Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cookie Time

Tuesday, August 17
Cookie Magic
by Mary Ann Hoberman

Cookie cutters
Cutting cookies
Cutting different
Shapes and sizes
First you make them
Next you bake them
Then you take them
And you cool them
That's weird.
They've disappeared!

Thumbprint Cookies
Beat together 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 egg yolk, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Stir in one cup of flour. Cover and chill until firm to handle. Using 1 Tbsp. for each, shape dough into balls. Gently press thumb into the center of each ball and fill with about 1/2 tsp. of preserves (any flavor). Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned (12-15 minutes).

Marulaon Woman's Daybook

For today...Monday, August 16

Outside my window...Olivia sitting in our new ila (hammock/net) reading a book, a steady stream of visitors to the rain tanks, newly transplanted seedlings

I am thinking...about the lack of water in the Russells. School was canceled for the 1st and 2nd graders last week and this week because the school has no water.

I am wearing...sour, sweaty clothes

I am praying for...the family who lost their son last week. Extended family continues to come into Marulaon to mourn. Most of Jakob's brothers and a grandmother all from Makira arrived yesterday on the Bikoi.

I am thankful for...the rain we got last night. Looks like we might finally be in the pattern of sun during the day and rain at night.

From the kitchen...using up the end of our supplies as we plan to go back to Honiara next week, baking a cake tomorrow to help the 6th graders celebrate as they finish testing, yesterday we enjoyed a yummy pizza with some of our own bell peppers on top

I am reading..."Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello, and a Genius" by Tony Faber. I picked this up in a second-hand bookstore in Honiara before the store went out of business. This book makes me miss playing my cello soooo much. I will definitely be finding a practice room for these rusty fingers soon after we arrive back in the States on furlough in 2012.

On my mind...being flexible again. Because of the week-long mourning period, most of the village will stay home this week. So, going back to my garden to burn and plant will have to wait until Saturday. I'm going to be cutting it close!

Noticing that...last weekend, we had nothing extra on the calendar (a first for this trip!), and it felt so good just to rest.

One of my favorite things...friends willing to help out. The shade for the Chinese cabbage fell over last night in the heavy rain, so I had to ask for help. Two of my neighbors rebuilt it in no time this morning!

A few plans for the rest of the week...packing, cleaning, and counting

Here's a picture though I am sharing with you...

God's creation of Chinese cabbage - the leaves make any water go right down to the roots, amazing!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Odds and Ends from Marulaon

Sunday, August 15
I had a great afternoon of language learning and laughing today. I went down to Eileen's house where lots of people were gathered and worked on figuring out the different verbs for "carry". We have "kerui" - to carry something that has been heaped up, like food or dirt (aram ekeuri - carry ground). Next, I practiced with "tutuari" - to carry on the shoulder (man atutuairire ngolei? - what are you carrying, with "on your shoulder" being implied by the verb). The third choice was kuku - just plain, ol' carry (vovo mution akukure - girl child carried on the back). And the last one, my favorite, is "kokosori" - carry on the head (marigen ubikola ekokosorire - yesterday I carried ubikola on my head). Can you see the verb stems? I have to know which prefix matches for gender and which suffix matches for tense.

Saturday, August 14

We haven't had a housegirl on this trip to Marulaon because I finally have a good system in place and lots of hands to help keep the house reasonably tidy. However, the yard still presents a challenge! Since we got a little bit of rain last night (our daily ration from the Lord), I asked Pogo to come and "housegirl" today to help me weed and transplant the tomatoes, peppers, and Chinese cabbage. She and I spent a couple of hours weeding and raking in the morning, then she came back in the evening to transplant when the sun wasn't so strong.

Marulaon funeral

Friday, August 13

Last night around 11:30, I heard lots of shouting and banging and assumed that somebody had been drinking too much Solbrew again. In less than an hour, the shouting had been replaced by the wailing I've come to dread hearing, and I knew that somebody had died. A little after six this morning, I crept down to water my bell peppers and Chinese cabbage and heard a woman crying, "Ngavovou" (my son). When I finished watering, I went down to return Eileen's plate with some pumpkin bread on it and to find out who had died.

