Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, November 28

Outside my window...the valley behind SITAG slopes down steeply to my left and some of our neighbors are burning trash

I am thinking...about how to encourage our Lavukal friends to come by the house when we are in Honiara.  I'll never get these stories completed and recorded if they won't come visit us!

I am thankful...for Naomi's camera since ours is having some battery issues

From the learning rooms...Prince Henry the Navigator, Queen Isabella & King Ferdinand of Spain; covalent compounds & valencies; Sarah - learning about propaganda & advertising, using X to decipher algebraic equations; Benjamin - writing a concrete poem using figurative language, math review, ; Olivia - attribute placement, comparing fractions; Katherine - gingerbread fun

Pondering these words..."The themes of this season impress upon the faithful follower of Christ the need to remain attentive, the expectancy of living in hope, the quest for peace in broken lives and a fragmented world, and the joy and wonder of God's love incarnate in Jesus Christ."  Paul Wesley Chilcote

In the kitchen...Danish Pecan Snails for breakfast (oh, my, they were yummy!), refrito spread with roti for lunch, and tuna braid tonight for supper
Danish pecan snails from "The Great Scandanavian Baking Book"

I am schedules for our trip to Marulaon January through April, got to leave enough time to totally pack up the house before furlough

I am tackle the revisions on the Lavukaleve creation story

I am reading..."The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith, it makes me want to read the rest of the series!

I am clear out my e-mail inbox, soon

I am looking forward to...a SITAG Christmas cookie exchange

I am hearing...Sarah and Benjamin chatting while she cuts the pineapple and he sets the table for supper, the shower running as Katherine gets clean, the fan blowing on my while I type

Around the house...Christmas decorations are up, tuna braid is in the oven, clean clothes are dumped on my bed waiting to be put away 

One of my favorite things...precious time with my amazing husband, what a gift he is!

A few plans for the rest of the a couple of nights, shopping for the SITAG employees Christmas party with a colleague, and enjoying the party on Saturday, it all sounds deceptively simple and easy

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Olivia has learned to crochet these simple bracelets with buttons.  She just made one for me in turquoise, and I love it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free,
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee:
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thour art,
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Counting this weekend's joys:

-adding "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus:  Advent and Christmas with Charles Wesley" by Paul Wesley Chilcote to our Advent

-the bittersweet moment of handing a still sick Naomi over to her dad, even though they will both be in Honiara for a few more weeks during the consultant check of Gela book of Romans and I Thessalonians, she has brought such joy to our family!

-cherry flavored hot chocolate

-Christmas music to fill the cello-sized gap in my soul

-a house that smells like a freshly cut tree, even when the tree is fake

-watching our lovely neighbors who live in leaf houses without electricity or running water, and consume the same two root crops every day, yet maintain a sweet spirit of contentment; may we also have hearts of contentment no matter where we live

-singing Christmas carols together as we begin the Advent season

-enjoying Baryshnikov dancing in "The Nutcracker" and seeing Katherine's fresh wonder and excitement

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving (our fourth one overseas)

the Choate chefs hard at work

Sarah made all of the desserts, carrot cake cupcakes, pecan pie, and two pumpkin pies, all by herself.  No store bought crusts here!

I kept pulling out recipes for Thanksgiving, and they all belonged to my Mama.  Oh, how I miss her.

Our thankful turkey - it's always fun to pull out the feathers from previous years and read the things for which we were thankful.  Living in Honiara this year means we have feathers added by our SITAG family, too.


My kids' turkeys are growing way too fast!

We shared some of the carrot cake cupcakes with our amazing staff (pictured are Frieda and Betsy) to tell them thank you for keeping SITAG running smoothly.

I was so excited to find a real turkey in Honiara.  Previous years we've eaten chicken, but this year we splurged and bought the turkey to feed the ten American colleagues and two adopted Aussies that would be joining us.

