Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another great ending with Internet connection

I will start with just some random pictures...

Sitting in the kids room.

Walking into town

Gwenny is starting to really love babies...what a relief for Addy eh?

Houghton stretching before playing a game of soccer with some locals and the Gibb family (teammates)

Everyone loves to hold Addy. Thankfully she doesn't mind a bit.
Gwen checking out a "bigfala pik" or in MT English...a big 'ol pig

As I sit at our desk enjoying a nice breeze coming through the window...I cannot even think of what to type. It is amazing how much can be pressed into a couple weeks when you are only hanging out learning some language and just living in a new culture.

I tried to think of what I would like to know from friends who moved into such a I figured that a run down of daily life and of course pictures...lots. So that is what this post will be. I also am working on some videos that I am going to edit this week and post on for you all to check out.


MORNING: We wake up around 6:00 to a bright sunny day (with an occasional slightly overcast day with some misty rain), roosters crowing, car and bus (van) activity picking up. Most people wake up and start getting daily stuff done around this time.

DIAPERS: As I get breakfast ready I start the first washing of the diapers that have soaked all night. Takes two washes and then get them up to dry as quickly as possible so we have diapers for the next day.

BREAKFAST: We have oatmeal for breakfast 5 out of 7 days. With an occasional special Sat. breakfast of cereal (AMAZINGLY expensive here! for example a large box of Cheerios is literally $ 18.00) or french toast or pancakes.

MORNING: We have a usual morning. Hang out around the house playing/cleaning/etc or just finding time to shower (for gretch) While Houghton usually tries to take off and work with the guys outside. Sometime in the morning we also do some Bislama book study.

MORNING: This is also a time when Gwen likes to go around the house and pick up all the dead cockroaches and gecko poop that has found a place to rest on the floor. She LOVES to sweep and I LOVE to let her sweep up these little messes.

SNACK around 9:00: We have a snack of fruit (grapefruit, banana etc) with peanut butter (about a cup of pb for $1.00)

PLAY OUTSIDE: Either go for walks, down to the SIL library just down the hill on our property (toys and books, chalk, crafts)
SNOW IN VANUATU???? Nope...just scraping out the freezer and letting the kids play in the ice.

LUNCH around 11:00: Almost always a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. (except thurs lunch - keep reading for that explanation)

NAP: Gwen and Addy go down for a nap right after lunch and Si either watches a movie or naps as well...whatever he needs! :)

SNACK around 3:00: Consists of either home made Popsicles or chips/cracker thingys

PLAY OUTSIDE: There is also a sand box down the hill that Si enjoys or anything really outside that he and Gwen get into...spider hunting...throwing toys off the porch and then retrieving them...typical outside play

WALKS: We try and get out of our little housing area to chat with the people living across the street too. We will walk to Laura's house (just so we have a destination) or to the meat market and just stop and talk along the way.

SUPPER: Start cooking around 4:00 so supper is done by 5:00 and eat as the sun is setting (dark by 6:00)

BATH: Bath time just after singing and Bible stories (yep we are one of those WEIRD families :)) Bath is every night as they are incredibly dirty by the end of the day.

BEDTIME: Kiddos in bed around 7:30. Houghton and I get stuff done and head to bed around 10:00.

DIAPERS: Right before bed I take the days load of dirty diapers and put them in the solution to start soaking overnight.


MONDAY: Laundry day. I try and get this all done in the AM so it has all day to get dry. When it is raining then this day gets pushed back to Tuesday. Also kind of a family day as we try and hit a beach etc.

TUESDAY: I (Gretch) and Addy use this morning as my shopping morning. Arian (our house girl) comes at 9:00 and I leave at 9:00 by bus to get to my first large shopping stop. Have our weekly taxi driver (Elder Willy) pick me up when I am done at the first stop and take me to my final stops. Usually including the market, the "supermarket", some warehouse stores that sell things in bulk (when you can get the things you want...depends when shipments come) and then back home I go. I am usually home around 11:30. The taxi costs us 9.00. So it is not bad.

On my way to town to get some shopping done...Si is in the pic but he doesn't go along. (fyi)

WEDNESDAY: I go to a ex-patriot play group with all the kiddos from 9-11. After paying some membership fees and whatnot you can rent toys from the group which has proven useful since we didn't bring much for toys. The kids enjoying playing with all the others. There are about 15 moms in all so it can get a little crazy...but good.

THURSDAY: Arian comes at 9-12 and helps with sweeping as I mop the house. We chat the whole time, as to help me with Bislama. She also teaches me how to cook an island meal for the lunch on Thurs. Last week we had SUPER YUMMY meal: We peel sweet potatoes (here called kumala) and boil them while we grate coconut to make coconut milk and squeeze the milk on little island cabbage bundles. Boil and cabbage in the milk and then eat it poured over the potatoes. YUM YUM. I think coconut milk makes everything taste amazing. Plus it is fun to make.

FRIDAY: Arian comes at 9-12 and helps with laundry and sweeping...but mostly hangs out with the kids so I can get caught up on Internet and business things. Friday afternoon is bread making day. So we make two loaves of bread each week to last us for the week. Friday night is also pizza and a movie night for our fam. I make homemade pizza and we pick a movie out from ones we brought. You can also buy movies here for SUPER cheap as they are all pirated movies and were totally video taped in a theater...pretty funny actually.

SATURDAY: Just chill...enjoy some special breakfast...catch up on it all.

SUNDAY: Go visit a church here. We are trying to get a good idea of the churches in the area (there are a ton) so we have visited a different church each Sunday. Usually I sit outside with the kids and all the other ladies with kids while Houghton sits in on the service. I kinda like it that way...then I get yet another chance to hang out with ladies.


As you can see our days are not TOO different that yours probably...just a little bit here and there.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Greetings from the other side!

We are doing great. The kids did marvelous on the plane ride. They all slept most of the 11 hours and the 3 hour layover in Fiji went good as well. Seemed to not have any problems with thier ears because of the air pressure, Praise God!

It has almost been a week here in Port Vila (Vila town - Bislama) and we are starting to get into a good sleeping habit. For a while we were going to bed at 5:00 PM and getting up around 4:00...ahhhh...:) but we are now in a good routine. The kiddos have been SUPER. Thanks for your prayers!

We are learning Bislama surprisingly fast. I was at the market today while Hought did some internet work here at the Cafe and was able to talk with some ladies in Bislama. They are so helpful with words and it was good for me to practice a bit. Hought is doing AWESOME with Bislama. He talks with the gardner for a couple hours a day and works with him to help learn quickly. I am super proud of him because he thought he would be bad at learning a language. So Praise God He is helping us learn. All in 5 days anyway....we have a long ways to go!

Since a picture can speak a thousand you go!

Houghton looking off our porch with his macheteKids playing on the front porchAddy enjoying it all

On the steps of our front house (only temp house for now)

Went to the beach and collected hermit crabs and put them in a coconut shell. Gwenny and Si both loved to play with them.

Flying to Port Vila, Vanuatu from FijiFlying to Port Vila, Vanuatu from Fiji

Flying from Fiji to Port Vila

Flying from Fiji to Port Vila
A indescribable view from our temporary home
This looks out onto most of the island!!! We will be moving to our permanent house soon.