Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wonderful Weekend

It all started with a nap. Friday afternoon, I lay down beside the clean clothes piled on my bed, and the next thing I knew, Sarah was waking me up and knocking on my bedroom door. "Mom, I'm home! I'm gonna jump in the shower now." I groggily asked her if it was already 4:30, and she assured me that it was. Since we had company coming at 5:00, I hopped up refreshed, and headed to the kitchen to prepare pizza with the last of the pepperoni from the States. After good food and good fellowship, our sweet company walked home, we all jumped quickly into bed.
I slept for nine hours and woke up refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Aaron drove over to help with flood cleanup east of Honiara, the kids all went outside to play, and I had several hours to ponder the silence in my house. I cooked and washed clothes and cooked some more while listening to some of Mozart's piano concerti. The silence amazed me. I had forgotten what it was like to be able to think and pray and ponder uninterrupted.
My wonderful chaos returned for lunch and continued as we welcomed more company for an afternoon of fun game playing and an evening of good food. But sleep and silence reminded me that their place in my life holds great importance.
"Do you remember the story of Elijah? He was so tired that he wanted to give up. He told the Lord that he just couldn't go on. The Lord didn't discourage him further by lecturing him on his faults and failures, but He sent an angel to fix him something to eat and then told him to get a good night's sleep! Satan would love to persuade us when we are worn-out, exhausted, or at the end of our physical resources that it is a spiritual problem when in reality it is a purely physical one."
~Ruth Bell Graham & Gigi Graham Tchivdjian

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Internet ups and downs

Our internet has been up and down for the last several days, mostly down. Hopefully, we'll have the problem fixed soon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day!

The timing worked out perfectly. Here we are, studying Australia, reading about making Lamingtons, and it all falls on Australia Day. My Aussie friend, Karen, accused me of manipulating the curriculum (which I'm not above doing - the joys of being a flexible homeschooler). She also brought some kangaroo jerkey, which we all tried. According to Karen, jerkey is an American thing. She took one bite, gagged, spit it out, and reached for a mint. We followed the recipe in our book, but it only called for 3/4 cup of flour, and the cake turned out tremendously flat. But we forged ahead! I cut the cake into "fingers", and Sarah coated them with thin chocolate icing and rolled them in fresh coconut. We began to put them on plates to share with our Aussie neighbors.

Karen also brought over some Vegemite (with which we are very familiar). Suddenly, she had the bright idea to cover one of the Lamingtons with Vegemite and roll it in coconut as a practical joke. Giggling, Karen and Sarah delivered the treats to a meeting and rolled in laughter as the joke was revealed. Quickly, Sarah gave a "real" Lamington to the recipient of the joke, who was a very good sport. We laughed and laughed together! Even though the cold rain poured from the gray skies outside, inside our house it was warm and sunny.

"A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired." Proverbs 17:22 The Message

Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday, January 25, 2010

(to see more daybooks or to participate, please visit Peggy's)

Outside my window...dark, cool, and rainy, the sun has yet to peep its head over the horizon

I am thinking...about dishes that promote a love for God's Word
I am thankful for...things like Bath and Body Works hand soaps to help me smell good (or at least mask the smell) in a very odiferous environment

I am wearing...denim wrap around skirt, mint green t-shirt, dangly beaded earrings I bought at a craft fair in Fort Worth

I am remembering...a sweet friend whose funeral is today in Memphis.

I am be a busy hostess this week as our family gets to nurture and encourage other families

I am currently reading...the January edition of National Geographic with a great article and pictures about the clownfish and the anemone (perfect for our study of the Great Barrier Reef!)

I am hoping...that Katherine will begin to sleep well again soon. We're pooped!

On my mind...Pogo and Melissa. They found us in town on Saturday and hugged my neck. Melissa brought her mom to the hospital and they all plan to stay for three months. After they left, I wondered who is watering the plants on the porch and who is looking after our garden since they had told me they would take care of the house and yard while we were in Honiara?!?

