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Photo Friday- Back Home

We have internet that’s going to expire today so I’m posting Photo Friday on Thursday night.  On our last day of vacation we did a little sight seeing. While Josh held the fruit bat Connor might’ve been the smart one and stood very far away!SONY DSC

We also saw a Hindu temple with monkeys living in and around it. Connor was a little more interested in the monkeys.SONY DSC

SONY DSCWe knew we were back in PNG when our feet started looking like this again.  These feet are actually usually much dirtier than this.DirtyFeet

We celebrated Makenna’s 8th birthday this week! She had a really good time celebrating with 13 of her friends.  They had a tea party and made bracelets.

SONY DSC I made ricotta cheese for the second time.  This time was much more successful.  I learned that you can’t use the boxed UHT milk (no fresh dairy here) so I tried it with powder milk and it worked!  We brought lasagna to a family that just arrived in Ukarumpa.  Another POC has arrived.  Hard to believe that there have already been 2 POCs since we arrived.  We are no longer the new people in town!

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While friends and family are getting snow in the northeast in April, (!?!) we’re having water balloon fights.  One of the many reasons we love PNG!

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A Break in Bali

 

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We feel so blessed to be able to get away and take a vacation outside of PNG!  It has been so relaxing and fun for all of us.  We have another day in Bali before heading back to PNG, and decided to post this now while we have the luxury of free wi-fi.

We have been looking forward to swimming, eating out and just being anonymous for a week. Ukarumpa is a small world, about 2.5 miles in circumference surrounded by a fence with 800+ people living inside.  It’s been nice to get outside of the fence, not have bars on our windows or guards patrolling 24/7 and just relax!

One thing I (Sarah) took joy in right away was clean feet!  In Ukarumpa we’re always walking on dirt/rocky roads in flip flops or some kind of open shoe.  The kids are also often found running around barefoot.  At the end of the day our feet are seriously dirty!  I have not grown to love our tradition of washing feet before going to bed.  After swimming in the pool here for a couple days our feet are beautifully clean again!Feet

We’ve spent most of our time by or in the pool.  It’s been great to see our kids haven’t forgotten how to swim and have swam around the entire pool without any floating devices!SONY DSC

Kids Pool

Although the kids preferred the pool, we also went to the beach a couple days.  The ocean here always seemed to be full of surfers.  Maybe if Josh didn’t have a broken rib (from playing basketball in Ukarumpa), he would’ve tried surfing too.

Surfing blog5

We have good coffee in PNG, but there’s something about drinking Starbucks that brings us back home!  It was especially delicious after spending the morning on the beach and walking through the markets (it’s pretty hot here).

Caramel Macchiatos!

Caramel Macchiatos!

A highlight for the kids was letting them eat McDonalds for lunch.  We usually only let them get a Happy Meal on road trips in the US so they didn’t get them often but they still missed them.McDonalds

Everywhere we went we saw offering baskets called ‘canang sari ‘ that the Balinese offer to their Gods three times a day. The majority of people here are Hindu.
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We will return to Ukarumpa feeling refreshed and ready to tackle all that we have to accomplish to get ready to leave to have our baby.  We’ve decided to return to the states to have the baby, but we still need to figure out where to live and where the kids will go to school.  Still, we’ve been very encouraged by all our friends and family who have been looking into options for us!

Photo Friday- School Break

The kids are on a 2 week break from school.  For some reason it’s actually felt like a summer break for the first time for me.   It’s been hot and sunny, but we’ve had other breaks when it was hot and sunny.  Maybe it’s because our friends invited the kids over to swim a couple times.  Once we got the sunscreen applied, bathing suits on and towels packed it felt like summer.  This is the kids’ first time swimming in Ukarumpa!  The first day we tried to keep the pool clean.  The second day we gave up and you can see what happened!  The kids didn’t seem to mind at all.Blog1Blog

Photo Friday

These were the kids expressions when we told them we’re having a baby!  They are beyond thrilled!  Makenna would like a sister to share her room and Connor would like a brother to share his room.  This did lead Connor to wonder whether I would have twins!

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My part-time job at the primary school just kicked into high gear.  I ordered most of our supplies (books, paper, pencils, etc.) for the upcoming school year in October 2013 and they just arrived via sea freight from America this week.  This van was packed full, and now I need to unpack and distribute all the supplies to the teachers.VANBoxes

Tuesday is garbage day in Ukarumpa, and this is our garbage truck.Garbage

Makenna’s class has been celebrating Dr. Seuss this week and they declared Wednesday, “Wacky Wednesday”, and were asked to dress wacky that day.  Makenna had a braid on one side and a pony tail on the other side, a backwards shirt and we painted her nails 3 different colours.  You can see the crazy patterns too.  She had fun with it.Wacky Wednesday

An interesting caterpillar in our yard.  There are also several cacoons on this same bush so we’ll have fun watching them.Caterpillar

Kitchens vs. Rats

If you read our most recent newsletter Josh alluded to a rat story.  He wasn’t sure if I would share it.  You may have heard some of these incidents, but I thought I’d share our entire battle story.  Our newsletter talked about highs and lows so here are some of my lows!  Warning- this is not for the faint of heart. 

Rat 1 & 2: The first time we heard one in our kitchen it sounded like a robber (“raskol” in Tok Pisin).  It knocked down bottles, a garbage can, etc. and made quite the racket!  Josh saw it behind our oven and said it was huge!  Kind friends loaned us their T-Rex rattraps and we think we caught that rat.  Shortly after, we caught another one in our attic.Lily

 Rat 3:  The next one showed up on a Sunday while I was cooking lunch.  Josh had put glue traps behind our oven and refrigerator.  This particular rat was injured on a trap but managed to get himself off and drag himself over a shelf and under our refrigerator.  As I stirred the taco meat, I saw something moving in the corner of my eye only about a foot away!  Our friends were supposed to show up any minute.  I’ll admit I ran away screaming.  Josh saved the day, removed it and took care of it just in time.

