Sorry for my prolonged absence from the blog. We have been busy with another awesome MAF family conference and then an inspection. Now we are home, getting back into the swing of things!
Have I ever told you that Elias’ middle name, “Tate”, which, by the way, was chosen by his birth mom, means “he who talks a lot” or “cheerful”? Oh man, it’s like she knew. This kid is CHATTY and cheerful (well, usually) and I’m loving every minute of it.
Without further ado, here is my adorable and oh so quotable Elias Tate:
Cupping his his hands as if he’s holding a tiny little whale shark:
“I go see whale shark and say, ‘You want come to my house?’ He say, ‘Yes!’ So cute.”
“Mom, you married my daddy. I single.”
“We are family. We are weird.”
First thing in the morning:
“The sun wake me up and hold me. He has toys. He has hairpanes and big jets and books. I read ‘em”
“Where’s Daddy, Mama?”
“Daddy working, Mama?”
“When Daddy all done working, Daddy play with me, Mama?”
“I help Daddy with his hairpane, Mama?”
“Can we buy special treat for Daddy, Mama?”
“Where Daddy’s motorbike, Mama?”
“When Daddy done working, I ride motorbike, Mama?”
“Daddy flying, Mama?”
“Daddy say ‘be sweet and obey.'”
“I show Daddy my legos, Mama.”
They have a special bond, these two. It makes my heart happy.
Nathan sometimes receives gifts from the tribal people in the villages where he flies. It’s usually fruit and vegetables. One time we got some honeycomb.
Last week, though, he got a very unexpected gift from the village of Gokodimi. He currently does not fly to this village. So the people of this village, desiring the MAF airplane to come, sent a representative to hike several days over to a village Nathan does fly to, to present him this gift:
Now, this may not look like much to you. But to the people of Papua, this is a highly valuable bag. The yellow fibers come from orchid plants that are only found high up in trees. Of course, there are no ladders, or cherry-pickers in the village. To get the orchid stems, you have to climb up to the tippy top of the tree. The stems of the orchids are then stripped to make the fibers. After that, the bag is woven by hand. MONTHS of work.
So, to be presented with this bag as a gift, is quite an honor. And we hope that someday, the village of Gokodimi will be able to have to MAF airplane land in their village.
It’s that time of year again: time to get our Indonesian driver’s licenses renewed! A trip to the police station to get your license renewed here is just about as fun as a trip to the DMV in the U.S.
First, we waited around for a long time in the waiting room. The waiting room here though is just a bunch of benches outside. Thankfully, one of our national staff workers came along with us to help us with filling out the paperwork and talking to the appropriate people. There’s a whole lot of vocabulary involved in getting a license that we just don’t know.
Then we were ushered into a little side room where we were fingerprinted.
And had our photos taken.
Then there was some more waiting…
And finally, about two hours after we walked in, we walked out with new licenses! Yay! We are legal to drive again for another year.
I’m not super creative. I’m really not. But what I am is a good copier I’ve seen these cute growth charts all over Pinterest, usually made of wood. I knew I wanted a fabric one so that it would be easy to roll up and take in a suitcase. So I spent the better part of a Saturday morning making this:
The best part? This is a no-sew project. I used iron-on seams, a sharpie marker and some black paint. Easy peasy.
I added some older measurements, along with a more current one. Look how much my boy has grown!
We don’t usually make it out to watch the sunset, which is really too bad because Nabire has some beautiful ones. But the sun always sets right in the middle of dinner/bathtime/bedtime craziness. (Sidenote: the sun rises and sets right around the same time every single day in this part of the world, being so close to the equator. When we first arrived in the States on furlough, we were thrown off by the sun setting so late! We actually forgot to eat dinner, because without the 6:00 sunset, we had no idea it was dinnertime.)
On Friday though, the day we returned home after two-weeks in Sentani, the sky was especially beautiful. We pulled Elias out of the tub, wrapped him in a towel and headed outside to watch the sunset. It was as if God was saying, “Welcome Home!” A camera can never quite do a sunset justice…but look how beautiful:
Every time I fly along with Nathan, I come home exhausted and amazed that he does this every. single. day. And while the flying itself has it’s own challenges (weather, rough terrain, short runways, etc.) the on-the-ground part is what really wears me out, and I’m just an observer!
In the air, Nathan is the pilot. And like I said, this is a challenge in itself. Flying here is no joke. But on the ground, he is the ground crew, unloading and loading the plane, this also often includes removing or adding seats; the ticket agent, writing tickets and collecting money; the flight attendant, directing people where to sit and how to work their seatbelts (often his passengers have never worn a seatbelt in their lifetime and so it’s really a trick to teach them how to use it!); the peacemaker, sometimes fights break out when there are more passengers than seats available; the runway clearer, not a real job in most airports, but a pretty important one here: getting all the people and animals off the runway so he can take-off again. All of these things happen within about 20 minutes. It’s a whirlwind of activity, followed up by a roller coaster ride take-off down a tiny dirt runway.
And then it’s on to the next village to do it all over again!