Aaron and Barnabas just finished the first picture book in Lavukaleve. It's about two boys walking around a village and talking about the four different kinds of crabs. The title is "Leim Lelemal Baere Siare" (Two Boys Visit). We took Barnabas some food to say thank you and the first copy of the book to proofread last night. We're so excited!
Friday, April 29, 2011
Katherine threw up in morning prayer this morning. Aaron was supposed to read the New Testament reading, but he had to duck out to bring Katherine home. He returned just in time to find the catechist reading. Katherine threw up again about thirty minutes later. She has been a sweet and quiet lump in my lap most of the morning as I've read history to the kids or made bread. We finally got some popcorn into her along with some ibuprofen, and she took a short nap. Yesterday, she ran a temperature and didn't each much besides some papaya. I'm so thankful that she is sick in the daylight and that the Mother's Union program for today was canceled. Please continue to pray for rain as I need some extra water for the sheets and the clothes that caught the vomit.
The front small rain tank ran dry yesterday, and the larger one has about 1/4 left. Our neighbors are coming in droves with pots and buckets to get water every morning and evening. Please pray for rain. The new rain tank that we brought is still sitting by the church waiting for concrete to come to make a permanent base. Everything runs on Solomon Time here!
Sarah's body is responding well to the malaria meds, and she will finish her dose tonight. She is such a sweet sick patient, and we're thankful that this new 3-day dose has worked well for her.
Found out yesterday that the big Mother's Union program for tonight and tomorrow was canceled, so I'll have to practice my Lavukaleve while making banana cake another day!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Tuesday, April 26
Kiko and I made banana cake this afternoon in her kitchen. As I completed each step, she told me in Lavukaleve what I was doing, and I wrote it down. I hope to be able to repeat it back to the ladies who are coming later this week. Part of the Mother's Union program is to share with the ladies something you know how to do - crochet, cook, etc. The cake turned out beautifully thanks to Kiko's expertise in cooking on the open fire.
Wednesday, April 27
At market this morning, I heard some of the ladies talking about the Bilikiki (a small scuba diving/cruise ship). Sure enough, I looked out across the ocean and saw the ship anchored between Karumolun and Marulaon. Some of my friends planned to take some produce to the Bilikiki and create a small market, so I asked if I could go too. Quickly, I went out and picked a pumpkin and a papaya, grabbed some Chinese cabbage, and several of us headed out paddling as quickly as we could to catch the ship.
Before we reached the ship, it began to move around the other side of Karumolun, so we paddled to meet it on the other side of the island. The ship was getting ready to go to another part of the Russells, but they graciously waited for us and chose the produce that they wanted to buy. I was able to get $17 (a little more than US $2) for the Bible Translation Committee, and I made it clear to boat's crew that the money was for the committee, not for me. We stopped by Karumolun on the way home to visit and pick up a couple of things at their small store. I arrived home a little before noon (thankful that Aaron was able to teach school on such short notice), with sore arms and a little sunburned, but I had a great time visiting with my friends and practicing Lavukaleve.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Friday, April 22
We enjoyed Sarah's Hot Cross Buns for breakfast this morning. She made them from a recipe in "Queen of the Castle" by Lynn Bowen Walker. The whole community has been feeding the two visiting catechists this week, so we shared some buns with them for breakfast this morning after morning prayer. The community had a service at 9 a.m. and then another one at 12 p.m. to celebrate different aspects of Good Friday. Then a bell rang at 3 p.m. to remind us of the time of Jesus' death. While our family waited for the bell, we made Easter basket cupcakes (thanks, Mama, for the ingredients). Then the whole community gathered for a farewell for the two visiting catechists. Just as we were leaving, Katherine knocked a flower pot off the porch rail. Unfortunately, it was the pot with Chinese cabbage seedlings awaiting the end of Holy Week to be transplanted. I was able to save about twenty seedlings, so I transplanted while the rest of the family went to sing and dance and say thank you. Nothing quite like my three-year-old's voice sweetly asking, "Mama, will you please forgive me for climbing and knocking off your Chinese cabbage?" We had hoped for an early bedtime, but the choir decided to practice since no evening prayer service was held. So, our family was serenaded as we lay in bed and listened to our neighbors practice for Easter Sunday's celebration.
