Monday, December 28, 2009

Shopping in PNG

This is from our family trip to town last week.  We didn't get any market pics but these were from the grocery store.  We didn't buy the Rice Bubbles because they were rather expensive.  The exchange rate for all you math people is 3.5 kina per 1 US dollar (I think!). 

Betty and the fruit of Dad's labor

These are from a tree around our house.  It is like a papaya but here the call it po-po.  We really enjoy them, except for Mary of course, but she will drink a smoothie with it in there.

He may not be able to hunt...

...but he sure can gather!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Brisbane International Terminal

Thought I'd put a couple of pictures up of our time in the airport in Brisbane.  We had been from Denver to LA to Brisbane which took about 20 hours total of flying and waiting time.  The airport was clean with lots of leather couches very close to our gate.  We stretched out and waited for about 3 hours till it was off to PNG.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cooking in grams

This afternoon Betty and I were making lemon bars.  We are having a small Christmas fellowship tonight on the base to which we will bring the bars. 

First problem:  how much butter?  My recipe called for 3/4 cup but the New Zeland butter only had oz. or gram measurements.  Solution:  Put 3 cups water in the blender, put the butter in a baggie (minus the air) and submerge in water.  It was exactly one cup of butter.  (Thank you Daddy!)

Second:  What is 350 degrees look like on a Farenheit dial?  (Thanks again Daddy for my chart)

Third:  The glaze called for softened butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice.  We got the butter out and Betty measured a tablespoon.  It was then that I noticed the little brown flake in the spoon of butter.  We both examined carfully and it turned out to be just a toast remnant, not an ant as originally thought.  I think we would have used it either way but it's just funny to see how cooking changes in PNG!

Sweating in the kitchen...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Birthday picture

This is us at Richard's birthday lunch.  We went to a friends' house for dinner so lunch it was at the house We had sandwiches on my homemade bread and fruit.  In honor of his birthday, Richard has quit wearing clothing.  Only kidding!  Just shirts have gone away at lunch time.  Anyway, it was a good day and we are so grateful for all the blessings that God gives us!

Home sweet home

This is our Mary...she's turned into a tree hugger!

Mary's birthday

Today we celebrate our Mary turning 11.  She had her favorite breakfast, puffy pancake, with syrup and whipped cream.  The cream was actually pretty close to butter.  Betty was whipping it and had a beautiful texture.  But she had to do just a little more when the lumps appeared.  I just smiled as we ate our butter/cream.  Amazing how syrup covers a multitude of sins!

Saturday means a break from school which is nice for us all.  We have invited friends over for cupcakes this afternoon.  The cupcakes are in the fridge cooling as the butter softens on the counter.  The ants have found our clothes which is a pain.  They seem to like cool, dark places to gather.  Some sort of meeting I suppose!  I shook everything out and sprayed the bug spray, encouraging them to relocate.

We enjoyed a trip into town yesterday to do some shopping.  The market yielded some delicious pineapple and even lettuce (not very common) that actually looked good.  We got a chicken at the store which we will cook for Christmas.

Hoping that you all would enjoy a relaxing time leading up to Christmas...praying for the Christmas program at our church,  Tracie

Wednesday, December 16, 2009's all I could get uploaded.


Life begins here in PNG. We are over our jetlag (thank goodness!) and we are beginning to get in a routine. The rains are here and that is a challenge with playing and laundry. Yesterday was beautiful, though, and we got some pics of the girls. Hopefully I can get them uploaded so here it goes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Computer stuff

A quick prayer request before we go to bed (at 9 p.m.)...Richard is having some problems with his computer, specifically his ability to get Outlook to work. It was fine until this afternoon. I know this is difficult for him as that is his connection to the world. I would appreciate prayers that we would be able to figure out what is wrong and fix it or that God would choose to take care of it without us!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Arrival, part 2

It is our first morning here in Madang. I was awakened around 4:45 a.m. by the girls with the hall light on. I turned over to see Sally in bed with me instead of Richard. Guess he really wanted that top bunk! We all slept well which was a blessing. Hopefully we can make it tonight till 9 p.m. and sleep till at least 6 a.m. Breakfast was Australian Corn Flakes with boxed milk. Yummy! Sugar is in the fridge to keep the ants out. The coffee is delicious and amazingly hot.

Yesterday morning began around 4 a.m. for most of us. We slept well but were still adjusting to the time difference. Richard and Mary headed out to find dad some coffee while the rest of us gave the sleeping a go for another hour or so. Finally, we all got out of bed, repacked and headed to the restaurant. We decided to share plates of toast and fruit for our morning meal. New food adventure for the day: Richard put a little Vegemite on his toast as it was offered in little packets along with the jelly. He and Sally were the only ones to take a taste. No more was spread on toast.

We checked out and headed to he airport around 7 a.m. for a 10 a.m. flight. Five minutes later we were in the mass of people at the front of the Domestic Terminal. I don't know if we got any pictures which would help describe the unique nature of the place. Everyone is moving enmasse toward the entrance. There is a guy speaking on a megaphone in Pidgen-english so we understand about 1/3 of what he is saying. Once inside, we stand in line for "security". We put all 12 suitcases through and make our way to the other end quickly so none of our bags ends up with another customer. The problem is that the people are bottlenecked again as there is another funnell we have to go through to get to the actual ticket counters. I shove my way to the front and the girls file in behind me, Richard bringing up the rear. We finally get to the front and are waved through to stand in another line to get to the counter for our boarding passes.

We had another 1/2 hour ahead of us that was highlighted by a scuffle between a guy and "security". That resulted in tears from Betty and Sally while the other folks around us tried to console the girls. Just another day in the domestic terminal.

