I Want to Move to Bali

We had an amazing time in Bali!  So much so, that it’s worth saying again.  A-MAY-ZING.  I’m ready to move there, if God should somehow change up our ministry. :)

So, why Bali?  It is one of the cheapest places for us to go that is off-island and somewhat Western.  Did you know that Bali is part of Indonesia?  Yup, sure is!  While it is super touristy, it is so gorgeous and you can get a decent burger!  What more do you need in a vacation, really?

This was our 4th trip to Bali and so we decided to spread our wings and explore some parts of Bali that we had never seen before.  Since it was a two-week trip, we got to spend a decent amount of time in each place.  Something else new for us this trip: we stayed mostly in rented villas rather than hotel rooms.  I’m not sure I can go back to a hotel room now.  A private villa with a private pool is the way to go!  (And depending where you stay and how many people you need to house, it can actually be cheaper than a hotel room!)

Room with a View

Grasshopper

Pool with a View

Could I wake up to this view every morning?  Yes, yes I could.

Coffee

Rice Terrace

One of our stops was this amazing coffee plantation, that not only had an amazing view, but also amazing coffee. Have you heard of Kopi Luwak?  It is one of the most expensive coffees in the world.  It’s poop coffee guys.  Poop.  It’s really good, I swear.  And while one cup of this can go for upwards of $35-$100, I had a cup for about $3.50.  Not to shabby.  Learn more about it here.

At this plantation, called Bali Pulina, they show the process from bean to cup.  Elias was fascinated.  And I was fascinated by how fascinated he was.  They gave us several different kinds of coffee to try for free (and we also opted to pay for a cup of kopi luwak).  Elias tried every single one of them, except for the poop one.  He just couldn’t get passed the “drinking poop” aspect of it.  I couldn’t convince him that you’re not actually drinking poop.

Rice Field

Home Path

Bali boats

Bali Zoo Elephant

Door

Bali Door

I was obsessed with all of the gorgeous doorways.  They range from beautifully ornate, to super simple and I loved each and every one of them.  When I buy my Bali property, I’m definitely getting a gorgeous door 😉

While this life we live comes with many challenges, I never want to forget all of the amazing experiences and beautiful places that are within arms-reach.

Safety Bash: 5 Years of Accident-Free flying!

In September, MAF Papua celebrated 5 years of safe, accident-free flying!  This is a huge milestone, especially considering the environment in which our pilots and mechanics work and fly.  It is not uncommon for their to be an aviation accident, often fatal, every month in Papua.  (I should say here, that in MAF’s accident 5 years ago, no one was injured.  Praise God.)  We are so, so grateful for our culture of safety in MAF and we know that both our pilots and mechanics are striving to make safe choices everyday!

In light of this milestone, we had a safety bash on base.  And, as one does, we had a pig roast!  Pig roasts in Papua signal celebration, especially since pigs are so highly valued.  One pig can sell for as much as $1,000.

Babi Guling

resize-8167

Different from pig roasts we have done in the past (bakar batu: cooking the pig in the ground with hot stones), this time the pig was roasted on a spit.  This method, called babi guling, is most common in Bali.  However, a man who lives here in Nabire, and is a huge supporter of MAF, offered to roast the pig for us!  Yum.

Happy 5 years, MAF!

Back to School: Letter F!

After a lovely, and oh-so-needed vacation to Bali, we are now home and getting back into the rhythm of life in Nabire, which includes school!  So, we have arrived at the letter H!  But you haven’t heard from me since E, so let’s back up a quick second…

F is for Frog

Day One: F is for Frog!  First we made his letter F frog.  Above, Elias is drawing flies for the frog to eat.

Frog jumping

Next we played a little leap from game with some plastic frogs that we have.  They had to “jump” to the correct lily pad as I called out the letter.

fish scales

 

Day Two: F is for Fish!  We actually didn’t do much fish related this day, however he did paint this fish using q-tips to make scales.new app

Then he played a new game I downloaded on the iPad called “Letter School”  It’s super fun, and helps him to learn to recognize and write letters.

bunny game

This game really has nothing to do with letters, but it is critical thinking.  Each card has a picture of a few objects in a certain arrangement.  He has to look at the picture and then recreate it using the objects.  It’s called Bunny Peek A Boo and Elias loves it.

family photos

Day Three: F is for Family!  First we looked at pictures of Elias’ Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents.  Since we only see them every few years, we find it important to look at their pictures often and talk about them all.

family tree

Then we made a family tree.  Elias did a great job of putting the right kids with the right parents!  He also decided to put his birth mom on a branch near us.
F book

All the books

Finally, he made his F book.  I love his little collection of books that he has created.  And he does love to read them from time to time!