Hot Cross Buns
1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.) in 1/4 cup warm water
Set aside. In large saucepan, heat until almost boiling (small bubbles will appear on sides of pan):
1 cup milk
Remove from heat. Add:
1 stick butter or margarine (can cut it in pieces) and stir till it melts.
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
Combine yeast mixture with milk mixture once the milk has cooled. Add:
3 beaten eggs
4 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
Stir until dough is smooth. (Note: dough will be very sticky; no need to add extra flour.) Add:
1 cup raisins, if desired
Cover pan with damp towel and let rise in a warm place until double. When double, stir down. Turn dough onto a floured board. Shape into balls the size of eggs. Place on greased cookie sheet, two to three inches apart, and let rise until almost double again. Brush tops with:
1 beaten egg white
Bake at 375 degrees twelve to fifteen minutes, until nicely browned. When cool, pipe frosting across the top in shape of a cross. Makes twenty four.
In medium bowl, stir together:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 TBSP melted butter or margarine
1/2 tsp lemon or orange extract
enough hot water to make desired consistency (probably 1-2 TBSP)
Pipe a cross on each bun; with leftover icing, pipe a circle or two around each cross. Use all of the frosting, especially if you've omitted raisins, because the buns benefit from the added sweetness.
Saturday, April 23
I was just out lining up help for cooking food to bring to the community breakfast tomorrow. As I walked in the door, Aaron asked me if I felt the earthquake. He and Sarah were in the house when things started shaking, so they felt the motion, but those of us who were outside never felt a thing. Just wanted to let everyone know we are okay!
Wednesday, April 20
Seems like our mola (canoe) came just at the right time to be the community taxi. Yesterday, David, Eileen's husband, came and asked to borrow the canoe and our paddle because he could see the tuna running. Last night, he brought us three nice tuna! This morning at market, Isabella asked to borrow the canoe so she could go to her prenatal checkup. So thankful we have the mola to share with our neighbors!
Since this is Holy Week, we have our normal morning and evening prayer services, but the catechists have added an extra service each night at 9:00. The bells ring each day just like they would on a Sunday, so we get about 70 bongs somewhere between 5 and 6 a.m., then a double bell about half an hour later, then a single bell immediately followed by the drums about 20 minutes before the service actually starts. Around 3 p.m., we get a whole bunch of bongs again, a double bell around 4 p.m., and a single bell around 5 p.m. followed by the drums. At least for the 9 p.m. service, they only beat the drums to call everyone to prayer.
Thursday, April 21
Katherine's eyes continue to respond to prayer and the meds we brought out to Marulaon. She has been so great about keeping her fingers out of her eyes and so sweet when her daddy puts medicine in her eyes that makes them fuzzy. This morning when she got up, she asked if we could get the "skunks" out of her eyes! Evidently, we've been using the word "gunk" to describe the yellow stuff oozing from her eyes. I usually eschew baby talk, but I think I'm going to help her wipe her skunks away until this infection clears up.
Watching Katherine grow (both in body and mind) delights our whole family. She recently drew a picture on the chalkboard. Benjamin was first, then came Mama, much taller. Then she drew herself, seemingly floating in space. Lastly came her Daddy, standing on the ground with Benjamin and Mama, but taller than everybody. When I asked her about the picture, she told me that she was standing behind me. I was delighted and shocked at her perception of space.
