Monday, May 30, 2011

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, May 30

Outside my window...WINDY, the clothes are flapping on the line, the ocean has white caps

I am thinking...about my parents' 40th wedding anniversary tomorrow

From the learning rooms...a slower week using "Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome" as we ease back into life in Honiara

I am thankful for...the men and women who have died while serving our country and for those who still serve today.  Our family will be going to the US WWII Memorial later today to lay a wreath of flowers on the unknown soldier's tomb.

From the kitchen...yeasted chocolate coffee cake for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and tuna braid, cantaloupe (I was sooo excited to find some at market!), and green beans for supper

I am wearing...a red knee length skirt, and white t-shirt, blue sequin flip-flops, and a flag ribbon in my hair.  The girls and I all decided to wear red, white and blue today.

I am reading..."One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp, my copy finally came!  Thanks, Gayly.

I am hoping...that Chief Leonard shows up this week with the basket (hopefully minus the banana bread) we left in Marulaon

I am creating...a kitchen, fridge,  & freezer full of food made with eggs!  Eggs are scarce in Honiara right now, and we are always so hungry for fresh eggs when we come back from the village.  So, we are taking advantage of the eggs and preparing food ahead of time just in case eggs continue to be in short supply.

I am hearing...Katherine singing all of her favorite songs from Marulaon, traffic on Honiara's one main thoroughfare

Around the house...still a few boxes waiting to be explored (why do I still have the stuff if I think I can live without unpacking it for a few days?), bread rising, my school schedules spread all over the table as I hammer out the plans for the next few weeks

One of my favorite things...people willing to come over for supper on very short notice

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

"What do you want me to do for you?"  Jesus asked him. 
The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." 
Mark 10:51

Opening my eyes to glimpses of God's glory and thanking Him for:

-the technology of antibiotics producing overnight results for my girls' feet

-my ocean view now framed by blue gingham curtains

-running water and washing machines that fill themselves

-a new recipe, yeasted chocolate coffee cake, from a magazine sent by a dear friend

-hot chocolate and new lists to check off

-internet access to reconnect with friends and family around the world

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Three Happy Cheers!

A common sound in Marulaon is "hip-hip, HOORAY!" as our neighbors respond to the request for three happy cheers.  The day before we left Marulaon, a few of our friends gathered after morning prayer to give three happy cheers for the newly installed rain tank donated by generous friends

Friday, May 27, 2011

Settling In

Thursday morning, our whole family went into town for some grocery shopping and a celebratory lunch.  While we were at Central Market, Aaron asked if the tomatoes were $5 a heap, and the lady replied, "Irei" (ee-ray), which means "yes" in Lavukaleve.  Obviously, they recognized us!  It turns out that one of the ladies was the one who had come to borrow petrol from us to quickly get to her sick son in the East Russells a few weeks ago.  All three of the ladies were from Louna, one of the easternmost villages in our language group, and I enjoyed using the little language I know to introduce the kids and to buy some of their produce.  We never know who we are going to meet in town!

Friday, we decided to take Sarah to the doctor for her foot.  Her sore was making very slow process healing, and we wanted to get Dr. Steve's opinion now that we were back in Honiara.  He took one look at her foot, then looked at a sore on Olivia's foot, and ordered shots for both of the girls.  He gave Sarah the option of coming back once a week for three weeks for another shot or taking oral antibiotics four times a day, and she chose the oral antibiotics.  Even though Sarah officially has "yaws" on her foot, she continues to be a trooper and is keeping a cute little notebook to write down what time she takes her meds.

So, now it's Saturday morning, and we are close to being finished with unpacking, just a few boxes left.  This house is so different from the one we stayed in last time.  Our former SITAG house was down in the valley, rarely had a breeze blow through its few windows, and had wood paneled walls.  This SITAG house sits up on the ridge, catches an almost constant breeze with its many windows, and has white walls.  We enjoy a great ocean view, and we've traded our Marulaon sunrises for Honaira sunsets. 