Backyard Explorers

I have really great memories of my backyard when I was a kid.  I, along with my friends and siblings, played for hours and hours in our backyard: kick the can, climbing trees, swinging on swings, playing in our tree house, building snow forts, camping out, and on and on.

But over here, we barely even go in our backyard (who wants to go to the backyard when there is literally a playground in the front yard?)  However, Elias and I have taken a few exploratory trips into the vast unknown of our backyard and you know what?  There’s a jungle back there!  Full of cool plants and even cooler bugs (although the bugs don’t like to be photographed).

Barb wire

little explorer

Binoculars are a required accessory when backyard exploring!

palm

fern

underside of a leaf

These sweet little flowers were growing on the underside of the leaves…good thing my exploring partner is short, or I may have completely missed them!

roots

inside a palm tree

spider

 

This is definitely not what my backyard looked like growing up in the midwest, but it is gorgeous.  Maybe we’ll start hanging out back there more often!

E Week!

We have made it all the way to the letter E in our little preschool now!  And I feel like we both deserve gold stars.  Maybe 5 consistent weeks of school doesn’t seem like a big deal, but since it is often a daily battle, I’m feeling pretty good about 5 weeks of school!

E week turned out to be a pretty fun week!

resize-2

Eagle

E is for Eagle!  Elias made his letter E eagle and we watched a fun little video about eagles on YouTube.  He loved watching the eagles swoop and dive for fish.

resize-7979

resize-7989

Next we did some review since he’s still getting his letters mixed up.  I wrote all of the letters we’ve learned so far on the floor and he had to throw a bean bag to the letters as I called them out.  After that, he used the same letters on the floor to make play dough versions of each letter.

Escape!

Next, we played a little game called Escape!  I froze several small plastic toys in ice and Elias had to use a hammer to help them escape!  He loves this activity, we’ve played it several times.

resize-7912

On day two we learned about elephants.  I neglected to take many pictures this day, but we talked about elephants and then walked around the house pretending to be elephants.  We also made letter Es with our bodies!

Elias

The last day of E week was Elias’ favorite.  E is for Elias!  First he did this little activity matching the clothes pins to the proper letter to spell his name.

Egg hunt

Next, he did an egg hunt in his room.  I hid 25 eggs in there and he loved discovering each of them.

What's in the eggs?
Spell your name

Once all the eggs were found, he cracked open each egg to find a letter inside–the letters of his name.  He sorted the letters by making a pile for each letter that he found and then practiced putting the letters in the right order to spell his name.  (his head isn’t really all wonky in real life…it’s just the lens I was using).

We also sang a little song that I made up to help him remember how to spell his name.  It goes like this:

E-L-I-A-S
E-L-I-A-S
That’s how you spell your name, it’s
E-L-I-A-S

A song writer, I am not, but it’s effective and he can usually spell his name pretty well!

Phew!  5 letters down, 21 more to go!

MAF in Haiti

Devestation in Haiti

As I’m sure you’re aware, Hurricane Matthew’s affects on the island nation of Haiti have been devastating.  MAF has 5 expat families on the ground there as well as 15 national employees.

So far, MAF has been able to do survey flights to access the damage and has begun to fly for several relief organizations.  If you’re interested in finding out more about MAF’s relief effort, click here.

Join with us in prayer for this Nation: both those affected by the hurricane and those aiding in the relief effort!

photo credit: Tim Schandorff, MAF Haiti

Belum: An Adoption Update

belum

 

There’s this lovely little word in Indonesian that explains more about Indonesian’s ability to be ever hopeful than any other word I have come across.  Just this one word displays hopeful anticipation that everyone here seems to have.  Even in the face of unknown odds, this word give a glimmer of light to an other wise cloudy situation.  You know what it is?

“Belum.”

Not yet.

