Monday, June 30, 2008
*Good news, we have a phone again! We’ll never take that for granted again!
*Each day we have people coming to get water from our outside tap at the front of our house. I get a kick out of the kids as inevitably they check themselves out in the side mirror of the car. They check their teeth and then their hair or pull funny faces… so cute!
*The other day I went grocery shopping and I couldn’t find sugar anywhere. So finally at the one store I asked the woman who owns the place if they had any sugar. She whispers to me,” I have some but I’m not allowed to sell it. I can be arrested if I do. How much do you want?” I asked for 3 kilos and she had one of her workers put it in a black grocery bag and warned me not to say anything to Indonesians but I was free to tell all my friends about it. What’s up with that?? Who knows…Thankfully now there is sugar readily available in the stores again. But there is not an onion or margarine to be found anywhere… sigh…
*This past weekend we were helping a new Dutch family, the VanDijk’s, get settled in here in Sentani. We got to know them during our last few weeks in Bandung. Our kids are similar ages which is so much fun. We are their go-to couple here which means we have to show them the ropes like how to order ground beef, shopping at the market, which grocery stores to shop at, how to drive here, etc… It’s fun to look at everything through a new person's eyes and you realize how “normal” it has all become!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This is the current state of our road right now. You can see the little “cliff”. To the left is someone’s front yard. Those barrels are being used to heat up tar. It’ll sure be nice once their done! It’s amazing, most of the work is being done by hand! The only machine they have is a big roller thing to flatten the road.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
*Still no phone… (-:
*Yesterday our church celebrated its fifth anniversary and the 53rd birthday of our pastor. They had an enormous sheet cake made for the event and after the service we all sang and had cake and chatted. I think these events are great times for church-bonding.
*Yesterday a little pipsqueak of a kid came up to the door and asked if he could get some water so we said sure. Then when he came to say thank-you he was kind of looking around and was acting rather suspiciously so when he started to walk away Hugo went to the door to see what he was up to. The little guy decided that he would try to get himself a new pair of flip flops and was walking away wearing one of Marc’s and one of Christiaan’s sandals. What a stinker!
*There are guys working furiously on our road. I’ll try to get some pictures this week. They are digging enormous ditches along side the road and then lining them with concrete and stone walls. There are other guys who’ve begun to fill the holes in the road with gravel and sand and tar. It looks like they are widening the road a bit too. However, further to the top, closer to our house, they are still at the digging the ditches stage and of course you have to put all that dirt somewhere… They’ve just piled it on the road making the road there even narrower than it was. There is one spot in particular where the road is just barely wide enough for one vehicle to drive. If you were to drift a little too far to the side of the road that doesn’t have the dirt pile, you would find yourself falling of a little cliff into someone’s front yard. I know, I really need to get a photo of this for you as it is really hard to describe accurately. Let’s just say I breath a sigh of relief each time I have successfully negotiated that section of road…
*We took a visiting family to the beach on Saturday. We started off with a flat tire before we’d even left. So we departed an hour later than planned but the spare was on the van and the flat had been fixed. You do not want to have a flat tire and no spare when you are at the beach.
*You know how back home you need to store playdoh in a sealed container or bag? Well, we need to do the same here but not because it will dry out, it will become a glob of mush if we don’t. There’s that much moisture in the air here!
*There is no telephone operator here in Papua. So no possibility of collect calls…
*We have one street light in town. It is located on the main drag where it meets up with another fairly busy shopping road. This road only meets the main road, it doesn’t intersect it. The lights on the main road are your standard red, yellow, green. The lights for the other road are only red and green. The hilarious thing is that the lights change simultaneously. There’s no yellow light warning to clear the intersection before allowing the other direction of traffic through… no, just say a little prayer, maybe honk your horn, and off you go!
*I gotta tell you, the rice cooker is a wonderful invention. Put the rice and water in and press go and you don’t have to worry about a thing… except the power going off before the little lever goes from cook to warm…
Thursday, June 19, 2008
People here go through a lot of matches and people love things that are imported or considered export quality. This goes for everything, including matches:
These matches might be made as Sweden, but man, they suck! I can’t tell you how often the flaming heads break off after you swipe them or they don’t even light or a piece of the head flies off or the stick breaks in half as you are swiping it and the head still lights or doesn’t…. really not very safety at all….
You’re wondering, why is she lighting so many matches? Has she picked up a nasty smoking habit? Cigarettes are only .50 cents a pack after all…
No, one of the burners on my gas stove, one I use rather frequently of course, refuses to light with the little button so I have to light it the old fashioned way.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Due to the sudden disappearance of the dial tone on our phone last Saturday, I haven’t been able to post any blogs of late. So I’ve had to call on my good buddy Pearl to help me out. (yes we can still email as that is done through MAF’s LAN but because of the restrictions on internet access through the LAN I can’t post to or read or comment on blogspot blogs.)
Here is a blog I had written last Sunday:
Today I actually had a conversation with our pastor’s wife. She is currently pregnant with their 5th child together. He was previously married to her older sister and had five children with her before her sudden death. Anyways, I don’t even know her name I just call her “Ibu” out of respect. She is a very difficult person to talk with. She speaks very quietly and doesn’t really seem to have any sort of interests that you could talk about. I brought her a banana loaf a few weeks ago and we just stood at her door talking for a little bit - or I should say, she was answering my questions. There was no, “Would you like to come in for a coffee or tea?” However today she talked. I guess the language of pregnancy, pain, delivery etc... is inter-cultural. I asked her if she knew where she wanted to deliver the baby (she is seven months along). She didn’t know. She went on to tell me that the first three kids were delivered at home by midwife but the last two she delivered herself. With the second-last one she even cut the cord herself and with the last one her husband cut the cord. She said that they were born at night and at night there are no taxis and the only way for her to get to the local government clinic would be to walk - so they were just born at home. At that time they also did not have a cell phone to call a midwife. Now they do. However, if she had to get to a hospital in the night she’d have to go on the back of a motorcycle… I don’t even want to imagine doing that while in labour…