One of the best things about this house is the order of bedrooms.  In Marulaon, with no ceilings and no inside doors, the kids (Katherine, especially) tend to wake up as soon as we start moving in the mornings.  Even our tiny book lights reflect off the shiny material on the underside of the roof in Marulaon meant to reflect the heat from the sun.  Here, our bedroom is closest to the kitchen/living area, and the kids' rooms stretch down the hall.  And the bedrooms have doors.  So, Aaron and I have been able to get up early with the kids sleeping in (sometimes until almost seven) here in Honiara.  It's a luxury to have still and quiet time before breakfast.

Besides the unpacking, the only thing we have left to do before we settle in to our Honiara lives is to deworm.  The chocolate flavored pyrantel squares make it easy, time to dole them out with lunch...

We're Back!

At 4:00 Wednesday morning, Aaron and I awoke to the sound of rain pounding on the roof.  Waking up gently that way was great, the rain was not so great.  The whole family donned backpacks and left the house a little before 5:30 to very quietly walk down the hill to Atkin's house.  Around 6:00, we all piled in the canoe with Atkin and his driver, Nixon, and headed into the emerging sunrise.   Atkin had gone fishing the night before, and now he carted a big box full of just-off-the-motu fish for Harris (his daughter who is a good friend of Sarah's).  The skies cleared beautifully as we skimmed across the ocean, and the rays of the sun created lines through the remaining clouds reminiscent of a child's drawing.  About 30 minutes into our ride, Aaron and I realized that the basket with our food for the day, 6 liters of water, Katherine's baby dolls, the camera, and a few other things had been left on the table in the house.  I admit I panicked.  Thankfully, Aaron had moved two liters of water in my backpack to lighten the basket earlier that morning, and we knew we would be able to buy some crackers either in Yandina or on the boat.  But I had been saving some almonds and cranberries, and it took me a few minutes to get over my pity party.  We also left some green coconuts on the cabinet that Naris had given us the night before.  What an interesting science experiment that would be!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We're Back

A lovely day for travel, enjoyed the sunrise and sunset.  The family is safely back in Honiara.  We are settling into a different house that we have not stayed in before.  We will write more to everyone soon.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support during this past village stay.  Please pray our 10 week town stay will be refreshing, productive and that we will be a blessing to those around us.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday, May 24

Yesterday, the village began installing the 2,000 gallon rain tank we brought out to Marulaon.  They even let Benjamin work with them rain tank - Benjaminfor several hours.  Over and over again, our neighbors have expressed their appreciation for the two donors that provided the money for the rain tank, guttering, nails, and shipping. 
The need for fresh water in all of the small islands that fringe Pavuvu remains a high priority.  Last week when the translators met in Marulaon, they expressed their jealousy that Marulaon had a new rain tank and they didn't!  But Janet reminded them that the big rain tank here was to provide water for all of the surrounding communities, as well. 

rain tank

rain tank - Hensi

Thanks to our friends in Honiara, we've been able to make the decision to catch the Kosko from Yandina early tomorrow morning.  We still haven't decided whether to take just one canoe with computers, back packs, life jackets, and all of us, or to try and take two canoes with all of the school books, empty gas cylinders, empty flour buckets, and empty boxes.  Please pray for our wisdom as Aaron makes arrangements for transportation today. 
We should be leaving Marulaon about 1 p.m. CST Tuesday afternoon for our 45 minute canoe ride to Yandina.  Then, we'll catch the Kosco for the five hour ride into Honiara, arriving mid to late afternoon.  We're so thankful that we have options for transportation and that our ride is SO short.  Thanks for your prayers for calm seas and smooth transitions.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday, May 23

The Bikoi didn't make its regularly scheduled run out West this week, so our family is scrambling to figure out what to do.  We would appreciate prayers for wisdom and unity and financial discernment.  One of our options is to live out of boxes for a week and hope that the Bikoi comes back next week.  Another is to pay for gasoline and a couple of motor canoes to take us to the East Russells early Wednesday morning to catch a different ship into Honiara.  Or something in between!  We have friends in Honiara trying to get our Bikoi tickets refunded and checking on options buying tickets for the Kosko.  We can hardly wait to see how God works in this situation.