Noticing that...God's been nudging me to more discipline in my prayer life. Over and over I find encouraging thoughts like this and this. Then this morning while reading "A Chance to Die", I ran across this passage describing the prayer tower of the Dohnavur fellowship: "On its roof are two pointed shafts, wymbol of the unity of spiritual and secular in the life of holiness -- the men and women of Dohnavur lived a common life, but they lived it with God for others....Morning and evening a hymn is played on the bells, and each hour they ring for a moment of stillness for prayer and recollection." Considering borrowing Benjamin's watch until I can get my own...

Pondering these words... "To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart" ~Phyllis Theroux

From the kitchen...cranberry-orange bread for breakfast (a big thanks to the cranberries and dried orange peel that came in care packages!), bierrocks enjoyed with company for lunch, and curried chicken with the end of the fresh carrots and a splurge of frozen broccoli tonight

Around the house...drawings of homonyms in Lavukaleve complete with gender articles, paper snowflakes taped to Sarah's windows, an empty flour canister (serious tragedy in our baking household)

One of my favorite things~ beautiful nightgowns

From my picture journal...

Katherine enjoying the boomwhackers in the Educational Resource Center

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sweet Sabbath

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7

-Katherine proudly showing me her page of K's, surprising me with her fine motor skills, I thought she was just coloring!
-a copy of Victoria, snuck in a care package by my mom-in-love

-yummy and nutritious food to nurture my family

-playing board games with my family

-fun towels (from a friend in Memphis) hanging together to celebrate the love of my lfe

-a new cookbook from a former student, full of quotes from great children's books

-hilarious children who give me "good medicine"

-weevils in my oatmeal, flour, and pasta, because it means I have food in the house

-a cute notebook to spur me to thankfulness as I plan and make lists (thanks, Mama)
-delicious scones with honey butter, fresh from the oven and made by my sweet Sarah

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We miss you, Nana

In loving memory of Nancy Brewer, 1935-2010

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." Romans 12:11

"The greater part of our happiness depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances." Martha Washington

"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks....She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:17, 27

Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Post (from our friend, Karen)

At 2 am this morning (Thursday, Jan. 21) I heard shouting and noise at our mission base. As I woke up I listened to the noise outside and heard extremely loud roaring water noises that sounded like the most torrential rain close by but not over my house. Also, with the shouting of the people on the base I began to think that we were being broken into. Very soon I heard them shouting my name for me to get out of the house. I took my handbag with my camera and computer and opened the front door only to find flood waters rising quickly outside. I walked through near waist deep water to the top story of the director's house and sheltered there on the verandah with everyone else watching the water rise very quickly.

I thought for sure everything in my house was now floating inside! I couldn't worry about that - I was safe and even had the bonus of my computer and camera. Many people from the timber yard next to us came for shelter with us as they had no where else to go. Many Mum's with newborn babies and young children came wanting shelter. We sat on any small piece of floor we could find on the verandah or in the house and watched and watched all morning until daylight. There was not a thing we could do to stop the water. Loud crashing noises made us question if it was a small house being washed away or a fence.
Most of our security fences and concrete walls were smashed down by the rushing water and the offices downstairs were flooded out with thick slippery mud covering everything. Our security guards ended up going around the property in a canoe! We were so thankful when we first saw that the water was no longer rising but beginning to slowly go down. There was no way in our out of our area and all the locals and those who have lived there for over ten years keep saying that it is the worst flooding they have ever had there even though they have had several big floods. The water was still rushing like rapids from the mountains to the river and then through our land. It was quite a sight!
We fed all the locals sheltering in the house with rice and soup for breakfast and then heard that we were to evacuate. After over 8 hours sitting outside on the steps or the verandah, we got to the side of the river and were taken by motorboat to an area where we could access the main road and be picked up from there. Pray for those who have stayed behind. We heard as we evacuated that two young children from a family were swept away by the water in their sleep last night and were found at daylight this morning dead. Please pray for this family who are suffering from so much loss and everyone else affected through loss of houses and food gardens and anything else.
At daylight I found out that the water did not reach inside my house thankfully but was not far off. That is a small thing though compared to everything else. All this is the effect of a cyclone and flooded river affecting an area and I am sure that the logging around here has made it worse too. I keep hearing reports of the rain continuing for some days yet and more cyclone activity so appreciate your prayers. Pray that the rain stops and that we are all able to get cleaned up and start afresh for many. Going through this has made me understand more what the Solomon Islanders experience when flooding happens here. Such a different perspective now.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cleaning Up