And when everyone finally arrived, I teared up looking around the room at the bounty before us and the people God has placed in our path.  He knew we needed to be in Honiara for Thanksgiving this year, even though it wasn't in our plans.

We watched American football (some games recorded from January 2010) and gave instruction so Naomi would be able to follow the game.  I'm sure our neighbors wondered about the cheering, but eating Sarah's pies (and the other yummy desserts) and watching football was the perfect way to end our day.  I'm overwhelmed at God's gift of a "normal" Thanksgiving this year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm super excited about the possibilities of utilizing a "Saber" to play recordings of the Bible stories the Lavukal ladies have been crafting!  Last week, I had a meeting with a vernacular media specialist who introduced me to several ways of getting these Bible stories into the hands, eyes, and ears of the Lavukal even before we leave on furlough.  There's a good potential of some matching funding if we can raise half of the money that we need.  Things always take longer here than you think they will here in the Solomons, but I'm hoping we can get some of our neighbors to record the Bible stories and get them on the Saber within the next few months.  I'll keep you updated...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, November 21

Outside my window...the last week has been incredibly hazy, we haven't even been able to see Savo Island.  This morning dawned clear after rain last night, we could even see the contours of the hills.  Now, clouds and rain have descended, but I got the laundry inside in time.

I am thinking...that I finally finished adding the pictures from our short time in Marulaon

I am thankful...that Katherine's appointment with the ENT this morning went well.  Some more gunky ear wax floated out, and now she's all healthy!

From the learning's a short week because of Thanksgiving:  War of the Roses, Joan of Arc (with a couple of great picture books), Katherine -  fun Thanksgiving games & crafts; math reviews for my "three muskateers"

Pondering these words..."But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit."  Psalm 86:15 (The Message)

In the kitchen...baked French toast & pineapple for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and green rice casserole, watermelon, & green beans for supper

I am, a clean desk?  If I have time?

I am go brew some of my precious decaf Starbucks stash.  A rainy afternoon is the perfect time to enjoy a mug of coffee.

I am reading..."Almost 13:  Shaping Your Child's Teenage Years Today" by Claudia Arp (thanks for suggesting the book, Cathy!)

I am hoping...some willing Marulaon friends will come in on the Kosko this Wednesday for the church's fundraiser.  I'd love to be able to finish editing, print, and record the story of creation!

I am looking forward to...celebrating Thanksgiving in Honiara with our SITAG family for the first time

I am hearing...rain beating on the roof and rushing down the pipes into the rain tanks

Around the house...coloring sheets of Kings of England (Edward III through Henry VII) from Bellerophon's Kings & Queens of England, some Thanksgiving decorations just arrived from my mom

One of my favorite things...SITAG's generator, town power has been on and off frequently for the last three days

A few plans for the rest of the week...a trip to Honiara's central market in the morning & taking a friend to the doctor tomorrow afternoon, a "farewell" meal for Naomi (her dad comes to Honiara on Thursday) Wednesday night, SITAG Americans coming on Friday to celebrate Thanksgiving

Here's a picture thought I am sharing with you...Olivia teaching three giggling four-year-olds to play Uno on our huge front porch just a few minutes ago

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Enjoying a rainy Saturday afternoon, watching Cadfael with my hubby, and eating Apple Dumplings German Style from  "Sacred Feasts:  From a Monastery Kitchen" - a perfect combo!

Apple Dumplings German Style
6 servings (our family found it to be closer to 10 very generous servings, especially when we included vanilla ice cream)

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
7 tart apples, peeled
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 TBSP butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups sugar
2 TBSP calvados liqueur (optional)
6 TBSP butter

1)  In a deep bowl mix and sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and shortening.  Work mixture lightly with your fingertips.

2)  Make a hole in the mixture's center and gradually add milk.  Stir and  mix.  Knead lightly into a ball, then roll into a rectangular-shaped piece of dough about 1/4-inch thick.  Cut dough into 6 pieces.