Sunday, May 22

Yesterday a group of "youths" (rhymes with "roots") came from Ale, a neighboring village, to present their program in Marulaon and spend the night.  Margaret (not Moses' wife) taught me how she makes stew using canned corned beef ($4-$5 for about half a pound), eggplant, peppers, green beans, curry, and noodles.  I served it over rice for the youth to enjoy.  Several of Marulaon's teenagers attend school near Ale, so it was really nice to see some familiar faces participate in the dramas, dancing and singing.  They presented a program Saturday night in the church.  Aaron attended the program, and Katherine crawled in bed with me to look through the window, listen and sing along.  When Aaron returned home at midnight, he transferred my sweet little singing visitor back to her own bed.  She does love to sing and dance with our neighbors!


After church this morning, three other families in addition to our own prepared food and brought it to the church for "morning tea".  The entire community can come and buy the food, and the money raised goes to the church.  I brought coconut rice mixed with the last of my Chinese cabbage, curry and canned tuna. Next week, another four families will take their turn bringing food. 

The youths from Ale Youths dancingfinished up their program this afternoon.  They danced and sang for hours!  I've never seen fundraisers like this before.    If you want to pull out a particular boy or girl, you can put some money in the basket.  I had fun pulling out the kids from Marulaon.  Frequently, as soon I had paid to have them dance and sing near me, another friend from Marulaon quickly paid to have them go back to the group.  Another time, a man brought up a coconut palm branch and said that the group must stop singing until each leaf on the palm had been bought for $1.  Marulaon raised almost $2000 for this group of youths!  I was really excited to get some pictures and videos because this kind of fundraising almost always happens at night.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Translators & Translation Workshop

Here are pictures from the translation workshop.

During the workshopTranslation workshop in Marulaon

Small grouptranslation workshop in Marulaon - banana cake recipe exam

Breakfast time!translation_workshop_in_Marulaon_-_breakfast

Lunch provided by group three.translation workshop in Marulaon - lunch from group 3

Group phototranslation workshop in Marulaon group photo

Here are the individual translators and their names. Thank you for all of the prayers for the translation project and for each person individually.

Albert Cheva from LounaAlbert Cheva from Louna

Barnabas Alisikalam from LosiolenBarnabas Alisikalam from Losiolen

Benjamin Novali from MoeBenjamin Novali from Moe

Chief John Osborne from NonoChief John Osborne from Nono

Chief Simon Gata from LeruChief Simon Gata from Leru

Edward Getu from BaisenEdward_Getu_from_Baisen

Ezekiel Hassar from KarumolunEzekiel Hassar from Karumolun

Janet Ngoane from MaruloanJanet Ngoane 2

Matthew Minatavem from HaeMatthew_Minatavem_from_Hae

Stanley Kamedoa from HaeStanley Kamedoa from Hae

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday, May 20

Benjamin has been our evening entertainment lately.  One night, after the lights were off and everyone was settled down for the night, I heard his voice at my elbow.  "Mama, may I please get some paper and a pencil?  I just made up a great limerick and I need to write it down!" 

A few nights later, again after everyone was in bed, I heard from the bathroom, "I hope the light doesn't disturb you.  I just dropped a plastic glow-in-the-dark star in the toilet, and I need to fish it out."  That boy makes me smile!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prayer Requests from Lavukal Translators

We asked the Lavukal Translators to write down any prayer requests they may have.  Here are their responses, word for word:

Ezekiel Hassar - My need in prayer:  For my family to become one in translation work and also for myself in my training.

Edward Getu - The need in prayer:  for my family to had the knowledge of understanding, the dedication service for God in this translation training for Lavukleve.

