Thursday, June 14, 2012

Packing for the village part 2

I would like to share a little bit about how we did some different things that helps us out in the village...And lets face always help if not MAKE the story.

We have been learning some food type, packing type, etc things that has been a fun and interesting learning curve. 

First off,
the cheese.....

Apparently, as some of you may know, cheese will not spoil (as quickly) if it is submerged in voila!  Isn't it beautiful?  I will take an after picture, once we actually get it into our kitchen and it has already made its voyage across the sea, and see if it is still as beautiful.  Hoping that it makes it okay.  Tupperware here is a complete joke so we paid WAY TOO MUCH for these little dinky containers that may or may not leak.  I tested them with water before I "made" the cheese and they mostly were air tight. :)  This is just 2 kilos of cheese.  Or for all you Americans out there...about 5 pounds. 

And then there is the meat situation.
We have practically NO meat (unless Hought catches some fish, fingers crossed) or we can eat some meat at some celebrations that the villages have.  But as we will not have any refrigeration, actually having meat on the island isn't a huge option at this point anyway.  SO we have learned that there are a couple missionary families that dehydrate ground beef and package it up and add it to meals.  We also purchased lentils and dried beans (which is a new development here in Vanuatu, you usually cannot find dried beans that are not completely eaten already by weevils) So we were jazzed to see a new frenchy store with un-weevily beans. 

So here is Laura and I sporting the "chop suey" or better know as stir fry cut meat right before we turn on the dehydrator.  It runs about 12 hours and is crispy when finished.  We hope to have recipes perfected by the time this stint is over. :)

and here I am putting the finished product in ziplock baggies which will then be double bagged and put into a well sealed seen in the following pic of me with beans.

So as you may have read from our newsletter, these nifty little barrels were previously used by a resort here for the pool.  The chlorine barrels are water proof and fairly sturdy.  So we put all our dehydrated meat and beans and lentils in this one and had one other that I put all our books in.

So this time around we packed all our cooking gear, sleeping stuff, food bought here in town to last us for this time out in the village, a small about of school (mostly just books to keep the kids reading) some notebooks to make observations in and journal in, etc.  We are taking these 8 weeks off of school so we can focus on just hanging out with the people and getting as much language exposure as possible.
The Brisk makes a stop on North Ambrym about once a week.  So we are able to a large amount of our things on the ship and we will get to be there when the ship arrives to take some photos.  

Here are some photos of us packing up for the stuff to go on the ship.
Hought taping up the boxes.

Recognize those totes anyone?  :) Here you can also see the gas bottle that will provide for our two burner stove on the bottom left of teh photo.  Generator is just behind the gas bottle.  We hope not to use it on this time out but bringing just in case.

This is in the warehouse for The Brisk.  It hadn't come to Vila yet on its run from Santo (a Northern island) so they keep all the cargo in this warehouse until it arrives and can be loaded.

We pay buy how much space our cargo takes up on the ship, so you can see them measuring it out here.  We also had our things shrink wrapped! WAHOO! :)

Houghton working on getting the satilite up and running.  A practice run for when we get it out in the bush.  I can say that it was a very successful practice run as I am currently updating this blog using the MUCH faster internet connection from it.

Gwen has wanted to get her hair chopped for some time now.  I figured now was a great time for it.  She looks SUPER cute with her new hairdo.

Packing for the village

In a matter of days we will be taking off for North Ambrym.  We hope to take a flight out to Craig Cove (west Ambrym) Saturday morning and then its onto a little boat for the rest of our trip up to the North.  We plan to stay about 8 weeks.  This first trip is very important to us because it is in our first visit that we are able to start to make friendships, learn the first chunk of language, start to understand a schedule for our family in the village, begin to really picture our work there, etc.  We are excited about this trip.  This excitement is also mixed with a bit of anxiety as we step into a whole different lifestyle, culture, and language.  This feeling is mixed for the kids as well, although a lot of their anxiety is based on not being able to take EVERYTHING that belongs to us out at this time.  We also will be saying some bitter-sweet goodbyes to a fantastic family that will be returning to America while we are in Ambrym.  The Nehrbass family has completed their translation on the island of Tanna and they are going back to America to begin a new stage of ministry stateside.
It has been a joy to see a number of families here complete their work and many more are near completion to the praise of His glory. 
May I say that Vanuatu is in such a huge need for more families!

