Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It’s been a whirlwind weekend, and now we are trying to finish our packing and preparations for village living. Here is a brief overview of the things we will be trying to accomplish while we are there:

Week 1 (Oct. 23-29)
Begin visiting with the people and making friends
Get settled
Spend one day in the gardens with people
Begin cultural observations

Week 2 (Oct. 30-Nov. 5)
Map of the village
Kinship chart
Cultural observations
Tape and begin transcribing Tok Pisin stories
Learn a skill (bilum making, house building, arrow making gardening, traditional cooking, etc.)

Week 3 (Nov. 6-12)
(Have map, cultural observations, kinship charts, skill report, and texts ready to hand in.)
Continue with transcribing stories
Begin survey
Begin formulating case study

Week 4 (Nov. 13-19)
Language learning
Case study

Week 5 (Nov. 20-27)
Complete and write up all assigments
Pack up in village and prepare to leave

We covet your prayers and look forward to rejoicing with you when we return on Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008
Today we spent all day in Madang finishing up our shopping for village living. We will be arriving in the village during planting season, so there won't be a lot of produce available. The kids visited a pottery shop this morning and finished up their field trip with a trip to a sulfur springs. Olivia:
"The water was very blue and the cave was all crystals."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Three Day Hike Pictures:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Communication update:
Just thought I would let everybody know that after next Tuesday, October 21, we will be offline for about six weeks while we are in the village. The staff will come out to check on us halfway through our stay (Nov. 10 or 11) and bring us any mail we may have received. We are so appreciative of those who have e-mailed or snail mail letters and packages. Holding something from people who love us encourages us so much as we face new and unfamiliar things every day. We value your prayers and know they are working as we continue to adjust to life in PNG.

"He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."

2 Corinthians 1:10-11

Monday, October 13, 2008
Aaron left this morning for the three day hike. Half of the adults here left this morning, and the other half will leave on Thursday. Those of us left behind watch after the kids while their parents are gone, and we finish our shopping for village living while the kids are in school. Each group on the hike has assignments to complete in the villages where they sleep. Language people (like Aaron) have to elicit certain phrases and words and support people have anthropological questions to ask. The goal is to build relationships in each village as they gather information. I sent Aaron's group out with much prayer and some hard candy as a treat. Our wasmama, Dorcas, is the female guide for their group, and George, one of the workmen here, is the male guide. Both of them are known for keeping a fast pace on the trails!

Saturday, October 11, 2008
Tonight, our wasfamili came to eat supper with us in our haus kuk. Thankfully, we are on the end of the row, so we had lots of room for the twelve of us to spread out on the grass. The night was beautiful, and it was easy to talk about God's marvelous creation as we looked up at the clouds rolling in over the unfamiliar constellations and the almost full moon. I found it interesting that almost all of the American families here chose to make chocolate chip cookies for dessert! I guess the old adage needs to say "as American as chocolate chip cookies". Our wasfamili found my mom's recipe for chocolate chip cookies to be delicious – nambawan kaikai!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008
We found out our village allocation today! From October 23 until Thanksgiving we will be living in the village of Karem with Andrew and Agnes Hurim (and their eight year old son). If you have Google Earth, you can look us up at 4 degrees 46 minutes 187 seconds South and 145 degrees 41 minutes 262 seconds East. We are thrilled to share this village with two other single women. One is a doctor (who has to leave after the first week) and the other is already an adopted part of our family. We actually have a water faucet across the road (although we will still boil all of our water) put in through a water project. We will bathe in the river about 5 minutes away. We have a large, new house built in April. It has three bedrooms and a living area, and we will cook outside over an open fire. Please begin praying that God would provide strong relationships for us during this time, and that we will have tender hearts willing to learn more about this new language and culture.

Thursday, October 9, 2008
Our Tok Pisin evaluation was this morning. Not too many surprises – I understand vocabulary okay, but my grammar stinks! I'm still plodding along with my gracious wasmama each morning during tea with the workers here at POC.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The kids went on a field trip today to an Entomology Center down the mountain. They got to see all sorts of neat "bugs" that are indigenous to PNG. From Benjamin:
We saw the biggest moth in the world – the Hercules moth. The tiniest moth in the world is so small that you have to look through a microscope to see it, so we did! They had hundreds of beautiful butterflies.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Benjamin's new friend

Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The POC directors own a cabin on the beach about 45 minutes away, so today we took a much needed holiday. Katherine made friends with the neighbors, and Olivia had fun with the hermit crabs and starfish. Sarah made the highlights reel when she capsized in the kayak. I was really proud of her, she stayed with the kayak until Daddy came out into the lagoon to bring her back to the shore. Benjamin had an encounter with a sea slug, but he was quickly back in the water after some soothing cream. The kids had a blast!

Monday, October 6, 2008
Today was the "gear hike" to help us get a feel for how much we can carry in our backpacks as we prepare for the three day hikes. Since I don't have to go on the three day hike, Aaron loaded up his backpack with the list of suggested items, then he weighed it. Then he unpacked it, and added wood and water to equal the weight plus 2.5 kilos for group food. Then off he went with the group to hike with a 14 kilo pack on his back. He was allowed to chunk anything he wanted on the hike, but he weighed the pack again when he returned. He is only allowed to take as much weight on the hike next week as he ended up with today. My awesome man didn't have to lose anything from his pack! He leaves next Monday, Oct. 13, so please pray extra for him during that time.
This is a picture of Olivia's alarm clock this morning:

Sunday, October 5, 2008
We went to church with our wasfamili today. We were surprised to find that it was missions Sunday! Aaron was asked to pray at the end of the service, and I was really impressed by "man bilong mi".

Saturday, October 4, 2008
Wasmama dropped by today to teach me how to cook "kru bilong pamken". The kids had already scraped the coconut by the time she got here, and it was fun to feel really comfortable cooking the way she does. First, you scrape the coconut, then you soak the coconut meat in a little water and squeeze the coconut a few times. Finally, you pour the coconut "gris" through a strainer and into the pot and boil it. After the liquid comes to a rolling boil, you add the greens until they wilt. Yum!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I forgot to say that Katherine is taking a nap in the bilum on wasmama's head in the picture below!

a picture is worth a thousand words

It's been a crazy week, so here's just a sample of yesterday's activities.

We spent the night with our wasfamili. This morning they took us out to their garden and we helped plant corn and bananas.

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes to Aaron! He enjoyed no-bake cookies for his birthday and finished the day joking with waspapa. We really appreciate the letters and packages that you send to PNG!