 Rat 4:  The next rat actually chewed a hole in Connor’s backpack trying to get a banana we forgot to take out.  We heard it in the kitchen but when Josh got up he didn’t see it.  It also knocked over the garbage and there were wrappers all over the kitchen floor.  Thankfully the T-Rex trap also took care of him.

Rat 5:  While Josh was in a village sleeping on the ground a rat came and chewed a hole in his hilum which was laying next to his head in order to eat the biscuits inside.  He discovered this in the morning when the biscuits were gone and there was a big hole in the hilum.  Thankfully he was staying near the woman who made the hilum, and she was able to fix the hole.

Rat 6:  The next time Josh was away when I heard a screeching sound in my laundry room at night.  I knew a rat must have been dragging the trap on the cement floor, but I wasn’t brave enough to look.  My very kind and brave friends came the next morning to look and found only 1 leg left behind.

Rat 7:  Again while Josh was away I started smelling something.  I thought I knew what it was and a friend  confirmed it was definitely a dead rat and it was near my refrigerator or stove.   My same brave friends came over and moved my appliances around to find a dead rat on a glue trap underneath my oven.  At this point, this smart friend recommended removing said traps and replacing them with a T-Rex one which we could hear if it caught something.  No one looked closely, but I wondered if we  caught that 3-legged rat.

Rat 8 & 9:  After Rat #7 we didn’t have any rat sightings for several months.  Our cat brought these next 2 rats to her babies on our deck already dead.   Yes it was gross seeing them on our deck, but we were very proud of Lily for finally catching big rats!   We got the cat shortly after the first rat sighting and we had previously only seen her get baby rats.

Rat 10:  This is the rat Josh referred to in our newsletter.  Again we started smelling something, but we were comforted that it seemed to be outside or at least in our attic.  We heard our cat in the attic the night before so we thought she had something to do with the smell.  The smell went away after a couple days.  A week later I saw a little chunky white worm-like thing on our desk in our office.  Then I saw another.  I didn’t know what they were.  While I was out, another one fell on Josh’s head while he was working.  Guess where this dead rat was?  Josh poked his head up in our attic (the opening is only 1 foot by 1-1/2 feet) to see that it was decomposing in our attic just above the office and was covered in giant maggots which were falling through gaps in our ceiling!  It was so gross Josh asked if someone from housing could come and remove (“rausism” in Tok Pisin) it.  I heard that poor man gag when he removed it.

I asked Josh to remove the firewood that has been under our deck since we moved in since I suspect this might be where the rats are living.  Connor proudly helped remove the wood with daddy.   I expected to see rats during village living but we didn’t.  No, we didn’t see any in PNG until we moved into this house.  I seriously thought of moving, but I realised rats could be in the next house too.  Some of the excitement of living in PNG!Firewood

Photo Friday

The kids were evacuated from school one day this week because fires around the school got too close and the school became engulfed in smoke.  I don’t have a picture of the smoke, but this is what the field just outside the school’s fence looked like the next day.  For more about burning fields, you can read here.

Fires

Josh’s basketball team played a second game against the team they lost against last week.  This time they won!  The store manager’s son is on the team so when Josh asked if we could buy the team ice cream cones after the game he said yes.  Our store closes at 4pm so he opened it just for the team.  Ice Cream

This is Josh with the TSC graduates of the Old Testament Introduction class. Of the 22 participants, 11 were sponsored by The Seed Company.

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Photo Friday

I missed a couple photo ops last weekend.  The 9th grade classed showed the movie Monsters University in our Meeting House as a fundraiser.  They sold popcorn and it almost felt like we were at the movies, except for the very uncomfortable wooden benches.  Josh was also in a short play about Job during our Sunday morning service.

We have lots of spiders all over our yard!  Some of them are so pretty that I’m starting to see spiders a new way.  It’s much easier to appreciate them outside my house.  If they venture inside, that’s another story!

Spider Yellow Spider Spider

Since it’s March I’ve decided it might be time to take the Christmas cards off of my fridge.  Thank you to everyone who sent us cards!  It really meant a lot to us!Christmas Cards

Josh’s basketball team had their first game this week.  They played against a local school and a big crowd of PNGns came to watch.  They lost in double overtime, but it was pretty close.  Not bad since one of the kids on Josh’s team used to go to that school in 6th grade and there was an 18 year old in his class!  School looks very different in PNG.  Sometimes kids have to take off a year or more of school because their parents cannot afford school fees or their village may be fighting.

I can see part of the basketball court from our window.  I enjoyed seeing Josh's assistant coach practicing with the big boys.  Can you see his little blonde head?

I can see part of the basketball court from our window. I enjoyed seeing Josh’s assistant coach practicing with the big boys. Can you see his little blonde head?

Connor right by Daddy's side.  He can't wait to be on a basketball team!

Connor right by Daddy’s side. He can’t wait to be on a basketball team!

Did you notice some of the PNG guys are not wearing shoes?

Did you notice some of the PNG guys are not wearing shoes?

For the past 2 weeks they’ve had “Book Fair” going on at the primary school.  They’ve had reading goals, a chance to exchange books and also donate books to a local school.  Today was the last day and they ended it with an annual Book Parade where the kids dressed up as their favourite book character and paraded around the school.

BookFairTonight, Makenna and I went to see the high school’s performance of “The Importance of Being Earnest”.  They did a great job!  Makenna didn’t get all of it, but she still enjoyed it.  Earnest

 

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