Last month Jesiah and Houghton were able to take a quick trip out to North Ambrym to make sure all was a "go" for us to make the move.  It was awesome for Si to be able to be there with dad for the initial visit and I know that it has encouraged him in the work that God has for him in North Ambrym.  Here are some photos from their trip...

 The boys in front of the ship that took them to North Ambrym.

Jesiah, just after the boat took off from Vila.  The trip there went smoothly for which they were very grateful!  It was a fairly quick boat trip (only about 12 hours one way) compared to the 28 hour one that Hought took last time. :)

 Enjoying some comic book reading to pass the time. Si is on the upper deck in this pic and you can see that it was night time.

 Si is holding some kumala (like sweet potato) and the kid on the far left is holding some sugar cane.

During rainy season this little "hole" fills up with rain water and provides a great way to cool off.  You can see the tiny little white and blue Si jumping into the water below.

 Breaking open some coconuts to eat the little white ball that is growing on the inside.  Blech!  But the kids love it. :)

Plucking supper

 Si on the coast eating a coconut.  Just a walk away from where our house will be built.

 Talking to mom. ;)  I am so thankful that there are cell towers on the islands now so we can still stay in touch when on the island.  You can see that Si is on the coast, ocean just to his right, volcanic rock all around.  Cool eh?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Our adventures of late

Coming back to Vanuatu has been a great joy.  God continues to lead and guide and it is incredible to be tossed about in His perfect timing.
While in the Melbourne airport we had the great pleasure of waiting for repairs to be done on our plane.  Who doesn't LOVE that, right?  We then got to hear that our flight had to be canceld for the night and would take off the next morning. More fun news.... but as always, God has His plan and we have ours along with His plan...

After the commotion of going down to baggage claim and getting all of our 11 bags back onto trollies, I notice that a Ni-Van couple was having trouble locating some of their luggage.  Because I am nosey (yep, just tellin it how it is people)  I had noticed that they were looking for a couple items that I knew were in "oversized baggage" claims and so I went over and in Bislama (which TOTALLY threw her for a loop...this random white chick coming up and speaking her language, with a lot of flaws mind has been a whole year for me lol) explained to her where she could find her other luggage. 
So we pull and push our luggage trollies through the airport and customs and then through to our hotel on the other side of the street from the airport.  All the while I had the strong feeling that I really should have just invited this other family to tag along with us as then we could all figure out what we were supposed to do and where to be together.  But I didn't force it as I didn't want them to feel like they needed to be with us.
So and hourish later we find ourselves (us and Laura) sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for room assignments.  I finally cannot numb the feeling that I should make sure this family got to where they needed to I suggested to Hought (yep, so kind of me right?) that he should go down to the airport and make sure they found their hotel etc.
Hought heads that way and long story shortish, he finds that they havn't been able to find their hotel for TOTALLY good reasons because it was on the other side of the parking garage for the airport!  So he is able to point them in the right direction.  Just a fun little way of meeting people ya know?

Long story longer, Hought and Laura show up at customs for our container the other day and low and behold guess who helps with all the logistics on the wharf with containers...but  Rosalyn!  So it has been a lot of fun to see a familiar face at the wharf as things get settled there....

God's plans are funny.

Pics to come as I am able to upload...were talking snail paced internet. :)

Friday, March 02, 2012

On to the next stage...

We were able to visit with my family (Gretchen) in SD before we left for CA

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But here are some photos of our glorious time in CA visiting with Houghton's side of the family (apart from his sister and her family which live in GA)

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And a glimpse at our time here in Australia.  We have been having an awesome time re connecting with friends and meeting new people as we share in various churches and Bible studies and such.  Melbourne really is another home for us and we consider ourselves to be SO blessed to have such amazing people in our lives.

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