I discovered that Jakob, a young man of 25, had gone spear fishing at night with his uncle. While they were fishing, a crocodile had attacked the young man. His uncle was able to follow the crocodile and kick it until it released Jakob, but the reptile had inflicted fatal head wounds. So, we spent part of the morning crying with the family, and Aaron went to help the men dig the grave. Death here isn't sterile and distant, it's too frequent and real. As I sat in the house with the family, one of the aunties fanned the body to keep away the flies. Once again, our neighbors asked us for nails to build the coffin. Aaron frequently jokes that we are the local hardware store, but I wish the nails had a different purpose.

The funeral was around 3:30, Aaron and the big kids attended while I stayed home with a sleeping Katherine. When she woke up, I finished radio sked with SITAG and then the two of us joined the funeral down at the burial site. Afterwards, Olivia, Katherine and I walked down to Eileen's house to story for a few minutes. When Eileen discovered that we had been down to the grave, she quickly looked at our feet. She saw that Olivia was barefooted and that I was wearing flip-flops, so she asked if Olivia had walked to the burial site barefooted. At the affirmative reply, she hastened to tell Olivia to go wash her feet in the saltwater. I asked if this was their custom, and she replied that it was. We still have a lot to learn.

More from Marulaon

Wednesday, August 11

One of the hardest things for me to adjust to in this culture is the flexibility of time. We have to be able to drop whatever we are doing at any time to be able to accomodate our neighbors, just as they do for each other and for us. Ezekiel dropped by this morning around 10 o'clock and joined Aaron underneath the house where he had been studying. The two men worked on corrections for the prayer book, shared their hearts, and planned for the future. I took down some kino and a green coconut as I finished hanging out the clothes on the line. Their meeting was very fruitful and very long. When I was on the porch finishing reading aloud "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" (we just couldn't put it down), Aaron came up and asked if I could bring them some coffee. Soon afterward, Benjamin spotted a beautiful blue bird perched in the molokita tree in front of our house, so the kids quickly ran in the house and grabbed the camera. We need to buy some field guides to help us recognize all of the beautiful flora and fauna around here.
Around 12:30, I served the guys coconut rice and stir-fried veggies I bought at market this morning. Finally, around 3 o'clock, Aaron finally came up and Ezekiel left with banana cake and 4-inch nails to take back to Karumalun. They enjoyed a very productive meeting!

Tonight, Barnabas came by around 7 o'clock when we were snuggling the kids before bedtime. It's his favorite time of day to come over and a very appropriate time, too, since it's when all of our neighbors are eating and visiting with each other. He visited for a little while and then asked for some tea leaves. I guess today was a pretty normal day for all of us, and God is teaching me that He will give me the time to accomplish everything that He wants me to accomplish.

Tuesday, August 10

We finally went to my new garden today! Eileen, her husband David, Pogo, and I tromped off through the bush to a plot of land owned by Eileen. It was hard to pay attention to the work because I kept finding beautiful butterflies, seed pods, and mushrooms to distract me (butterfly - felfel, grasshopper - fanfan, firefly - funfun). Since I used Aaron's big bush knife, I quickly developed a blister at the base of my right first finger, so I began to hack at the trees with both hands to provide a little bit more leverage. We cleared away a small plot and piled the brush to dry. In a few days we'll come back and burn the brush and dig up the ground. After several more trips, I hope to be able to find my own way to the garden, but for right now, I still need help navigating all of the forks and turns in the path.

Marualon Woman's Daybook

For today...Monday, August 9th

I am different this trip out has been. Last time, I didn't want to go back to Honiara. This time, I can't wait to get back. I am exhausted in every way - physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I feel like I am walking in molasses up to my chin.

I am wearing...denim skirt, pink t-shirt, wet hair hanging down my back.