Even though rain still falls on the Solomon Islands, the clean up began today as the rivers begin to recede. Our friend, Karen, called us this morning to tell us that strong arms and extra food were needed. One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the flexibility, so we loaded up the family and went grocery shopping for some of the families that have lost their homes and gardens.

After we picked up some food, we drove out to the area where our friend Karen lives. A small river had flooded, washing away this chain link fence and leaving a layer of thick mud laced with raw sewage. We dropped off the food and left Aaron to work while I drove the kids back home to work on school.

After lunch, I took the kids to the airport to welcome a new team just arriving to the Solomons and bring lunch to Aaron. Many other SITAG families came, and the men who had been working alongside Aaron all morning met us there as well. Aaron and Juston were just a little bit filthy and stinky, so they sat on the edge of our group. After we met the new team, the guys headed back out to continue the cleanup. We're under the infulence of a tropical depression, so the rain isn't expected let up anytime soon. Please keep praying for the families who have lost their homes and gardens.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flooding in Honiara

We've had rain for the last four days in Honiara, and last night the eastern portion of the city began to flood. One of our colleagues, Karen, just posted this note:
"Pray for us here in the Solomons. Massive flooding in my area all night from a cyclone and flooded river that just continues to rush through our base. Evacuated after spending 8 hours on top level of a 2 storey house watching the water rise. 2 young children washed away and died. Not a good situation at all so please pray for all affected. "

Monday, January 18, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Please visit Peggy who encourages us to journal in our Daybook each week.

FOR TODAY... Monday, January 18

I am thinking...about making each word a gift. "...say only what helps, each word a gift." Eph. 4:29 The Message

Outside my window...dark, quiet, wet from the rain that fell all afternoon as it filled up the rain tank, it's been a very full day

I am thankful sweet husband and the cup of coffee he brings me each morning

I am wearing...faded cotton pajamas, damp hair, bare feet

I am remembering...Martin Luther King, Jr. and his peace-loving, life-changing ways

I am enjoy lots of company this week!

I am currently reading..."The New Laurel's Kitchen" by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal (I know it's a cookbook, but as Sarah says, "Mom, there's a lecture with every recipe!")

I am make the time to catch up on e-mail soon.

On my much I need need insight and understanding. "...if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God . For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:3-6

Noticing that...there are several ways to put "hands" to our prayers for Haiti

Pondering these words... " has become clear...that nurturant work is not only for mothers, not only for parents even; it is the birthright of every man, woman, and child. Without it, we never grow to our full stature. This is an easy truth to discover when you start living it out. The only reason it is obscured from view in today's world is that supporting life is not a value on which our culture is based." from The New Laurel's Kitchen (emphasis mine)

From the kitchen...tomorrow we will enjoy camper's oatmeal in the morning, clean up leftovers for lunch, and share curried lentils & rice, fresh greens, pineapple, and scotch bars with a SITAG family

One of my favorite with my kids

From my picture journal...

Katherine helping roll out tortillas

Sunday, January 17, 2010

the least sign of a feather

[Amy Carmichael] was finding out firsthand that missionaries are not set apart from the rest of the human race, not purer, nobler, higher. "Wings are an illusive fallacy," she wrote. "Some people may possess them, but they are not very visible, and as for me, there isn't the least sign of a feather. Don't imagine that by crossing the sea and landing on a foreign shore and learning a foreign lingo you 'burst the bonds of outer sin and hatch yourself a cherubim.' "

from "A Chance to Die" by Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fertile Soil

This morning, Aaron and I went on our proposal-versary date followed by a trip to Honiara's Central Market. I hoped not only to pick up food for my family but also to find some Lavukal who had come to sell food in Honiara. We began by walking through the fish section, and as we approached the first cooler, we heard "Lalomomeahobea!" (good morning). Somebody recognized us immediately and called out in Lavukaleve! The man and his wife were from the Eastern part of the Russells (we live in the West), and they had just come in last night with a cooler full of beautiful fish. Somehow, he knew that we had just come back on the Bikoi last week, and he asked how our New Year celebrations (complete with "singroll") had been in Marulaon. I guess word gets around. We bought an almost 4 pound fish for a great price, and continued to walk around toward the shellfish.