3)  Slice apples and divide among the six squares of dough  Mix cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.  Add to apples.

4)  Dot each square with 1 tablespoon of butter.  Gather corners of each piece of dough.  Pinch corners together to form a dumpling.

5)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix brown sugar, white sugar, water, calvados, and butter to make a syrup over low-medium heat.  Mix and blend well.  Butter a long baking dish.  Carefully place dumplings in it, pour syrup evenly over the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until dumplings are done.  Serve hot.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My morning began with a wake up call in the form of an earthquake.  Just before it was time to get up, the bed began shaking back and forth gently.  Thankfully, the kids didn't wake up, and Aaron and I shuffled into the living area and started the coffee brewing.  The sun was just coming up, and a nice breeze was blowing, so I decided that today would be a good day for washing all of the sheets from the village.  I got a load of sheets going, grabbed my Bible and cup of coffee, and plopped down on the couch.  I love early morning!

I heard the Angelus bells sing nine times down the hill, and the kids began to straggle into the living room a little before six o'clock, also grabbing their cups of coffee and Bibles.  Our day got off to a peaceful start of unpacking, and the sunshine and breeze held up all morning, enabling me to finish five loads of laundry and making me extra grateful for the washing machine (with water that comes in and out without any help from me!).  Benjamin made a birthday cake while I did a little bit of meal planning, found a new recipe for the slow cooker this weekend, and Sarah and I chopped up the veggies and grated cheese for yummy chillaquillas for supper.

After lunch, I headed out for a SITAG Children's Education (CHED) meeting.  We got lots of planning done, but most of all, we encouraged each other and shared stories, successes and failures, too.  I'm so thankful for these SITAG ladies!  When I returned home, Sarah had iced the birthday cake, my capable kitchen crew had finished preparing supper, and we ate early to have time to get everything cleaned up before we went next door with the birthday cake to celebrate.

It's been a full, productive, busy, tiring kind of day, but having a "normal" kind of day feels so good after our family has been in bits and pieces so much in the last few months. 

Honiara has quieted down, and we appreciate all of the prayers that have been offered up on behalf of the government in the Solomon Islands.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Safe and Sound

Everybody is home safe and sound!  The Kosko showed up early than ever in Marulaon (7:30 a.m.), but my capable husband got all of the boxes and all of the people on the boat safely.  When the Kosko arrived, Honiara was in the middle of some political protest, so SITAG's director asked Katherine and me to stay home while he and a couple of other guys went down to pick up my precious cargo.  Eating together as a family last night was a treat we haven't enjoyed very much the last couple of months. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Please don't worry...

...but this just came through the e-mail:

"Election results just announced and Gordon Darcy Lilo was elected PM after only one round of voting. Lilo received 29 votes, Tozaka - 9, Sogavare - 9, and Manetoali - 2.  The Malaita Maasina Forum has expressed an intention to hold a protest march if Lilo is elected PM. It remains to be seen what, if anything, that will mean."
Aaron and the kids should arrive on the Kosko in just a few hours, and the SITAG director has advised Katherine and me to stay home (gives me a little bit more time to unpack!) while he goes to the wharf.  We can hear the helicopters flying overhead, so we know that RAMSI is working hard to keep the situation under control.  Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, November 14, 2011

No more beads!

The amazing ENT at Honiara's hospital dragged a bead out of each of Katherine's ears just a little bit ago.  She used what looked like a very thin crochet hook, and she was wonderful with my scared little girl.  The beads looked like they had been sitting in the shower drain for a year - yuck!  Thanks for your prayers.  We are honored that so many people care about our family.

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, November 14th

Outside my window...calm seas, bright sunshine, a great day for hopping a ship

I am thinking...about Marulaon village and that our stay was WAY too short this time, next time will be three months - whoohoo!

I am thankful...for the little girl on the couch singing like crazy

From the learning school this week, it's time to move again!