She's also really good about recognizing authors and illustrators. Right now her favorite is P.D. Eastman. I was reading her "Robert the Rose Horse" the other day, and as usual I read her the title followed by the author and illustrator. When I told her that the book had been illustrated by P.D. Eastman, she beamed at me and said, "Just like 'Are You My Mother?'!". That girl could read books all day!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Aaron is LOVING these mini-workshops! He has been able gather all kinds of language and culture data. Today, one of the tidbits he learned (while recording some impromptu dramas in Lavukaleve) was that when male and female cousins meet on a path, the female steps off the path to let the male pass. After the two have passed each other, then they carry on a conversation without looking at each other while standing a little ways apart on the path. Aaron has been compiling all sorts of phonological data, creating dialogues and scripts of common interactions, working on picture books, so very many things! Start praying for God to send a full-time scripture use or literacy person to the Russells, PLEASE.
My cookie baking with Kiko went so well. I think we have finally figured out the kind of wood to use and how to make the fire before we want to cook. We cooked two dozen beautifully browned gingersnaps and made some very happy neighbors. Next week, we are going to try baking banana cake on the fire.
Katherine's pink eye is progressing. Both eyes are now showing signs of infection, but she is providing some good language learning opportunities for me. When she came down to help us bake the gingersnaps, her aunties all expressed concern about her eye. They taught me a little saying (which is also a children's song): "Ngolem tetelako ena siviroko visi eose," which loosely translates into, "One of your eyes looks like a bird flew up and pooped into it." I have a great video of three of my friends singing the song - it's hilarious! Pink eye is such a common infection here, that I will have lots of opportunities to use this phrase.
Monday, April 25, 2011
(Just a side note: Because of the way email has been working, the next few posts will be a little out of order. We’re going to start with the Easter Sunday post today and then go back to last week over the next couple of days.)
Rest Remaineth by Robert Browning
Easter day breaks!
Christ rises! Mercy every way is infinite --
Earth breaks up; time drops away;
In flows heaven with its new day
Of endless life --
What is left for us save in growth
Of soul to rise up...
From the gift looking to the giver,
And from the cistern to the river,
And from the finite to infinity,
And from man's dust to God's divinity.
Fish and lelenga – part of our church potluck.
Pogo teaching us how to cook and parcel rice: mixed with cooked cabbage and canned tuna, then spooned into leaves to make a neat parcel.
Easter Sunday dancing was part of the celebration.
We enjoyed visiting with our neighbors and loving on the babies.
Monday, April 18, 2011
We spent the day cooking: tuna fish, Chinese cabbage, and umalau in a curry coconut sauce for lunch, lelenga to go on the fire before Evening Prayer, and pumpkin leaves to serve to the visiting catechists after Evening prayer. While I was picking the munu leaves off of the branches Aaron had hacked down for me, I found a huge red spider. Needless to say, it surprised me, and I hollered. Aaron heard me from the house and called out to make sure I was okay. I left the last few leaves on the branch where the spider was hiding, and stacked up the leaves, thinking I would come back and take the last few leaves (munu amane) after the spider made its exit. I put the lelenga on the fire and went back for the munu leaves. First I shook the branch really well, then I took the top leaf. Much to my chagrin, the spider had merely moved underneath the leaf! So, I left the last few leaves and carried the big branch to the brush pile, spider and all.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Today instead of an hour's silent penance from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., our whole village worked for several hours in a massive village cleanup. Making noise was okay this time, and I enjoyed hearing people sing and visit while they worked. It was certainly easier for the kids not to have to be silent, and I liked being able to ask questions when I didn't know exactly what to do. Each of us worked a little, then came back to the house to do math or get a drink or punch down the bread, but the whole community worked until almost noon. Now our village looks so much better! We have a grass knife (the village version of a lawn mower), two bush knives (his and hers), and several rakes that we have brought out to Marulaon to help with cleanup, and all of these were put to good use this morning.
After the kids finished school, I headed out to see who I could find available to visit. I met Grace Delight (isn't that a great name?!?), Kiko's sister, as I was coming down the hill toward her house. We visited on the path for a little bit, then she actually asked me what time it was. Our neighbors NEVER use clock time - in fact, they joke about "Solomon Time". I told her what time it was, then she said, "Oh, it's too late to get any work done now. Let's go story!" So we went down and sat by her house and talked for more than an hour before I had to go back to the house for radio sked. What a great afternoon!