I am praying for...myself. This prayer from Lynn Walker Bowen's book "Queen of the Castle": Thank you, Lord, for being so faithful to work in me. Help me to remember to turn to you in my life...when I am not feeling very fruitful. Thank you for the assurance that you are the fruit producer; I am only the distributor.

I am remembering...eating fresh cherries at my mother's just before we left the States two years ago.

I am thankful for...SITAG's deputy who has access to our e-mail accounts and has been reading us a few e-mails over the radio. He has been doing LOTS of extra work because of our lack of e-mail connection. Thanks a bunch, Andy!

From the kitchen...I bought two big coconut crabs (urio) at market this weekend (I never know what I'm going to find!), so I'll mix them up with some pasta and tomato sauce and cheese for lunch today.

I am reading..."The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd

I am hoping...that a little bit of running is better than no running at all. I still can't make it very far running, but the kids and I are still getting up and moving around that soccer field as the sun pokes its head up over the horizon. Benjamin is actually hoping to run in the 5K if the rules allow.

I am order for Sonlight and other complementary books for our next year of school so my parents can bring them in December. Two great things to which I can look forward - new books and my parents' visit!

On my mind...Katherine has been running a fever for about 24 hours with no signs of infection, so we started her on malaria meds this morning as a precaution.

Noticing that...we have been incredibly busy this time - not a free weekend our entire stay in Marulaon.

Pondering these words..."Some Christians praise the Lord and some do not. Perhaps the difference is this: the believers who praise the Lord have their eyes of faith fixed on Him, while the silent saints look only at themselves. When God is the center of your life, you can praise Him everyday, because you will always find blessings no matter how difficult your circumstances. To a praising saint, the circumstances of life are a window through which he sees God. To a complaining saint, these same circumstances are only a mirror in which he sees himself. That is why he complains." --Warren Wiersbe

I am hearing...Lyrical Life Science playing while the kids clean up the breakfast dishes.

Around the house...accumulating dirt. I've been putting off mopping, washing windows, etc. because of the lack of water. The louvers now bear messages begging to be washed, courtesy of my children. Guess we'll be cleaning house today since we got a little bit of rain yesterday.

One of my favorite sked. Our time to reconnect with the outside world.

A few plans for the rest of the week...trying again to go to my own bush garden and begin clearing the ground with Eileen, beginning to make piles and lists for our return to Honiara in two weeks.

Here is a picture though I am sharing with you...

Katherine holding Delcia, her favorite baby in all of Marulaon

Picture Dictionary Workshop

Sunday, August 8

I am super proud of my husband! The picture dictionary workshop was a huge success this weekend. Men came from many villages in the West Russells to share ideas and to learn about compiling a Lavukal picture dictionary. Aaron did a great job coordinating and teaching and handing out assignments, and our community offered food and taught me how to host a workshop underneath my house. I made curried lentils, rice, and lelenga to go along with the fish and lelenga shared by Marulaon. I also made a HUGE pot of tea (it must hold at least a gallon!) and learned that six tea bags in that pot is just right for our neighbors.
Yesterday, while I was preparing the fire for lelenga (you can see our kitchen in the background), Susi asked me for a lolly. I told her no because I don't often hand out candy. Later, I saw her digging up roots by our kitchen and eating them, so I asked her "Inu keakia?" (You hungry?) She answered affirmatively, so I ran up to the porch and retrieved some kino (cutnuts) for her to eat. I'm so thankful that God always provides enough for us to eat and to have enough left over to share. Today, Susi and her little sister came to get water from one of our rain tanks during the workshop.

