Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

On Christmas Eve our entire church came to our house for a service. We decided to have the service and dinner following at our home for a number of reasons. One being that we planned to start at 5:00 and by 6:00 it is dark here and the naughty folks come out to “play”. People have been going into the old dorm beside our church and engaging in naughty behaviour (I’m being very polite here...). The other reasons are that the church is very dusty and dirty (not much we can do about that...) and there’s no bathroom or running water.
It turned out to be rather providential that we were at our home because an hour and a half into the evening, the power went off and stayed off until very late at night. You guessed it, no generator at the church either (it would get stolen if we did have one...). It also began to pour buckets during the service. This was a welcome downpour as we hadn’t had a decent rain in a long time. However, the roof of our church is very holey so again, good thing we were in our house.
After the service we rearranged the furniture and pulled the table of food out and enjoyed an Indonesian meal. Beforehand I had bbq’ed a whack of chicken pieces which is always a hit here! There was also fish in a curry sauce with sambal on the side, a kind of banana that had been cooked, a green leafy vegetable cooked with spices and coconut milk (yummy!) and of course, rice and krupuk. After the service everyone went outside on our front porch where we lit off a few fireworks while people took turns getting rides home in the two cars that were available. Fun times!
The next day we had a lovely Christmas dinner with our friends here. We even had turkey with all the trimmings! Hugo and I collaborated on that mountain of mashed potatoes of which the leftovers made lovely potato cakes... Each Christmas season guys around town will make Christmas booths. Many people are quite creative. The point of these booths is to blast loud music for hours on end. Sometimes it’s Christmas music and sometimes it’s just ... music... This fancy one was built near the MAF office and on the road leading to the booth they had put bamboo poles arching over the road with lights up them and hanging from the middle they had made crosses out of water bottles painted white. It looks really neat at night!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010


Last week Hugo went to Wamena (see map). It's the largest city in the world that has no roads going to or from it. Everything is flown in. Everything... One of our planes had experienced a serious engine problem in Wamena requiring that the engine be removed and sent to America for a small overhaul. The loaner engine arrived last week and Hugo and his sidekick "E" went to Wamena to put it into the plane so that it can be used again. Doing this job allowed Hugo to complete some more tasks for his logbook (which he needs to fill in order to get his Canadian AME "M" license).

Just thought I'd show you how I get gas for my motorbike. The only official gas pumps in town are at the other end of town (where we rarely go). Thankfully there are enterprising folks who bottle up the gas and sell it by the litre by the side of the road. They even filter the gas as they pour it in... :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bits and Bites...

I have been neglectful in updating here more often. Unfortunately I cannot upload photos today from some unexplainable reason... blah...
* This morning our church service had to compete with a nearby Christmas booth blasting out music... We also witnessed the baptism of a cute baby boy. The baptismal "font" was a glass bowl of water on a plastic chair.
* Life for "I" returned to normal following the events of a couple weeks ago. I think most of us would be traumatized, but for the ladies here it is a fairly "normal" part of life. They expect it to happen.
* Hugo is heading to Wamena tomorrow to help re-install then engine of one of our Cessna 208's. It's been stuck engine-less in Wamena for some time now. He hopes to return home on Friday. We hope so too...
* We've had a bit of rain here and there but really not enough to replenish wells. It is so dry here! I've spoken to "I" about how the people should put out pails when it is raining to catch the water as it is quite clean. They believe that you can get sick from rain water so they don't do it... Baffling...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Saturday morning we had a combined birthday party for Marc and his buddy S. We had the party in the gym and played games! Fun times!

Marc and his buddy S.
Then that evening we had a dedication for our two newest aircraft. Following that we had the annual MAF Christmas party with all MAF'ers in Sentani. There were speeches, singing, a sermon...

The boys kept entertained with their candles...