Stanley Kamedoa - I and my family must understand and to dedicate ourselves on translation work so we have to pray hard.

Ben Novali - I need only for my wife and children for protection and guidance from God for my whole family as we did not stay together.

Barnabas Alisikalam - My family needs prayer from all Christian throughout from the church so that my children may know more about this Lavukaleve translation, so that they can understand the words.

Janet Ngoane - My need in prayer:  I need to pray for my family that they must know what is translation and pray for my children they are engaged in education.

Albert -
1) I need your prayers for the health of my brother Richard Lema
2) I need your prayers the health of my family and especially for myself, my grandson and my wife (Joana)
3) Prayer for my wife to support me in His holy work of translation

Matthew Mina - My need in prayer: for my family to help in doing translation training, to help myself as well as Lavukal people

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sunday, May 15

E-mail hasn't been working well, and with the workshop we will be super busy, so I don't plan to post on the blog for the next several days.  Thanks for your prayers as Aaron teaches the first Translation Principles workshop to the newly selected translator candidates from May 15-May 18.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday, May 12

Yesterday, Margaret and I worked on learning some prepositions: the pomelo is in the basket (keva okolin babolo); the umalau is underneath the table (umalau tafe ena umu); the manioko is on top of the book (legis foga manioko otat).  Hard stuff for this old brain.  Then, she came up to our house so I could record her telling a story.  She told me about what she had done the day before, and then I played it back while she translated line by line into Pijin.  I had brought her some rice mixed with Chinese cabbage and tinned tun, and when she came up to the house, she had emptied the rice and replaced it with her secret recipe lelenga and some really nice motued fish.

We woke again this morning to lots of clouds, and the rain quickly followed.  For over a week now, we've had loads of clouds and rain.  Our batteries miss the sun.

Eta and I went out in the rain this morning to finish up my bush garden.  The rain quickly soaked us as we dug heaps and cut ubikola sticks to plant.  We worked for several hours, dug and planted back forty heaps of ubikola, and then we switched sides of the garden to dig more heaps and plant umalau. After a few heaps, we decided to go back and rest for a little bit before we finished.  I grabbed some cookie dough out of the fridge and baked some chocolate chip cookies as a quick thank you for Eta.

We decided that she would come get me to go back in the afternoon.  She actually offered to go back and finish by herself, but I turned her down.  I have to practice digging those heaps!  Around 3 o'clock, we went back in the rain to finish up the umalau, only twenty-five heaps this time.  Now my bush garden is finished, and I can turn my attentions to the small garden close to the house.  Whew!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11

The first Translation Principles workshop starts next Sunday (MayJanet Ngoane 15) and runs through next Wednesday (May 18) here in Marulaon.  Janet Ngoane is our chief's wife and Marulaon's translator candidate.  She is a hoot!  Please pray for Aaron and the newly selected translator candidates as they learn together next week.

From East Russells:
Albert Cheva, Louna village
Rabert Lifa, Louna village
Rafael Lema, Louna village
Benjamin Novali, Moe village

From Central Russells:
Matthew Minatavem, Hae village
Stanley Kamedoa, Hae village

From West Russells:
Chief Osborne, Nono village
Ezekiel Hassar, Karumolun village
Janet Ngoane, Marulaon village
Edward Getu, Baisen village
Elijah Ere, Ale village
Chief Simon, Leru village
John Hubert, Mane village
Barnabas, Losiolen village