Once Richard got our boarding passes, the girls and I headed to the secure area, for people with boarding passes, and settled in. We found ourselves the center of attention as the only whites in the room. We felt a little more safe for the moment while we waited for Richard to go investigate the missing bag. There were still a few tears as Betty especially was concerned to be without Dad.

I sat there looking at my girls who had just seen something very scary for them. They felt unsafe even if just for a moment. I began to rethink our previous uneventful journeys and wonder if we were willing to do this if things were not always easy. Did God call us to serve Him only if things went well? If they didn't go well was that a sign of some sort? Interestingly the following paragraph was in a book that I am reading along with the ladies here in Madang: "(Christians) tend to see our lives as a series of hurdles, which, if we trust God and jump high enough, we can get through without scraping our knees. If we miss a hurdle, though-or come through bloody and bruised-we must have done it wrong. We have failed in some way. Or worse, God has failed us."

To make a long story long, Richard returned soon after with a smile and a claim check for our lost and now checked 13th suitcase. Betty and Bonnie had their clothes and their Daddy. We got on the little puddle jumper that only held about 50 people and took off. All 13 bags made it to Madang and to our house where all but 2 have been unpacked. (One of them because the zipper is broken and the other one belongs to a certain male who will go unnamed.)

We spend the day with our friends, Larissa and Joe, who fed us with food for lunch and dinner and with conversation and fellowship so sweet and longed for.

Grateful for your intercession,


Today we reached our final destination in Madang. This concludes the 4 flight journey that brings us to the other side of the world into Papua New Guinea, the Land of the Unexpected.

Yesterday, we arrived in the capital of PNG, Port Moresby. It is such a stark contrast to Australia that one cannot help but notice how one simple plane ride can take you what seems a million miles away.

Before I talk about our luggage issues, I would like to say first that our flight from LA to Australia went very well. We were able to sleep for a good part of the trip which was a surprise considering the screaming baby two rows over. Thanks, V Australia, for the complimentary ear plugs. I would like to thank those who were praying for us during what can be a difficult time.

Now for the luggage. The dreaded, the unthinkable, the lost piece of luggage happened. As we stood in line for our Visa Upon Arrival Visas, we watched our bags go round and round on the carousel. After a good 25 minute wait, we finally got to the baggage area only to discover that one bag was missing. Noticing our panic, and Mary's tears, an airport representative (PNG national with a clipboard and orange vest) came over and took some information regarding our luggage. He wrote down the description, tag numbers, etc. but that was not much comfort to me as things can move very slowly here in PNG. A representative from New Tribes Mission met us at the airport and he also went over with the vest-guy all the important info. We left the baggage area only to realize that the bag that was left contained all of Bonnie and Betty's clothes. More tears.

We waited for the hotel van only a few minutes (with the NTM reps) before we were wisked away to our home for the night. We shared a delicious meal with the Suttons (NTM reps) of fresh made pizza and lukewarm sodas. The pizza really was delish!

We said our goodbyes and started the next phase of our travels: jet lag management. It was 4:30 p.m. We decided we needed to stay awake until at least 8 p.m. and then sleep as much as we wanted in order to get on the same time zone we were now occupying. So Mary and Sally and Richard went swimming (Betty and Bonnie's bathing suit was in the missing suitcase) while the rest of us sat by the pool and tried to stay awake.

I fixed myself a cup of coffee which helped me for about 30 minutes. We came back to the room and decided to get to get showered and ready for bed then play charades.

We played for around 30 minutes when we realized that there was no staying awake. We had to succomb to the need for sleep. We had made it all the way to 6:30 p.m. I was so proud.

More tomorrow as it is already 8:30 and I am the last one up...time for bed!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Travel Eve

It is 9:30 p.m. and all is well. The bags are in the car (except for Richard's which has yet to be packed) with little room to spare. The snow is falling and the plows are plowing. The girls are playing Wii tennis before they get in bed.

We just had a few moments of prayer time. It causes me to reflect on how blessed we really are. It is a privilege to serve God in Papua New Guinea once again. I can't believe we are actually going and if I think about it too long I start to get anxious. For the last few months PNG was something that was coming up...something in the future. Almost like it wasn't real. Even last week when I began the packing process, it just seemed like some event that may never come. But tonight, we are all feeling a little jittery.

So jittery in fact that Bonnie hard boiled 21 eggs. It was partially my fault as she was simply following my directions. Our tradition before we leave for a trip is to eat as much food out of the fridge the day before as we can. That usually means hard boiling eggs so we can make egg salad sandwiches for the next day of travel. I showed Bonnie how to do it and went about my laundry duty. I came back in later and told her to go ahead and do another round of eggs. Later, I came back to the kitchen and reminded her to do some more eggs. It wasn't until dinner that I realized that she had done 3 batches, not 2, making 21 hard boiled eggs. Needless to say, we had eggs for dinner with plenty left over for sandwiches tomorrow.

The roads look ugly and we are praying the storm will pass by morning. Our plane leaves DIA at 4:25 p.m. for LA. Then it is LA to Brisbane, Australia.

Thank you for all who are praying. I know it has kept me grounded over the last weeks but especially the last few days that have been so very full. We will write more soon!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Packing Central


Thought everyone might get a laugh at our guest guests allowed! We are packing, hoping to be done today. We have two suitcases that are just packed with stuff that was given by my Ladies' Bible Study for the missionary ladies. Things like chai tea latte mixes and jello. Hopefully it all makes it through customs!

We leave on Wednesday so things are coming quickly. School today, basketball game tomorrow, church on Sunday. We so appreciate your prayers for our peace during this hectic but exciting time.