Friday, April 15, 2011
This morning Eta, Benjamin and I went out to my garden. I thought we would just take a bag full of ubikola (cassava), but when we got there we found that the umalau (sweet potato) vines were beginning to drop all of their leaves. So, Benjamin tackled the ubikola while Eta and I began pulling out the umalau vines and searching for any hidden potatoes that might remain underground. We worked for a couple of hours before the skies began to sprinkle rain on us. Benjamin went on ahead to get a bandaid, and Eta and I came behind. We found a big snake just off the path. Eta said it was a boy snake because it moved quickly and that girl snakes were slow. We got home in time for the heavens to open up and dump loads of water. Thanks for the prayers! It rained all afternoon and into the evening. The rain provided not only water to fill up all three of our rain tanks but also refreshing coolness. I took a huge bag full of ubikola and umalau to say thank you to Sarah, Leku's
mom, for the urio she brought on Sunday. When I came out of the rain and under her roof, she grinned and asked me if I had asked for this rain. I told her yes and that I had asked people in America to ask God for this rain, too! Our family certainly enjoyed the rainy afternoon. We made peppermint hot chocolate, read books, and played a couple of rounds of Phase 10. We hardly ever have time to rest and just quietly stay in the house, and we were so thankful that God gave us this time to be together as a family and refill.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Saturday, April 9
I found a spider's egg sac on the underside of a leaf this morning on my way down the hill for market. So, far we've only seen the egg sacs on the bellies of the spiders - the nice big brown ones that like to live in our laundry basket and book baskets in the house. God's creation continues to inspire awe in our family.
Sunday, April 10
Last night around 7 p.m., this month's catechist, Walter, came and asked Aaron to preach this morning. Twelve hours' notice (and some time to sleep, too)! As Aaron said, instant in season and out of season. Aaron's sermons are always a shock to our quiet, reserved Anglican church here in Marulaon.
We didn't make any lelenga yesterday because my copra sacks (that I use to hold in heat on top of the hot stones) are full of copra for the church. Instead, Leku's mama, Sarah, brought us TWELVE urio (coconut crabs) after church this morning. This time of year, the crabs' shells turn soft as they prepare to molt, so they are sluggish and easier to catch. April and May are the best months to catch the crabs, but only when the moon goes down and the night is completely dark. I'm hoping Aaron gets the chance to go hunt urio soon.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Wednesday, April 6
Several little girls walked by while I was weeding our yard this afternoon, and they thought it was great fun to help me. When we were finished, I gave them each an orange. They settled in underneath the house, and it started to rain. Several other kids joined them, so we had lots of little ones playing underneath the house. I took the Pijin story Bible down and read some stories to them. I was amused to find them watching my mouth while Pijin streamed forth somewhat awkwardly!
Thursday, April 7
Benjamin hustled and finished some of his school work yesterday so he and Aaron could paddle over to Pavuvu and "pick up" coconuts in preparation for working copra tomorrow. Benjamin came back filthy, covered in ant bites, and very happy!
Friday, April 8
Our family cleaned with the community again for penance this morning. We worked around the clinic and the new house for the nurse. Hopefully, everything will be ready soon, and we will once again have a clinic in Marulaon. It would certainly be easier to walk a few yards than to paddle a while and then walk through a coconut plantation to get to the clinic.
Later, Aaron went back to Pavuvu with Hensi and Walter to open the coconuts and then cut the coconut meat out of the shells. Aaron came home after a few hours with a nice cut on his thumb from the curved copra knife. He said it provided some great language learning!
Friday, April 8, 2011
Saturday, April 2
Aaron enjoyed a GREAT trip yesterday - a big thanks to all of you who were praying for his travels around the Eastern and Central Russells. He took a motor canoe early yesterday morning over to Yandina where he found that the ship he was hoping to catch had already come and gone. Thankfully, a friend from Marulaon also needed to go into Honiara, and she was willing to take our gas cylinder and catch another ship today.