In the kitchen...crazy days, so cornflakes for breakfast, lunch in town while we shop, and leftovers for supper tonight.  I'm having a hard time just cooking for two people (one of them quite small) and look forward to cooking for seven again.

I am creating...plans for Thanksgiving next week.  We were supposed to celebrate in Marulaon for the third year in a row, but now we find ourselves with so many more options for adopted family to invite and foods to serve.

I am the Kosko office today to buy tickets for the rest of my family to come home. 
I am reading.."Solomon Time" by Will Randall (rated PG-13 for language)

I am hoping...that Naomi is healthy again soon.  She can't seem to shake this sinus junk.

I am looking forward family coming home this week!  They should leave sometime Wednesday on the Kosko and arrive in Honiara Wednesday night/early Thursday morning.

I am hearing...the water pump out behind the house, the ceiling fan, an occasional ship blowing its horn in the harbor

Around the house...boxes waiting to be unpacked.  I'm trying to get as much as possible unpacked so my family doesn't have to do it when they come back.

I am pondering...furlough again, and trying to organize details

One of my favorite things...candles, especially this time of year.  Funny, because the louvers are always open and the scents just float out the window, but there's just something about the gentle light of a candle that says home and cozy and nurture to me

A few plans for the rest of the week...this afternoon, a meeting with a Vernacular Media specialist to share some ideas about scripture use, taking Katherine to the hospital in the morning (8:30 our time) to have the surgeon and ENT look at her ears again, picking up my crew at the wharf (hopefully not in the dark) Wednesday, a SITAG Children's Education committee meeting on Friday (always accompanied by coffee)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...Katherine asleep in the bathtub last week in Marulaon.  Before you think I'm negligent, there were three adults in the room, and as soon as Naomi snapped the picture, I whisked Katherine into a towel, slipped on pajamas, and put her to bed.  My sleepy girl stayed in bed for thirteen hours!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sweet Sabbath (photos by Naomi)

There’s not a plant or flower below
But makes Thy glories known;

And clouds arise and tempests blow
By order from Thy throne,

While all that borrows life from Thee
Is ever in Thy care,

And everywhere that man can be,
Thou, God, art present there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finishing the story...

Our last night in Marulaon, last Tuesday, we had just tucked the kids in bed, turned off the lights, and headed to get ourselves ready for bed when we heard a knock.  I went to the door to find two of the ladies who had worked on the creation story, and one of them was really mad.  She was upset with me for making changes to her story.  I couldn't tell if she was angry because of the women I had chosen to help me with the back translation or if she was angry because I hadn't brought the updated version to her first.  I'm sure that some of the blame was mine.  In my haste to get ready for the trip to Honiara, I printed an edited version and gave it to one of the group who crafted the story.  I asked her if the group could get together without me to look over the changes since I was headed into Honiara.  Now, I've learned to do everything in person and abide by "Solomon Time" instead of trying to hurry things up!  Anyway, after she and I talked, I think we restored our relationship and the story is on hold until we can sit down and work things out together.  I would appreciate prayers for unity throughout this whole Bible story project.  I don't want my zeal to create discord.  From the beginning, I'm emphasized that the first draft of the stories will be changed and that it takes a lot of humility to be a part of this project and watch your work be torn apart by somebody else.

Our family woke up early Wednesday morning to prepare for the arrival of the Kosko.  We never really know when it is going to arrive until we listen to the shipping report on the radio.  Last week it arrived at 8:30 a.m., but sometimes it doesn't come until midnight!  I went down to market and bought the few things available, then finished packing before I listened to the Maritime station at 9 a.m. when all of the ships call in their position.  They all try to wait their turn, but sometimes they talk over each other, so listening and understanding over the static is somewhat of an acquired skill.  We discovered the Kosko wasn't expecting to make it to Marulaon until around 4 p.m., so I enjoyed some extra time with the kids - listening to Olivia read her history and science too me, reading along with Sarah in her current reader, "Scarlet and Miniver", and after school we played some hand and foot.  Quite a gift! 