I saw some "haleav" (not my favorite), and then I spied piles of "kalimeto" something I actually knew how to prepare! Just for fun, I asked where the young ladies had gathered the kalimeto, which were still crawling crawling around the bag laid on the ground. Their response? "The Russells"! I felt like God had led us straight to them. I was able to buy the shellfish using Lavukaleve (my limited vocabulary consists almost entirely of market phrases), and I discovered that the ladies were from Louna, the village in the East Russells that Aaron and Benjamin had visited last summer. On our way home, Aaron teased me that he couldn't take me to market without coming home with lots of extra food. But we think that going to market may be a great connection with the Eastern Russells and a way for me to continue language learning while staying in Honiara. What an exciting gift the Lord handed us this morning!

I called my friend from SITAG who had been asking how to prepare some local food, and she sat down with us to visit while we pulled the little critters out of their shells for two hours (the bowl on the left is the edible fruit of our labor). Karen works in literacy, especially in using God's Word to teach people to read. One of my burdens is that our friends in Marulaon aren't interested in the Pijin Bible. The entire Pijin Bible was dedicated in July 2008, and parts of it have been available for 30 years. I always thought that the Bible was just too expensive (about $10 US), but Karen suggested that the people just didn't know how to read in Pijin.

Whatever the reason, ever since we began to live among the Lavukal last April, I've been impressed that they are the soil in Jesus' parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20). Their hearts are so ready to receive God's truth and to apply it to their lives, but Satan uses so many things to steal away that Truth, especially since God's Word isn't written in their heart language - YET. Our road to facilitating translated scripture is a very long one. But, there are things we can do now to begin literacy and scripture use in the Russells. Will you please pray that God will continue to prepare fertile soil among the hearts of the Lavukal?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Choate Bed and Breakfast (by Joy)

Visit over here for our newest B & B brochure.

What's Cooking at the Choates

I love treating my family to special good meals. Tonight we enjoyed good music ("Applalachian Journey" by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, & Mark O'Connor ) , lots of laughs, and delicious food. Our menu tonight:

Meat-Potato Quiche
Sauteed greens with tomatoes
Watermelon Slices
Peanut butter crackers dipped in almond bark

Meat-Potato Quiche (from "More-With-Less" cookbook)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In 9" pie pan, stir together:

3 T vegetable oil

3 cups coarsely shredded raw potato

Press evenly into pie crust shape. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Remove from oven. Layer on:

1 cup grated Swiss or cheddar cheese

3/4 cup cooked diced chicken, ham, or browned sausage

1/4 cup chopped onion

In a bowl, beat together:

1 cup evaporated or rich milk (part cream)

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Pour egg mixture onto other ingredients. Sprinkle with

1 T parsley flakes

Return to overn and bake at 425 about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned, and knife inserted 1" from edge comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Pictures from Joy

Our friend, Joy, has posted some new thoughts and pictures of her trip to visit us in the Russell Islands if you are interested in seeing our lives through her eyes.

Giveaway Time

Aaron found this beautiful bowl in town, and it's the perfect size to be able to share with those of you who encourage us so much. The carving here is astonishing, I can't even imagine the amount of time it takes to make some of the really big bowls. So, if you would like to own this bowl, drop me a comment before midnight CST, Thursday night, January 14, and our kids will once again become giddy as they draw names out of the proverbial hat.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Finishing up in Marulaon

the "three muskateers", Pogo, Joy, and Melissa
Monday, January 4
Today, as we were busily packing inside the house, I heard Eileen's infectious laugh drifting toward me from the path that leads to the bush. When I looked out the kitchen window, I found Eileen with her youngest daughter, Foamela, both balancing parcels of kimita (long skinny leaves with spikes on the edges) on their heads.