Marulaon Daybook

For Today...Monday, May 9
Outside my window...rain and three full rain tanks
I am thinking...that I feel like a music box slowly winding down.
From the learning rooms...early civilations in North, Central and South America, rise of the Roman Empire; Sarah - using transitions in writing, ; Benjamin - establishing a good hook in writing, finding averages; Olivia - using vivid vocabulary, multiplying and dividing by; Katherine - letter Q
I am thankful for...our mothers and grandmothers.  We are so blessed to have so many!
From the kitchen...meatloaf made from this week's ration of ground beef and full of the tiny bell peppers that have been plentiful at market lately and, on the side, cassava from our own garden baked in coconut cream to make use of the heated oven
I am reading...some of Aaron's Cadfael books by Ellis Peters, I'm getting ready for the Middle Ages
I am hoping...and praying that plans for furlough begin to come together
I am creating...a recipe for banana cake in Lavukaleve
I am hearing...the birds chirping merrily at each other, neighbor kids running around outside enjoying the rain bath
Around the house...piles beginning to accumulate as we prepare to go back to Honiara
One of my favorite things...feeling like I've communicated well with my neighbors
Pondering these words...A college dean once observed that the happiest students on any campus are the musicians and athletes.  "Why?"  I asked.  "Because they're disciplined, and they volunteered to be disciplined."  --Elisabeth Elliot
A few plans for the rest of the week...Eta coming Tuesday and Thursday (a bush garden day), language learning with Margaret on Wednesday afternoon
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...the kids playing "Bikoi"
playing bikoi

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday & Saturday

Friday, May 6
What do you do when your Mom cuts up your brother's old t-shirt and turns it into cleaning rags?  You make a hat!
Katherine and her hat

Saturday, May 7
Aaron met with Chief Leonard and Chairman Hensi yesterday underneath our house to work out details for the upcoming Translation Principles workshop (May 15-18).  I'm so thankful for the two go-getters!

We enjoyed a downpour last night that filled up all three rain tanks.  Again, we are so thankful for the prayers of people around the world on our behalf.  We are keenly aware that God provides the rain for the tanks and gardens and that He provides the sun for the solar panels and gardens, too.

I went back to my garden today (after stretching out the stiffness yesterday) with Eta and two of her aunts, Tina and Margaret (the other one, not Moses' wife).  Margaret's son, Charles (about 15 or 16 years old) came with us, too. Benjamin and Olivia came for about an hour to help dig ubikola (cassava) and clear away the brush.  Charles dug the heaps while the ladies pulled up umalau and the old vines.  We filled up a huge bag of ubikola and three big bags of umalau.  I told the ladies ahead of time that I would pay them with food.  We worked for about three hours and cleared my entire garden.  We planted back umalau, leaving a small strip on each end of the garden to finish with ubikola and umalau next week.  The work went so much faster with extra hands, and I was particularly thankful for Charles digging the heaps.  I started to dig, but they laughed at me and told me to let Charles dig.  Our whole family has colds right now, and I wasn't feeling particularly eager to dig forty holes in the ground.  Naris told me I was sick because I had been working too much in my garden.

More Pictures Coming

With the delay in emails and such, not all of the pictures got through before the Mother’s Day post went up. More pictures are coming, so be sure to check back!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday, May 8

A Boy's Mother
by James Whitcomb Riley


My mother she's so good to me,
Ef I was good as I could be,
I couldn't be as good -- no, sir! --
Can't any boy be good as her.


She loves me when I'm glad er sad;
She loves me when I'm good er bad;
An', what's a funniest thing, she says
She loves me when she punishes....

mother's day 5

She loves me when she cuts an' sews
My little cloak an' Sund'y clothes;
An' when my Pa comes home to tea,
She loves him most as much as me.

Mother's day 3

She laughs an' tells him all I siad,
An' grabs me up an' pats my head;
An' I hug her, an' hug my Pa,
An' love him purt' nigh as much as Ma.

Mother's day 4

Thursday, May 5

We got more rain last night, so I decided to take advantage of the moist, soft ground and head to my bush garden.  Eta and I dug up umalau vines and dug lots of heaps to plant back new vines.  After a couple of hours, we came back to the house where we took out old slippery cabbage bushes and transplanted some bell pepper.  I shared some parcels of slippery cabbage with Margaret (Moses' wife) and Eileen.  Not only is slippery cabbage yummy and healthy, but it's soooo easy to grow.  After you remove the leaves, just poke the stick in the ground, and it will grow a whole new batch of leaves for you!