Sure enough, the ship pulled around the corner of the island a few minutes before 4:00, and Katherine, Aaron and I loaded into the motor canoe.  Naris had cooked fish and lelenga and asked me to deliver a box of it to her brother and uncle in Honiara.  I've met them before, but I knew they wouldn't have any trouble finding my face on the wharf at midnight!  Aaron helped us climb up the rope ladder and carry the boxes on board.  We found a great spot on the side of the deck where we would have a nice breeze and unfolded our mat.  It was hard not to be able to kiss, hug, or even hold Aaron's hand in a goodbye, but Katherine and I watched him climb back down the ladder and into the boat.  He hung around for a few minutes while others loaded, then we waved as he putted away back toward Marulaon.

Several canoes from Karumulun were loading the carved wooden super-sized "mortar and pestles" that my friends use to smash uvikola or havu to make culinary delicacies.  I called down to them and tried to use a little bit of Lavukaleve to tell them that I wanted one.  After about an hour, the boat moved off toward its next stop at Yandina, where it took on several huge ice chests of fish headed for Honiara's Central Market.  We even watched one slide from the ropes mid-air and spill the huge freshly gutted fish all over the deck!  After Yandina, Katherine and I munched on some trail mix and settled down for the night.  She brought her lava-lava, but when I packed I thought we might be traveling during the day, so I forgot to bring one.  When the sun went down, the breeze was cold!  I ended pulling my night gown out of my back pack and wrapping it around my arms as I snuggled with Katherine to keep us both warm. 

After tossing and turning (because on a hard deck isn't conducive to sleep), I finally sat up and finished reading my Cadfael book.  We pulled into Honiara about midnight, and I called SITAG friends using Naomi's cell phone.  I took Katherine and the first box onto the wharf and looked for a familiar face behind the gate swarming with people.  Finally, the welcome sight of our SITAG director appeared, and I passed Katherine on to him to be passed to his wife (a favorite of Katherine's).  Another SITAG friend joined us, and the three of us finished unloading, paid for the cargo charges, and elbowed our way through the gate.  Thankfully, Komnis (Naris' brother) quickly found me in the throng, and I was able to give him the box after asking him, "Inu kea kim?" (Are you hungry?).

We gratefully arrived back at SITAG and tossed our bags and ourselves into the house where we stayed last June and July.  Finally, we turned the lights off at 1 a.m., thankful for the safe trip and for the many people who prayed us safely into Honiara.

Solomon Time

An excerpt from the book "Solomon Time" by Will Randall.  As I read, I found myself nodding vehemently in agreement:

"Solomon Time, Solomon Time - how it was to dominate future events I then had no no idea.  It is liquid, a fluid that cannot be contained, that has no master, that sloshes backwards and forwards and even from side to side.  It has no symmetry or order.  Solomon Time plays nobody's rules, yet it loosely dictates that something may happen a little late or perhaps a little early or days late or even days early; it may have happened already or it may never happen at all.  Schedules and timetables become irrelevancies, arrangements, meetings, deadlines inconsequential.

Solomon Time trickles through every stream in every forest and pumps through the veins of every man or woman born of Solomon.  Clocks stop ticking; wristwatches become mere ornaments.  Time is governed by the sun and the the moon, by light and dark.  Months slip by indistinguishable one from the next.  December as hot as May, November as wet as June.  Daily routine, apart from the two bookends of morning and evening prayer, is as higgledy-piggledy as a child's toy box.  Mealtimes become moveable feasts.  Work, rest and play are as confused as three scoops of ice cream melted in the tropical sun."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Update from Honiara

Hope it's not confusing to be updating posts from earlier this week in the village and reporting real time events here in Honiara.  Just wanted to say thanks for praying for Katherine and for the government in the Solomon Islands.  The Prime Minister resigned this morning, and the day has been very peaceful.  If you are interested, the best way to stay on top of the situation is to read the Solomon Star newspaper