For Your Information

A little tidbit - all of the postings from Marulaon (from June 27 until the picture dictionary workshop photos) were done during one great day of e-mail connections. I stayed at the computer for eight hours pushing send then going to help with math or stir a pot or hang out clothes. As soon as one batch sent, I was ready to send another one. Just gives you a little taste of the speed of our e-mail connection - technology continues to amaze me!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back in Honiara

We're back safe and sound. The Bikoi pulled into the wharf around 1:30 a.m. yesterday morning, and we arrived at our SITAG house a little before 3 a.m. Give us a few days to begin to "fill back up", and I'll continue to catch up the blog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Picture Dictionary Workshop


Water Woes

Thursday, August 5

Eileen and I were supposed to go to the garden this morning, but we got a few sprinkles and the sky looked promising for more rain, especially over Pavuvu. It was so frustrating to see the dark clouds so close by and to receive only a sprinkle. So Naris came and asked me to wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is a church holiday, so I'm curious if we will still go.

We've started taking some well water to help with our washing. The wells refill overnight, and even though they are a freshwater/saltwater mix, we just can't justify using the community's last drinking water supply to wash clothes. They use the wells for cooking water, too. On my way back from asking permission to use a well, I found Chairman Hensi and his three sisters storying. Aaron and Chairman are planning to go fishing this weekend if Aaron feels good and if the wind calms down. Hensi said he knows where to take some leaves to pound up and throw into the water to stun the fish. According to our neighbors, some people have the power to look at the leaves and negate the power to stun the fish. Kiko said if she accidently looks at the leaves, then the leaves won't work. It was hard to tell if Hensi was just giving his big sister a hard time, or if they were all very serious about the ability that Kiko holds.

Wednesday, August 4

We enjoyed a tiny bit of rain last night. It was enough to put some water in the 200 gallon tank for our neighbors, and they came to fill pots until that tank ran dry. The 400 gallon tank didn't receive enough rain to come over the spigot, so it didn't provide any water for our neighbors. I'm beginning to think about putting together a work crew from North America and asking for churches to work together to provide two 2,000 gallon tanks and guttering to utilized the church's huge copper roof. Right now, the rain just runs off and creates puddles on the hard packed ground. Everybody keeps saying that July and August are windy and dry and that September is the time for rain. Food is dying in their gardens, and they can't plant anything as long as the ground is this dry, so there will be a food shortage that will last for several months at least. Christmas feasting may be slim this year. Our own umalau and obikola (their staples) are so small compared to where they should be right now.

Today is Election Day. Two men from Marulaon are running for the Member of Parliament seat along with two other men from the Russells and two from Savo. Eileen is busy feeding people since her brother is one of the men running for election. People from several different villages came to vote here in Marulaon. Aaron and I tried to get out and mingle a little bit. Ezekiel came to finish up plans for the picture dictionary workshop coming up this weekend. We've discovered that he loves to eat kino (cutnuts), so he cut and eat them while he and Aaron visited. Later in the afternoon, Aaron sent him home with a fongi (bunch) of kino, and Ezekiel was delighted.

Tonight, Aaron's fever went back up and he began having chills. So I doctored him with ibuprofen and malaria meds.

Tuesday, August 3

Aaron left this morning after to prayer to go with Hensi and a few children to fill up containers with water. The place they originally intended to go was no longer available because someone had cut the pipes (just plastic pipes lying on top of the ground). So, they ventured up one of the rivers on Pavuvu. Aaron returned around lunch with four buckets of yellowish water. We use so much more water than our neighbors do, but we are trying to learn how to conserve more. I'm still using the washing machine, but I'm only filling it half full and washing more loads. The water is pretty disgusting when I'm finished, but I'm so thankful for that machine! We use the rinse water to flush the toilet, we're not washing sheets or pajamas or hair, and we're drinking lots of green coconuts. I still went through all four buckets by the time the day was finished.

Aaron was running a little bit of fever tonight, so he took some ibuprofen and went to bed around seven o'clock. We'll see what tomorrow holds.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Marulaon Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, August 2


Outside my window...wilting Chinese cabbage and bell peppers, dying corn, and a hot sunny day


From the learning rooms...more studies of Russia

I am remembering...the great sales at Barnes and Noble and all of the new school supplies (like pencils with names on them) available this time of year.  I love the smell of new books, pencils, paper, and crayons!


