here in PNG, and we spent a big portion of each day with the kids down at a cement basketball court near our house.  Greg decided it was time to ditch the training wheels on his bike, and he spent hours practicing over those four days, with Brian tirelessly helping him - and was successful!  Look at him go!  (And yes, that's our dog, Ruby, who didn't want to miss out on the fun and escaped from the back yard to follow us down there!)

 Brian complained that he doesn't get any blog time, so here is one of his projects for the holiday weekend.  This is the "kai bar" at the store, where people can come buy rotisserie chicken, burgers, sandwiches, ice cream, and chips (french fries).  This is the only regular source of I-didn't-make-this-from-scratch food, and so it's very popular.

 One area where the kai bar has struggled is in keeping up with the demand for chips.  They were using two small tabletop fryers that weren't made for commercial applications.  So last Friday Brian spent the morning with the store manager installing this new commercial deep fryer.  It was a fun project for him, and now we can enjoy an abundance of fresh crispy fried potatoes.  It's the little things.

That's all for this week!