Katherine's appointment from yesterday was rescheduled for this morning.  The doctor took one look at her ears and said that he couldn't do anything to get the beads out because they were so deep.  He made an appointment for us to meet with a surgeon this afternoon, with the anticipation of sedating Katherine just so the surgeon could make a diagnosis.  When we met with the surgeon, he said he would like to try some ear drops to loosen up the ear wax first.  So, we are putting drops in her ears twice a day and we have an appointment for Tuesday morning with the hospital ENT.  The surgeon will meet us there.  Thankfully,  I'm quite familiar with the ENT because of Naomi's sickness in September!  Obviously, Katherine and I will be staying in Honiara instead of returning to Marulaon on Sunday.  We are talking to Aaron and the kids on the radio twice a day since village e-mail is still not working very well.  Our SITAG friends have been taking good care of us, but now I will start unpacking our boxes from storage, beginning with the pantry boxes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monday, November 7
My desk:  A Yankee candle making my work area smell good while I try to edit the story of creation and the story of Jesus's birth.

Tuesday, November 8
Whew!  The last few days have been whirlwind crazy trying to get as much as possible finished on these Bible stories before Katherine and I leave for Honiara tomorrow.  Sunday afternoon, I sat at Margaret and Rebekah's and hammered out the back-translation for creation days 1-3. Yesterday morning, Kiko came over to give me the latest revisions that Ezekiel Hasar made on the story of Jesus' birth.  Then yesterday afternoon, I waited for Margaret to come and tell me that she had returned from the garden, but she was waiting for me!  We only had a little bit of time together while we waited for the rain to stop, then we rescheduled for this morning.  After three hours, we finally finished the back-translation, and I'm really pleased.  I'm going to make a copy to test in Sunday School in Marulaon while I'm in Honiara.

Please do be praying for Katherine.  Those beads she put in her ears (a pink bead on one side and a green bead on the other) just won't come out for us.  So, as soon as the Kosko shows up tomorrow, we'll be on the way to Honiara to see a doctor.  We're hoping it comes in the morning, since a trip with hundreds of our closest friends all crammed together on the deck of the ship is much easier during the day than at night when we are trying to sleep.

Last Weekend

Friday, November 4
Today, I met with seven of the ten ladies who helped craft Bible stories last week.  We finished checking my typing errors and looked for any other errors in word choice or spelling.  Our meeting was short, but sweet (it helped that Sarah made gingersnaps!).  The group that is working on the story of Jesus' birth decided to paddle over to Karumulun to enlist the other member of their group in correcting the story.  Now, I've got to print a double spaced copy of each story to leave room for the back-translation.

Saturday, November 5
We made banana cake again today for the soccer tournament.  It's fun to see people's faces light up when they see banana cake available!

One of the local "young boys" drew pictures for the creation story, so I spent most of the day scanning, cropping, and pasting the pictures into the text.  Sunday afternoon is always a good time to find people at home, so I'm planning to go down to Margaret and Rebekah's and get them to back translate for me.

Moses came by this afternoon and asked Aaron to preach on the subject of wisdom in the morning.  Aaron is just about the only preacher Marulaon ever hears, so I'm thankful he's a good one!

While waiting for Katherine's appointment...

This just made its way into my inbox.  Would you consider praying for the Solomon Islands today?

"U.S. Embassy Port Moresby advises U.S. citizens traveling to, or residing in Solomon Islands to exercise a high degree of caution due to ongoing threats of political violence, civil unrest, and protests. The Solomon Islands Parliament will sit this Friday, November 11 and a Motion of No Confidence in the Prime Minister may be tabled. Political tensions can rise with little notice."