I am thankful for...enough water left to share with our neighbors


From the kitchen...pumpkin bread and precious hard-boiled eggs (thanks to our friends who came last week), lots of fruit smoothies to keep us cool


I am reading...the "Just As You Remember Them" Nancy Drew books from Applewood Press that we bought Sarah for her birthday (and some sweet friends mailed them).  They are the originals from the 1930's, and I'm reading them with the big girls.


I am have a little more strength and energy soon.

On my mind...the lack of communication we've had with our friends and family during our stay in Marulaon.  Aaron and I are both vividly dreaming of people back in the States and grieving the ability to keep in touch.  We feel so isolated.


Noticing that...the ants in the house haven't been quite so bad this time


Pondering these words..."A frantic stream of words flows from us because we are in a constant process of adjusting our public image.  We fear so deeply what we think other people see in us that we talk in order to straighten out their understanding....Silence is one of the deepest Disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on all self-justification.  One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier.  We don't need to straighten others out."  -- Richard Foster


I am hearing...the wind chimes furiously clanging on the front porch


Around the house...a great National Geographic map of Russia and the independent States of the former Soviet Union with lots of pictures and a timeline, very ripe bananas waiting to be made into banana cake to be shared with our neighbors


One of my favorite things...Katherine spontaneously telling me, "Mama, you have pretty brown eyes!"  I don't have brown eyes, but she does, and she has heard me tell her many times that I think she has pretty brown eyes.


A few plans for the rest of the week...beginning my new very small garden in the bush with Eileen, Aaron going with Hensi to get water from Pavuvu (the biggest island in the Russells) tomorrow, Wednesday is Election Day, & a picture dictionary workshop here in Marulaon next weekend


Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Katherine and her favorite baby in the village, Delcia

ordination - pig's head

This is the pig's head that had been motued.  The women setting the food on the tables tore off pieces of meat to be shared.  By the time Wendy got the head, there wasn't much meat left!

ordination pictures

Janet, the chief's wife, fanning the dignitaries' table to keep the flies off, and the other tables with parcels of lelenga.


Sunday, August 01

Because some of the youths from Isabel were sleeping in a temporary shelter right next to the bell, the catechist rang in fewer times and more softly this morning.  Church started a few minutes after seven, and the building and grounds were even more full than last night.  When we arrived at the part of the service for the ordination, the new priest stood at the back of the church with his family.  A group of men and then a group of women all dressed in traditional garb led way singing and dancing up the aisle of the church.  It was beautiful.  I almost cried to see this special way of life preserved and celebrated on such a precious day.


After the church service, we all gathered for "dinner on the grounds".  The bishop and his entourage got to sit under a covered shelter and feasted on fish and shellfish, tinned meat, rice, leo (beetlenut) every special food the Lavukaleve could offer.  Everybody else (including our family) sat on the ground or on tree stumps and got lelenga.  Somebody actually brought a pig's head, and I was told that it was rubbish.  That didn't stop some of the kids from fighting over the pork as soon as the "amen" was uttered.  Within 30 seconds, our tables were emptied of food as everybody grabbed whatever they could.  Since it has been so windy, nobody has been able to go out and fish.  Our neighbors don't like to eat lelenga "dry" (without fish).  I saw Pogo without any food, so I offered her my parcel of lelenga, but she turned me down because there was no fish!


After the feasting began the program with hours of dancing, speeches, singing, and gift giving.  Aaron stayed down with the festivities while the kids and I went back to the house.  Everybody was thirsty, and the only place to get water was our tank.  We had a steady stream of visitors from villages all across the Russells, and we just kept praying that God would make the water last like the widow's oil.  Finally, Ezekiel and Eileen each individually came up to the house and asked me to monitor the rain tank.  Ezekiel said that people though we had another tank in the house, so they weren't being careful with the water and it was being wasted.  So I sat down by the rain tank for several hours and showed people how to use the funnel to fill up their water bottles.  I tried to stay out of the sun, but I ended up a little pink. 


