Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There are many delicacies in Singapore... Of course, some are more appealing than others...

Christiaan and I flew there with Garuda Indonesia. On brand new planes the whole way I might add!! Yes, there were little tv screens, but no, there wasn't much to watch. The only thing watchable was "Just For Laughs Gags".

This is on the tarmac in Makassar. The plane always stops in Biak and Makassar. On the flights during the day, everyone has to get out and go into the terminal, go through security and wait in the waiting room for a few minutes, maybe use the restroom, and then walk back out to the plane. When we were going back home, a flight that leaves at 11:00pm, we could stay on the plane thankfully.
We had a good trip. Christiaan's appointments went well and I was able to get new glasses. My prescription has been reduced again! Yay! We also enjoyed eating North American food there and we did a bunch of shopping... There are a million malls in Singapore and many are connected by underground tunnels to the subway system. Pretty amazing! But it is good to be home again!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Saturday we hiked up the mountain to the base of the water fall. We started the walk from our house, followed the road up until we came to the jungle. Then we entered the jungle and walked up a path until we were able to get down to this little water fall. About 45 minutes later we were joined by at least 50 school kids who had just planted plants and trees somewhere else on the mountain. It got a little crowded there... By then Mikah and her class had climbed up higher to a cave found under an incredibly large rock. I did not lug my big camera up the mountain so we only have these two little photos from our phones as proof... Fun times on the moutain!
Tomorrow morning I am planning to go to Singapore with Christiaan for his annual hearing check-up and new ear molds. Looking forward to some hamburger consumption... :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mikah's birthday....

Today Mikah turned 13. We offically have our first teenager... yikes... But we love her and are very thankful for God's guidance and protection in her life!As per tradition, Mikah requested a trifle for her birthday cake and I was more than happy to fulfill that request! I've been saving chocolate pudding, dream whip, and some caramilk squares from Canada for this very day... YUM!!Mikah with two of her good friends L and E.
Correction: Yesterday I said that the child who passed away was the young couples first child but in actual fact it is their third child. Hugo attended one of the funeral services yesterday. There are usually a couple services when someone dies, before and after the burial. Apparently the boy died of cerebral malaria.

There was a wave that hit Jayapura on Friday night at about 8:30. It caused damage in an area farther up the coastline from where we were. About 15 minutes drive. You can see photos here
The day after the tsunami, a group of guys from the high school went to the beach and swam in post-tsunami waves. Apparently the water level went up and down dramatically every 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yesterday one of our aircraft experienced a landing accident. One of the tires was blown and the plane veered into the ditch alongside the runway. The plane was only travelling at 10 knots when it hit the ditch. There were no injuries sustained by any of the 9 passengers or the pilot. The plane however, sustained significant damage and will be out of commission for some time. We are thankful for God's protection! Please pray for our pilots out here who fly in crazy areas all the time!
Yesterday myself and three friends were in Jayapura to spend the night at the Swiss Bel hotel to celebrate a birthday. We heard before supper time that there'd been an earthquake in Japan and that there was a tsunami watch for Papua. We decided to go to our rooms and retrieve our valuables and clothes and head for higher ground to eat dinner and wait out the watch. As we were leaving with our stuff we observed a group of people meeting in the lobby of the hotel. We didn't think much of it. Later we found out that our entire hotel was evacuated and some people were sent to the very restaurant we went to. The manager of the hotel met us there after we'd eaten supper and told us it was not yet safe for us to return. After about 15 minutes he told us we could return. So we did and as we were exiting our vehicle we heard a warning siren and it was rather dark and quiet at the hotel. Some people went by and told us that we had to leave again. So we did. We drove up a ways and watched the harbour from there and we saw nothing. There was no noticeable wave. Thankfully... It was however, another adventure... No trip to Jayapura is completely void of adventure!
One of our group is a woman from Japan and her family is safe but are experiencing after-shocks. Our prayers are with the Japanese victims and may they find hope with the only One within whom hope and comfort may be found.
Yesterday the 10 month old son of one of our loading guys passed away. He'd been sick for a little while and they thought he was getting better but he took a sudden turn and passed away. Please pray for this young couple who lost their only child.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

So our yard man/guard came back to Sentani on the weekend. It turns out his brothers didn't really know the real reason why he went up to Pyramid. "Y" went up there to finalize his divorce from "M". When he married her, he paid her family 13 pigs. Now that they are divorcing, his family is supposed to pay back the dowry. However, they did have a son who died at 3 months of age so the family took off 5 pigs from the re-payment.... I assume Y left the pigs in the care of his relatives there. Currently, large pigs are worth (according to "I") 15 million rupiah ($1,500). They used to be worth 10 million rupiah but because the price of rice has gone up, the price of pigs has gone up by 50%.... seems a little extreme to me... Y said that his (ex) wife was crying and asking him to take her back but he refused... I wanted to say a lot to him, but it wasn't the time or the place as I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and had food cooking on the stove. He brought us a big bag of vegetables from Wamena. It's very touching that he does this. He told me that he really missed us while he was gone...
There was a widow with three young children living with I and her dad. This woman is quite the character and had basically chased away another widow with daughter who had also been living with them. This woman is addicted to beetle nut and seems to care not a whit about her children. A couple years ago I first saw her older son. He had a very large open wound on the back of his neck. I asked the mom if she was able to bring him to the doctor. She said yes she was, but a health worker had already given him a needle. She didn't bring the boy to a doctor. Eventually the wound healed up. However, a few months ago he began to swell up. She did not bring him to the doctor even though "I" encouraged her to do so. Finally, she brought him to the Catholic hospital in Waena. The most expensive hospital; and she has no money or insurance. I and her husband went there to visit and they brought rice and drinking water but all the mother could say was, "Do you have money for beetle nut?" and "I went to the witch doctor and he told me who made my son sick." When asked if the doctor had given her son medicine, she ignored the question and asked for money to buy beetle nut. When the hospital realized she was not going to pay, they took her cellphone and sent them to the public hospital in Jayapura. On Saturday night the boy passed away. The mother decided to bury him in Jayapura. A strange decision as his father is buried in the graveyard near our house and that is so much closer. A group of people from the community here went to Jayapura on Saturday. They wanted to talk to the mother about her decision and tell her not to come back to live here on Pos 7. The people here are sick of being used by her. But when they arrived, the body had not yet been buried and as long as there is a body, they cannot discuss anything. So I told me that tomorrow when they do the final funeral service (4 days following death) the people plan to tell her their decision. Throughtout this whole ordeal, the 5 year old twins were living with I... What a sad, sad situation...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Bits and bites....

The other day I opened a bag of mentos that I'd bought and we won 100 rupiah!!! That's like 1 cent!!! Whoohoo!!!
The other day the boys participated in world math day and competed against kids from all around the world. I think they held their own!

Doesn't that flavour just sound soooo tasty???
This is the bug that interupted the kindergarten PE class.... justifiably so...