Back in Honiara

Katherine and I arrived in Honiara about midnight last night.  She has a doctor's appointment in the morning.  I hope to catch up on the blog soon!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Marulaon Woman’s Daybook

For today...Wednesday, November 2

Outside my window...Nako and Foamela (two of Ofain's daughters) helping me clean up our yard so it will look nice tonight when Aaron comes back from Losiolen

I am thinking...about my grandfather, who is recovering from knee replacement surgery

From the learning rooms...the Black Death, Ivan III, Mohammed captures Constantinople; Sarah - equations with negative numbers, correlative conjunctions, & aphorisms; Benjamin - speed equations, sentence combining; Olivia - comparing fractions, sentence combining; Katherine - reading & writing numbers 1-10, letter W

I am thankful for...Naomi!  It's so much less lonesome with Aaron gone.

From the kitchen...granola for breakfast, milked cooking bananas, milked pumpkin leaves, papaya, motued fish - nice yummy, fresh food for lunch, and to welcome Aaron home, we are opening a Macaroni Grill boxed meal along with lots of greens and fruits to make up for what he has missed during the last few days

I am reading...Ellis Peter's Cadfael series, how fun to find some great books set in the same period of history we are studying

I am hoping...that the doctor in Honiara can get the beads out of Katherine's ears next week

I am creating...not really creating, but compiling Bible stories in Lavukaleve

I am hearing...the inverter humming as a couple of our neighbor's cell phones charge on this sunny day

Around the house...lots of nice produce from market this morning, a freshly mopped floor, lemon bars cooling on the cabinet as a welcome home for Aaron

One of my favorite things...fresh, sweet pineapple

A few plans for the rest of the week...working on Friday with the ladies to complete another step of the Bible stories

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with pics right now.  Our radio/e-mail isn't sending and receiving very well.  Next week in Honiara, I'll go back and catch up on posting pictures.

Tuesday, November 1

Yesterday, I spent some time walking around Marulaon and trying to carry on some limited conversations in Lavukaleve.  I asked Kiko and her sister Daisy to help me by giving me a word - any word!  They really struggled with choosing a word, so I finally gave them some suggestions like vivisa (flower) or the verb root -lai- (paddle).  Kind of defeats the purpose for me to choose the words, but at least I got a word I knew!  They helped me construct short sentences, making sure each word agreed.  We were all mentally fatigued by the time we finished!

I passed Naris making a broom from a coconut leaves.  I asked if I could video her while I talked to her.  I can't post the video from Marulaon, but here's how our conversation went:

J:  "Naris, man avolori ngome?"  (Naris, what are you making?)
N:  "Birum avolorine." (Making a broom)
   "Fofoira rugi."  (Big work)
and after a pause...
N:  "Ngai lakun!"  (I don't want to do it!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blessings and Learning

Sweet Sabbath - Sunday, October 30

"All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.  For you are great and do marvelous deeds;  you alone are God." 
Psalm 86:9, 10

-Aaron's impromptu opportunity to teach a short workshop last week

-baby pineapples growing from the tops we planted two years ago

-another portion of the Translation Principles workshop starting today in Losiolen

-kids learning and laughing

Monday, October 31

My desk today:  I don't have a desk, but I do have a beautiful woven tray that I use when I'm in my "office" to study Lavukaleve.  My kids know that I'm unavailable when I'm working on my tray.  Maybe it will help me stay accountable if I take a picture of my desk from time to time.  Today on my desk, I have a cup of coffee and my list of verbs that I'm trying to add to my vocabulary.  I find verbs to be the hardest part of learning Lavukaleve.  Verbs take prefix subject markers, prefix object markers, gender agreement (feminine, masculine, neuter), number agreement (singular, dual, plural), and suffix tense, aspect, & mode.  Verbs make my head spin!  I'm trying to add these verb roots to my speaking vocabulary:

-keuri-     carry (with repeated trips)
-tutuari-   carry (bearing the weight with your shoulder/body)
-kokosori-  carry (on your head)
-kukui-     carry (on your back)
-hatari-    cut, divide (food, material, hair, hand)
-koroi-     cut (branch, uvikola)
-kea-       cut, chop (firewood)
-vu-        dig (umalau)
-fulu-      dig, pluck (uvikola, chinese cabbage, hair)