Unless it is known beyond a shadow of a doubt that something is absolutely not true and will never be true, most Indonesians will use the word “belum” where we might other wise say no.  Is the sky green?  No.  Have you ever been to the moon?  Not yet!  Is you child a girl?  No.  Do you like shrimp?  Not yet!

I loved this word when we were experiencing infertility.  Do you have children?  Not yet!

So, today, the day we received another “no” about a possible adoption match (our 7th), I fully believe that God is not saying NO to us in this adoption, He’s only saying NOT YET.  There is a child out there for us.  A child that God has hand-picked for our family and we will wait for him or her with hopeful anticipation!

photo credit: http://www.thetaylormadeadventures.com

Pantai Gedo

Elias, our little fish, had been asking to go to the beach for several weeks.  So, last Saturday we packed up the troops and headed out to a nearby beach.  It had been awhile since we had visited this particular beach, and we were pleasantly surprised by the improvements they have made!  Yes, there is still trash along the shoreline, but it was otherwise clean and quiet.
waves

waves

 

waves

sea shore

The water was a little wavier than we are used to, but Elias seems to have conquered his fear of the waves…as long as we are close by.

Big E, Little E

Indonesia is really into putting up these big signs all over the place now.  This one says “Pantai [beach] Gedo.”  We have one near our base that says “Pantai Nabire.”

driftwood

tree

play in the waves

whale shark statue

We used to say that this beach lived up to its moniker (Gedo), but now, though maybe not travel-magazine-ready, it is quite beautiful and pleasant morning at the beach!

Daboto School

If you received our most recent newsletter, you read about the school in Daboto.  (If you didn’t read it, you can see it here)  I had so many pictures from Daboto that won’t all fit in a newsletter, so I thought I’d share them here.  We are so excited and so blessed to be a part of this project, even if it’s just a small part!

unloading plywood

It's far

All the way to the worksite

Hand-Carry

Every single piece of wood, every piece of furniture, every tool that is offloading from Nathan’s airplane is carried by-hand to the work site, all the way down the airstrip, then down a narrow little path…it’s not close.  But there are plenty of helping hands to do the work!

Clinic gourd guy

Another project that we didn’t mention in the newsletter is this little clinic.  Siloam is a rather large medical group (is that the right term?)  There are several Siloam Hospitals in Indonesia.  It is, in fact, where Nathan was treated many, many years ago when he was having severe Crohn’s problems.  These clinic employs several workers that run this little clinic, treating patients and passing out medicine.  Of course, if there are any major medical issues that cannot be handled at the clinic, a med-evac will still be called.

classroom kiddos

classroom again

they're just so cute

I mean, seriously

Look at that smile

lining up

I just love seeing all of these faces!  Can you even begin to wrap your brain around the amazingness that this little school, in this little village is the time first ever, in the history of time, Moi kids have received a formal education?  Because I sure can’t.

solar panels

teacher dorm

This is the teacher dorm and the solor panels that power it and the school.  No power company in the middle of the jungle!  I believe that the teacher dorm is now complete and the teacher will be moving in soon.

resize-7517

And, of course, we can’t say goodbye without a picture of an airplane and a grass airstrip, right?

 

 

 

Diggin’ D

D is for duck

I feel like I’m losing my mojo for school and we’re only on the letter D!  Uh-oh.  But we’ll press on anyway, because ultimately I really do enjoy this special time with my boy.

So, this week we learned about the letter D and started out with our letter D duck!  While Elias pasted this together, I read Duck in the Truck, one I actually own!  One of the harder parts of this for perfectionist me is letting him glue these things together without carefully placing all the pieces myself.  But I’m working on it and we end up with wonky ducks that he totally loves because he did it himself!

Writing practice

That little sticking-out tongue just kills me.  Love him!

letter identification

You know what’s great?  Tile floors and white board markers!  Our tiles are completely smooth and so they are super easy to write on and erase.  So we played this little game where he had to throw the beanbags to the letter I called out.

d is for domino

D

I almost forgot I had these little cardboard dominos–a white elephant gift from several years ago.  So, Elias used the big D I had written on the floor and made a d out of Dominos.

d is for doughnuts

On the last day of our D week, I had really great intentions of making yeast doughnuts.  Because how good are homemade doughnuts?  So good!  Unfortunately, my yeast was bad and so my doughnut dough never rose.  Elias had fun helping me mix together the ingredients anyway!….And then we made cake doughnuts the next morning.