This was the first time I have felt anything but pleasant thoughts for our neighbors.  People were cutting through our fences and stepping on my tomatoes, spitting red beetle-nut all over my ground, wasting my water, I really had to pray for God to give me love for our neighbors.

more happy birthday, Sarah

I love the ribbon my mom sent!

Bishop's Arrival

Saturday, July 31

Marulaon's choir finally held a practice last night. They discovered that another village had backed out of providing the choir for Sunday, so our choir had to prepare for two services. Aaron didn't get home until 11:30. I love to hear them singing, but the church is too close to the house to make sleeping possible.

Since our neighbors don't follow precise clock time, I decided that the alarm could be set for 3:30 and still be okay. I woke up easily and grabbed a hand full of havu and a big glass of water before I went down. I had some leftover banana cake in a container and I tossed in some packets of coffee mix so Eileen and her girls could enjoy an early breakfast. Everything was very still and quiet, so I admired the beautiful ocean under the moonlight for a little while. Then, I decided it was foolish to wait, so I sat down by Eileens's kitchen and began to peel the obikola. I'm really slow still, and I knew it would take me a long time. After I finished my bag, there was still no noise from her house, so I went up to our house for a bathroom break and another drink. I went down and pulled Eileen's bag of obikola from her kitchen and began to peel them, too. Sarah came down after a little while and asked if I wanted coffee, so she went back to the house brought me a mug of piping hot coffee as she navigated the dark rocky hill. She stayed and helped me peel. As it began to get light (a little after six), our friends began to stir. They couldn't believe I hadn't woken them. We all began to work on the lelenga with a vengeance! Olivia and Katherine came down and began to help scrape obikola, too.

A small market gathered for our usual Saturday morning, but most people were busy getting ready for the Bishop's arrival at 3:00. Everyone from the surrounding villages had planned to show up around noon. I went up to start the fire in my outdoor kitchen while Aaron left pavillion building and Eileen left lelenga making to attend another choir practice. While I was slowly getting the kindling ready, Sarah came flying up the hill to tell me that the Bishop's boat had arrived. All of the sudden, this sleepy little village went into overdrive. Very few things were ready for the Bishop's arrival, so the pavillion was quickly finished and the news was spread to gather on the beach for a ten o'clock welcoming party. Naris said she would finish parceling the lelenga so I could go change out of my smoky clothes. Aaron and I had been specifically asked to join the select group on the beach to welcome the Bishop and his entourage.

Boats began to bring the youths from Isabel to shore, and finally the Bishop with his family and several priests came ashore and we escorted them up the hill to the pavillion and the rest of our community who welcomed them with songs and speeches. By the time all of the welcoming was finished, I was so tired I was shaking. The Bishop's early arrival turned out to be a really good thing, because Aaron fixed a quick lunch and I crashed for a nap.

The confirmation service began around five o'clock. As our family was entering the packed church, Janet (the chief's wife) came out shaking her head. Even though the choir had reserved seating, she had so many in-laws in the choir that she couldn't find a place to sit. The Lavukal (along with most Melanesian cultures) have strict rules about interacting with inlaws. Over seventy children came to be confirmed. The boys sat on the right with over fifty youths from Isabel behind them. They filled up the men's side of the church. The girls to be confirmed sat on the left with the choir behind them. Our children sat in the floor alongside the wall while Aaron and I sang in the choir. Most of the adults had to sit in the floor at the back of the church or on the ground outside.

After the two hour service, everybody went to get the food they had prepared earlier. We brought a pot of rice and some parcels of lelenga. The eating and music began around eight o'clock, followed by dancing and singing provided by a bamboo band, the women of Karumalun, and the youths from Isabel. Aaron straggled home around 10:30, but the party went on until almost midnight. Our neighbors sure know how to celebrate!