Last Week…

Friday, October 28
V is for VolcanoV_is_for_volcanoe
Saturday, October 29
This morning, Eta went with Naomi, Sarah, Benjamin and me to the garden.  We harvested a big bag of umalau (sweet potato) and a big bag of uvikola (cassava) to send with Aaron as our gift.  We also dug up enough uvikola for our family to make lelenga today.  It's fun to remember when and how we planted things, this uvikola we planted in December with the help of our friends Karen and Caroline.  Now it's grown tall and blown over and makes great lelenga!

We've discovered that Marulaon holds a soccer tournament every Saturday, and villages from the West Russells come participate with Jr. and Sr. teams, men and women, too.  It's been a good chance to mingle with people from other villages a little bit.  The soccer field has been cleared off quite a bit, so now there are two small fields side by side.  Several of the ladies bring food to sell, and we have been encouraged to bring banana cake.  So, today I gave 90 banana muffins to Kiko and her niece, Julet, to sell for the Lavukal Bible translation fund.  The cakes sold quickly!  The money will go toward buying gasoline for the motor boat that Aaron will take tomorrow when he picks up the translators and holds another portion of Translation Principles in Losiolen.
I hung out at the soccer field for a couple of hours, cheering on different people and places, particularly the Marulaon women.  One of the things I love about our neighbors here, they cheer for everybody!  No matter who scores the goal or makes a great move, you always cheer.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thursday, Oct 27

This afternoon, Kiko came up to the house to work on transcribing the story of Jesus's  birth that she recorded on Tuesday morning.  We enjoyed coffee and fresh banana cake while she and I pressed our ears close to the speakers on the computer to listen attentively.  We were both pleased with her story and with a few of the corrections that she made on paper.  I thanked her for being willing and humble enough to tell and record a story, knowing that the whole point of the telling is to have others come behind and pick it to pieces.

Next Friday, November 4, all of the ladies will get together again to see the Bible stories on paper.  The two groups will correct their own stories, then switch to correct each other's.  We will also come up with some questions to ask for comprehension.  After I make the corrections in the computer and add any pictures they draw, then I will go around the village reading the stories and asking the questions.  Hopefully, we'll get some good responses and have these two stories in their hands soon!

Here's the rough draft of Kiko's story:
Sera Kiko – Jisas ta oi okomua (The story of Jesus's birth)
Felakoe ena Jisas mala osia fi.  Ta roa fin ana Bethlehem lukariae rugi loge fi sia hi.  Aka olang Josef ona Meri otum hona e Davit okun ena mem aesiage honala koi kini Bethlehem fi regista losiare olang lolangiov la foare ofoiga ena lukariae hoiga ena fi hoinala Bethlehem vela lomel.  Velanun, velanun, olang okatuna esiage Meri ho vulava re muteteare aka okealeai ga ena oia otin kiu vela laimege vela laimege hano aunion sia aka malav suni lafa lafa ona meiva hano suni Bethlehem vere lov.  Tailav suni Bethlehem toun ona meiva sere lov malava suni tailava maseriv vona sere lov.  Aka oinala kini veore aunionun kini veore kini tail roge ena ali roa alokikiari  Kola roa hoika lem aira ge kola roa tamu koi kini roa alokikiari ge kola roaru tamu  Akari sianun sianun aka oina aka ore tail roge ru tamu esiale lafa vala lafa mea lena metairea la onam veremal foel “Olang ngai ngatua obui vofou elekire fi olei,” hide Josef na hide ore aire ge.  Fi ana hide mare,  “Otail telako fi hoika!
lei tail ga bulakau otail fi o ui eu otail fi.  Aka hoika riom fi Josep na otua Meri la,” omare ove.  Aka hoika riom fi Jisas na ota.  Jisas Bethlehem bulakau otailan fi o ta.