Aaron was able to visit seven different villages and to receive the names of all of the translators selected for the Eastern and Central Russells. He also got to see some more of our beautiful islands and go explore a tunnel dug by the American troops in WWII. Now, two members of the translation committee are going to finish traveling around the Western Russells and compiling the list of the rest of the newly selected translators so Aaron can focus on language learning. The current plan is to begin translator training in May - exciting stuff!
Sunday, April 3
Suni tataul sou linga afuiva
Me God anam makivuario omare
Okiae ga makut ena mala sia
Olang olaurae ena laha emefoi.
Let all the islands rise and sing,
And to our God their praise bring;
On strings and drum his might proclaim
To shout the glory of His name.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
3 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp baking powder
powdered sugar (optional)
Beat margarine or butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat till combined. Beat in the 1 cup flour till crumbly. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8x2 inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 15 to 18 minutes or just till golden.
Meanwhile, combine eggs, the remaining sugar, the 2 tablespoons flour, lemon peel, juice, and baking powder. Beat for 2 minutes or till thoroughly combined. Pour over hot baked layer.
Bake in a 350 degree oven about 20 minutes more or till lightly browned around the edges and center is set. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, sift powdered sugar over top. Cut into bars. Makes 20.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Wednesday, March 30
Aaron's trip for today was canceled because the ship traveled all the way out to the Shortlands. Instead of coming in this morning around 8 or 9, it's expected to arrive in Yandina tomorrow night. Aaron needs to put our gas cylinder on the ship so it can be refilled in Honiara and sent back to us. Then he plans to go visit about seven villages in the East and Central Russells to encourage them to choose their translators.
Eta didn't come yesterday morning, but she stopped by yesterday afternoon to apologize. She had been asked to go look for a boy (18 years old is still a boy by Solomon's standards) who ran away from home in a dug-out canoe. This same boy ran away last year and paddled all the way to Guadalcanal. So, she came this morning and helped me harvest the rest of the umalau, weed the beans and plant some more, and plant back some more umalau.
This afternoon I learned that the young man had been found in a nearby village. God sent strong winds that he couldn't fight in a dug-out canoe so he had to stay close to home!
Thursday, March 31
Aaron went to copra today with Walter and Hiva. This week is a big fundraising week for the church. Each family was asked to copra 40 kilos and give the money to the church. This was Aaron's first time to learn the process, and he came home with all of his fingers intact.
He'll be leaving in just a little while with Hiva in a motor canoe to travel to Yandina where he will spend the night. Please pray for his stamina and for his good communication in Pijin as he visits the villages in the Eastern and Central Russells tomorrow.
Earlier this week, Ezekiel brought over an old dug-out canoe for Aaron to practice in while Ezekiel carves Aaron a new one. Monday afternoon, Aaron spent a couple of hours practicing paddling, overturning, and getting back in the canoe as he made his way up to the northeastern corner of the island and back. I gave him an empty bleach bottle that he cut out in the shape of a scoop so he can bail the canoe. This mode of transportation will open up Aaron's options and decrease his reliance of other people's canoes as he goes to visit other village close by.
Yesterday's language learning session with Margaret was so much fun. She is full of personality! She had made donuts and put several objects on the table so we could practice sentences like, "Leobit okolin laffi ne bibisa butia." (Water and lots of flowers are in the jar.) At one point, I was trying to ask her to carry something with the verb ekeuirba, but I sounded like I was telling her that something had died because the root for died is kiu! I scheduled another session for next Monday afternoon.
I never get tired of the flowers here. We have a kind of flower that starts out snow white in the morning, but by the afternoon it has turned a beautiful shade of pink. I took the photo of the white flowers about 9:30 a.m. when I was hanging out clothes, and then I took the photo of the pink flowers about 3:30 p.m. when I brought the clothes inside. The flowers continued to darken as the afternoon progressed. God's creation amazes me!