Wind and waves

Friday, July 30

I discovered that I needed to get up early and start lelenga Saturday morning instead of Saturday evening so food will be available after church on Saturday night. I asked Eileen what time we would get up, and she said three o'clock to work by the light of the almost full moon. She doesn't have a clock, but the moon will wake her up. I begged to work with her and Naris, and she finally consented. Thankfully, Grace brought a big bag of obikola by the house this afternoon, so I have everything I need to start early. The kids and I took down the obikola, coconuts, bush knife, coconut scraper, obikola scraper, bowls, and small knife that I will need so I don't have to lug everything down the hill in the morning. Sarah begged to come down with me in the morning. I told her that if she woke up on her own, then she could down and help.

Wednesday, July 28

Our guests left yesterday. Usually, the Bikoi comes late on Tuesday morning, but because the winds were so strong yesterday, the ship harbored out west to try and wait out the rough seas. Finally, a little after eight o'clock last night, the Bikoi arrived, and said goodbye to our friends and prayed that they would rest well all the way back to Honiara over the billowing waves. Travel here is so unpredictable, and even our dependable Bikoi has to submit to the wind and waves.

Happy Birthday, Sarah

Tuesday, July 27
My sweet Sarah turns eleven today.  We made a list on the board, "What we love about Sarah..."
-She celebrates life
-She is hard worker and doesn't wait to be asked before she helps out
-She is quite a giver
-She is a good friend
-She shows love to others siblings, thinking of others first
-She has a great memory and makes people and days feel special
-She is good to correspond from afar
-She is always cheerful
-She is a patient teacher and good with young children

Marulaon Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, July 26
Outside my window...a full moon trying to shine through clouds as it rises.

I am wearing...a blue flowery cotton nightgown that I just got in a box from my mom, it's perfect for our warm evenings
I am praying for...rain, rain, and more rain.  Our front two rain tanks are almost dry.
I am transplant lots of seedlings as soon as we get some rain.
From the learning rooms...two days off while company is here, then beginning our study of Russia
I am remembering...being in labor eleven years ago today and the beautiful results.
I am thankful for...friends who are willing to hop the Bikoi, brave the rough seas, and come celebrate with us.
From the kitchen...tomorrow menu picked by the birthday girl – date nut ring for breakfast, chicken fettucine alfredo florentine (made with slippery cabbage from our own yard) followed by cake and ice cream mid-day, and grilled cheese to close her perfect day.
I am reading..."Pocket Full of Pinecones" by Karen Andreola

On my mind...the reconciliation service Aaron and I attended this afternoon. 
Noticing that...we have tiny bell peppers and one tiny watermelon growing!
Pondering these words..."All grace grows as love for the Word of God grows." –Philip Henry (Matthew Henry's father)
I am hearing...Olivia snoring
Around the house...our two big girls and our young visitor piled into a home-made "yurt" to sleep tonight

A few plans for the rest of the week...frequent choir practice, cooking for the many visitors we are expecting on Saturday afternoon

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...girls in the "yurt"

Hori olang fi Kati...

Sunday, July 25

We welcomed some friends from SITAG today! Company at the Choate Bed and Breakfast continues to delight us. One of the moms came and brought her eleven-year-old daughter with her to celebrate Sarah's birthday. Because they aren't new to the Solomons, they didn't get the big welcome on the beach with leis and singing. But some of the community did gather to shake hands, and I got to introduce them in Lavukaleve (while reading off my index card).

"Hori olang fi Kati. Kati otulav sie. Ovovou nikol mea feo hori. Hori olang fi Hana. Canada meaul feo. Otum na Lengo mil mar ekelavuri mem fin."

(Her name is Cathy. Cathy has five children. This is is first born. Her name is Hannah. The two of them are from Canada. Her husband translates Lengo.)


Saturday, July 24

I will be writing stanzas of this poem on our bathroom chalkboard each day this week.  At least the brisk wind is keeping the house cool!


The Wind in a Frolic

by William Howitt


The wind one morning sprang up from sleep,

Saying, "Now for a frolic! now for a leap!

Now for a madcap galloping chase!

I'll make a commotion in every place!"