I recognized the leaves as the kind they use to weave mats, so I asked Eileen why they were making more mats. The week before Christmas, I watched a flurry of mat making activity to put new mats around the altar in the church and to provide beds for the many people coming from other villages.

Eileen said that they were making mats for Foamela to take to school with her in a few weeks. The students who just finished Standard Six at Fly Harbour School will be leaving very soon to begin Form 1 at a school in Nukufero, also in the Russell Islands.

Last week, Melissa brought us a huge fish because she wanted some bandaids for her mom. The easiest way to cook it was to motu it, so on Saturday when Pogo came to help, she gave me some firewood, and I got to practice again in my kitchen. The stones are prepared in the same way no matter what you cook, then when the stones were good and hot, we just laid the fish on top. It smelled sooo good!

Pogo, Melissa, Joy and I went to Pogo's garden to collect some bamboo to make a sturdier fence around our garden. When we came back, this is what we found. A delicious, moist lunch with easy clean up!

Tuesday, January 5
We woke up to heavy rain this morning and discovered that the clothes hanging underneath the house were wetter than they were before we hung them up. So, we brought them in the house and draped them on the bunkbeds to dry. The shipping reports led us to believe that the Bikoi would arrive around 10:00 a.m. Very little in the Solomons happens at the appointed time, in fact, everyone jokes about "Solomon Time". At 9:00 Aaron had just started taping boxes and loading them on the porch, and I was getting ready to clean up the kitchen and bathroom when we heard the neighbor kids start shouting "Bikoi!"
Sometimes they shout just as a joke, but this time it was for real. Melissa came running up to the house and assured me that the Bikoi had just rounded the last corner and was quickly approaching Marulaon. Thankfully, God stopped the rain as a line of friends formed to help us get our many boxes down to the shore to load in Chief Leonard's canoe. The bathroom and the kitchen didn't get cleaned, but we all made it down to the shore and quickly loaded into the canoe. Through tears, we waved goodbye to our friends and headed out to catch the Bikoi while the dark clouds still witheld their rain.

Many of our friends were selling food to the Bikoi (the passengers from the Western Solomons had already been on the boat a very long time) from their canoes. They moved so we could climb on board. After we moved everything to the Bikoi, I hunted down some lelenga from one of the canoes. Our friends wouldn't let us buy it, so they just tossed three still warm parcels to us as the Bikoi began to move. The rain began again as we looked for a place to settle for the six hour boat ride. The choppy waves soon made many of us on the Bikoi sick. Joy lost her lelenga overboard, and Olivia, Katherine, and I tried to lay down and rest. Water frequently splashed in through the holes for the anchor rope and over the side (see Olivia's arm in the picture above), so we spent the first half of the trip with our feet sitting in water.
Several bags of critters to sell at market lay nearby, and Olivia and I laughed as we watched some slowly escape and crawl around our feet. About halfway back to Honiara, the seas calmed and our tummies felt much better. Thanks for praying for us as we returned. We're always torn when we leave one set of friends and return to the other. Now, we're looking forward to settling in Honiara for a couple of months.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Honiara Simple Woman's Daybook

Please visit Peggy to peruse the other daybooks from around the globe.

FOR TODAY...Monday, January 11

Outside my window...still dark, the sun rises 30 minutes later here than it does in Marulaon

I am nice it is to post links again and to actually be able to see what I'm posting on the blog. That technology enables me to send words and pictures through the radio waves so that people around the world can see, I'm blown away!