While I've been out working in the garden and trying to prepare the ground for our absence, the kids have enjoyed playing with their friends and building relationship with our neighbors.  I love watching them play together! kids playing

Several Melanesian Brothers arrived this evening with the District Priest.  We took over banana cake for their afternoon tea, and then I cooked coconut rice with Chinese cabbage and canned tuna for their supper.  The community provided supper tonight, and beginning tomorrow the three community groups will divide up to provide meals.  Group two (that's us!) will provide supper tomorrow night.  The Brothers are here for "clearance", a new term to us.  They will hold a program to help the church focus on worshipping one God and to let go of any practices of the old ways that people may still cling to. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tues & Wed

Tuesday, May 3
We woke up last night to the sound of rain!  As I sat on the porch listening to the rain run down the roof and into the gutter, I didn't mind not watching the sun rise in radiant splendor.  Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, May 4
Instead of taxi fare, we get fish in payment for the use of the canoe!  Last night, half of a big fish showed up as a thank you from Barnabas' family.  So, we enjoyed tuna steaks for lunch today!
We got a little bit more rain last night and some sprinkles this morning.  When I was visiting with Margaret this afternoon, she asked if our family had been praying for rain, and I was happy to tell her that we had.  I also told her that we had asked people in America to pray for rain, too.

tuna steaks

Marulaon Daybook

For Today...Monday, May 2
Outside my window...dark and starry, the Companions for the Melanesian Brothers are having a big party complete with singing and dancing
I am thinking...about and praying for the people who are grieving after the storms ripped through the South
From the learning rooms...ancient Greece and Alexander the Great; Sarah - writing a compare and contrast essay, multiplying & dividing whole numbers review; Benjamin - writing a personal journal, percentages review; Olivia - using detailed descriptions in writing, multiplication review, mammals; Katherine - letter P
I am thankful for...people who make the effort to stay in touch!
From the kitchen...motued umalau with thick coconut cream for lunch, tonight, we enjoyed tuna salad to use up some of the fish we received yesterday, and the girls made "peanut butter playdough" (1 cup milk powder, 1/2 cup honey, 1 cup peanut butter) to help celebrate P Week
I am wearing...a sleeveless cotton nightgown.
I am reading...Martha Stewart Living, March 2011, that recently came in a care package.
I am learn some new verbs this week.
I am creating...lists of books that I want to order when we go back to Honiara.
I am hearing...the night insects trying to drown out the party down the hill, the small bell ringing to announce choir practice starting soon.
Around the house...clutter and dirt since we had a really long prayer service tonight.  Katherine fell asleep in my arms, and the others went straight to bed after we got home.
One of my favorite things...the sound of rain.
Pondering these words..."God did not call me to be successful.  God called me to be faithful." --Mother Teresa
A few plans for the rest of the week...working a couple of days with Eta to plant and get the ground in really good shape before we go, towards the end of the week the Melanesian Brotherhood will be coming to Marulaon for several days (nobody knows exactly when!)
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...snake bean seeds that went in the ground today.  I love how God put scallops on seeds that will be buried in the ground where nobody can see their intricate design - just because He loves beauty!
snake bean seeds

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sunday, May 1

(Somehow this didn’t post when it was schedule to, so it and the following few posts are a little later than intended. Enjoy!)

"May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children."  Psalm 90:16

Thankfully marvelling at God's deeds on this Sunday:

-friends who bring fish (four parcels!)


-sugar cookies

May Day

-kids who like to celebrate special days (the cookies were for May Day)

Katherine sifting flour

-no more throw up

-a little bit of rain (please, keep praying for those tanks to fill back up)

-amazing sunrises


-mogeas (bush apples) in bloom

mogea blooms

-Mendelssohn's String Octet

-Sunday afternoon naps

-family games