So it swept with a bustle right through a great town,

Cracking the signs and scattering down

Shutters; and whisking, with merciless squalls,

Old women's bonnets and gingerbread stalls.

There never was heard a lustier shout,

As the apples and oranges trundled about;

And the urchins that stand with their thievish eyes

For ever on watch, ran off each with a prize.


The away to the field it went, blustering and humming,

And the cattle all wondered whatever was coming;

It plucked by the tails the grave matronly cows,

And tossed the colts' manes all over their brows;

Till, offended at such an unusual salute,

They all turned their backs, and stood sulky and mute.


So on it went capering and playing its pranks,

Whistling with reeds on the broad river's banks,

Pulling the birds as they sat on the spray,

Or the traveler grave on the king's highway.

It was not too nice to hustle the bags

Of the beggar, and flutter his dirty rags;


T'was so bold that it feared not to play its joke

With the doctor's wig or the gentleman's cloak.

Through the forest it roared, and cried gaily,

"Now, You sturdy old oaks, I"ll make you bow!"

And it made them bow without more ado,

Or it cracked their great branches through and through.


Then it rushed like a monster on cottage and farm,

Striking their dwellers with sudden alarm;

And then ran out like bees in a midsummer swarm;

There were dames with the kerchiefs tied over their caps,

To see if their poultry were free from mishaps;

The turkeys they gobbled, the geese screamed aloud,

And the hens crept to roost in a terrified crowd;

There was rearing of ladders, and logs laying on,

Where the thatch from the roof threatened soon to be gone.


But the wind had swept on, and had met in a lane

With a schoolboy, who panted and struggled in vain;

For it tossed him and twirled him, then passed, and he stood

With his hat in a pool and his shoes in the mud.

Then away went the wind in its holiday glee.

And now it was far on the billowy sea,

And the lordly ships felt its staggering blow,

And the little boats darted to and fro.

But lo! it was night, and it sank to rest

On eht sea-bird's rock in the gleaming West,

Laughing to think, in its fearful fun,

How little of mischief it really had done.


Friday, July 23

Community Cleanup, lots of wind

Today was a big community cleanup, and the wind was fierce.  We've been told repeatedly that July and August are the time for wind.  The community gathered to make everything look nice for the ordination of a priest from Karumalun on August 1st.  People from all over the Russells will also be coming for Confirmation the night before.  So, we all weeded and raked like crazy today.  The kids came out for about an hour to work before they started school.  We decided to burn because we have a huge old tree that fell down last year to serve as a great place to contain the fire.  However, we should have checked to see what our neighbors were doing first.  After we started burning, we had some irate people come and complain about the smoke, then we noticed that nobody else was burning.  This evening, the piles were all lit and danced against the dark night sky.  I think my sides and back are going to be sore from all of the raking I did today.

Birthday girl

Marulaon Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, July 19
Outside my window...morning sunshine streaming through the leaves
I am thinking...about my grandmother and Aaron's dad who both have birthdays this week
I am clothes, ready to get dirty today
I am praying parents who are in the Ukraine helping missionaries there
I am move lots of rich dirt to build a bed for transplanting my bell peppers, tomatoes, and slippery cabbage
From the learning rooms...studying Mongolia, Sarah finishing up Singapore Math 6B (how can she be so big?!?)
I am wedding, thirteen years ago today, and the many people who worked so hard to give our marriage a beautiful start
I am thankful amazing husband
From the out the fridge before the leftovers go bad
I am reading..."Traveling Mercies" by Anne Lamott, it's so bad I probably won't finish reading it
I am creating...a yard full of food for my family
Pondering these words..."Units of prayer combined, like drops of water, make an ocean which defies resistance."  E.M. Bounds

Around the house...a half finished mural of our house and environment created by Sarah (to complement our study of Diego Rivera), a great National Geographic poster of Mongolia with maps and drawings, a paper skull with several overlays created by my kids

A few plans for the rest of the cleanup on Friday, welcoming SITAG friends on Sunday
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...our bell peppers are blooming!