I am thankful for...frozen broccoli and frozen berries - my two big splurges while grocery shopping this week.
I am wearing...khaki skirt, green sleeveless knit shirt, shell hoops in my ears

I am remembering...thirteen years ago this week, my beloved asked me to marry him

I am pick up a friend from the airport tomorrow, on a date with my husband later this week to commemorate our "proposal-versary"

I am currently reading..."A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Any Carmichael " by Elisabeth Elliot, and still enjoying tiny, slow bites from "The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer"

I am hoping...and praying that my back heals quickly. Gathering large stones, balancing in a canoe, and hauling lots of buckets of water have left me with lower back pain for several weeks now, so I'm having to slow down (a very good thing)

On my mind...missing my friend, Joy. I've been trying to set the table with 7 plates instead of 6. Our house is so empty without her. You can see the Solomons through her eyes here.

Noticing that...I'm craving color and beauty. You would think that living in a tropical paradise would sate my eyes, but I've found so many treats of color lately that have just delighted me!

Pondering these words..."Satan is so much more in earnest than we are -- he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost." Amy Carmichael

From the kitchen...cinnamon apple pancakes (discovered in a care package from this sweet friend), leftovers for lunch, chili for supper (yes, I know it's hot here, but it IS January, and we like to pretend that we have seasons around here)

Around the house...still some unpacking to do, rearranging furniture to make this SITAG house feel like home

One of my favorite things...early morning two year old bed head, complete with bangs she created while leaning over the candle-lit Advent wreath

From my picture journal...

these beautiful hand-beaded spoons are helping bring a little girl from China to her new loving home in America, we use our spoons every day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sweet Sabbath

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." Acts 3:19

"Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble." Proverbs 28:14

As we settle back into Honiara, we are always confronted with how exhausted we are - physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Our prayer is that we would use the next several weeks not only to restock our kitchen and supplies for the village, but that our hearts would stay soft toward the Lord so He will reveal our sins and "restock" our lives as well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year Celebrations

Friday, Januaray 1, 2010
As we were putting kids in be last night, Janet, the chief's wife, brought about 60 small fish in an overflowing bucket. Chief Leonard had rented a big net and caught enough fish for the whole village to share. Janet told me to motu them for the family breakfast on New Year's Day. I didn't have my motu going like everybody else, so I asked if it would be okay if I just boiled them in coconut milk, and she said it would be fine. So, Aaron and I stayed up late gutting fish and cutting up panna (another root crop) to cook early this morning.

At midnight, we heard lots of pots and pans banging and bells ringing. The young children walked around banging and yelling, too. They especially loved the bell by the church! After a while, Aaron went out to sit by the bell and wish everyone a "Happy New Year". We think he scared off the kids because the bell quit ringing.

Chief Leonard

This morning after church, we enjoyed the "family breakfast". Each family was assigned to eat with two other families. Since it was still raining, the chief's family and Naris's family came up on our porch to enjoy a late morning meal. They both brought turtle. Janet cooked hers with hot stones (motu) and Naris cooked hers with curry and onions - delicious!

The rain continued throughout the day, so the games and festivities were postponed, but each night for the next week groups of people will walk around the village and sing. As they come by each house, you are supposed to spray perfume on each person. The groups of kids love to come by our house and get doused with my perfume.

Sunday, January 3
Today after church, the New Year's festivities continued. When the bell rang, each of the three groups in the village (we're in group 2) gathered on the beach to "singroll". Everybody glittered their faces and brought noisemakers (Sarah used a pot and a wooden spoon).

Me and my glitter

Aaron helping the men to beat the boys in tug-of-war

Sarah in a losing battle against the boys

I was reminded of the "Battle of the Bands" as each group marched around the village singing at the top of their lungs. When we passed another group, the cacaphony reminded me of a Charles Ives compostion. It was a blast!

"singroll" while blowing in a shell

Harris and Sarah conspiring

After the singing, the games began in earnest: tug of war, sack races, splashing each other with water, smearing ashes on each other's faces, and throwing people into the ocean.

Sarah celebrating the New Year by squirting her mom

Then the Bikoi showed up, so Sarah and Joy went out in a canoe with Harris, Pogo, Juline, and Melissa to sing to the Bikoi and wish everyone a Happy New Year. As they approached the shore, Melissa announced that she would capsize the canoe and over they went!