Pagamba

Nathan flew into Pagama recently to deliver building supplies.  He didn’t know what they for when he left Nabire, but the crowd of people waiting for him in Pagamga indicated that these weren’t just ordinary building supplies.

When he landed, he discovered the the supplies were for a school and his passengers were teachers!  The village of Pagamba had never had a school before, so for all of these years, the kids grew up uneducated, giving them little hope for the future.  So, you can imagine how excited they were to see that little red, white and blue airplane!

Landing in Pagamba.


Nathan with the teachers, their future students and some of the building supplies.

Three Degrees South

We live approximately 3 degrees south of the equator.  (The most southern part of Florida is 24 degrees north of the equator.)

And no, our toilets do not flush backwards.  Let’s just put that rumor to rest.

So, living close to the equator means this:

1.  We are closer to the sun and therefore sunburn happens much quicker.
2.  The sun rises and sets at approximately the same time everyday, year round.
3.  The temperature and humidity levels stay the about the same, year round.  (it’s usually in the mid-80’s and around 75% humidity)
4.  We only have two seasons: rainy and dry (or less rainy, as I like to call it).

I forget that the seasons are changing in the US right now and I forget that the days get shorter.

We watch American television and think, “Why is it so dark out? [on the show]  It’s only 6:00 pm!” or “They are driving on the wrong side of the road!” …but that’s a differently matter entirely.

So, soak up a little extra Fall for me, would ya?  Because I miss it!

Please Pray

Quote from JAARS, Inc.:
“A Pilatus PC-6 crashed today in Indonesia; pilot Paul Westlund and the two Indonesian passengers died in the accident. The plane—flown by our partner YAJASI—was traveling in a remote, mountainous area. The cause is still unknown, and an investigation is pending.

Paul had flown in Indonesia for nearly 25 years; he’s survived by his wife and two children. Please pray along with us for YAJASI, the families, and everyone else involved.”

We only met Paul a few times, but he flew in the same areas that Nathan flies everyday. Please pray for Paul’s family.

Baja Sauce

When we lived in Prescott, there were two places we ate if we ate out: Macayos or Chilis.

Now that we live in Nabire, there are two places that we eat out: the kitchen table or the couch.

I never realized how much I valued food, until I moved away from all of the food that I love.

We dream about food.

We choose our vacation spots based on the availability of Western food.  (Seriously.)

[sidenote to the Beck family: twenty-four days!]

I try to recreate some of our favorite dishes.

My latest, greatest and favoritest discovery is the Baja Sauce recipe from Macayos.

(now that I see that picture, I realize that my chimis don’t look like that…but oh well, they are still tasty!)

If you live no where near a Macayos, I am very sorry.  You should move.  Or, make this recipe!

Yummy Baja Sauce from Macayos*

*disclaimer: It’s been a fairly long time since I ate at Macayos, so I don’t remember anymore what exactly their Baja Sauce tastes like, but this stuff is good.  I promise.

  • 2 lbs of cream cheese
  • 8 oz half and half
  • 2 oz can diced jalapenos
  • dash of salt
  • sugar to taste

(of course, if you’re like me, and you’re not cooking for an army, you might modify the amounts a tiny bit and use sofisticated measurements like “some cream cheese”, “a little bit of half and half.”  I’m very precise in my cooking.)

1.  Mix all of that stuff together in a blender.

For the Chimis*:

*this is not how Macayos does it…this is Becky’s made up version.

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour tortillas (about 4)
  • oil for frying

1.  Melt butter in sauce pan, add olive oil and heat together.
2.  Add chicken, seasoning with salt and pepper.
3. Cook just until chicken is no longer pink (over cooked chicken=dry chicken).  Meanwhile heat frying oil to 350F.
4. Stir some of the Baja Sauce into the chicken until well coated (see, so precise).
5. Spoon some of the chicken into the center of each tortilla and fold like a burrito.
6.  Fry seam side down for about 30 seconds, or until golden brown and then flip.  Fry another 30 seconds.  Repeat for each chimi.
7.  Drain on a wire rack.  Then serve by pouring extra Baja Sauce over each chimi.

Do you have any favorite copy-cat recipes?

 

 

Yes, I Am Very Brave

Behind this little white door is a very scary place, a very scary place indeed: our attic.

Today I had reason to open this door and see what was behind it…even venture in.

I had been way to scared up until recently to open this little white door for one tiny little reason: BUGS.

And MICE.

All manner of things that make me shiver.

But, like I said, today I had reason…so, with flashlight and camera in hand, I opened the small white door.

Dun. Dun. Duuun.

The Attic.

Complete with low ceilings, spiderwebs and unseen creatures (but I know they are there).

But yes, I am very brave and entered.

Why you ask?

Because I wanted to move my modem into my office.

We have to turn our modem on and off because we pay for internet by the minute and it would cost us around $350/month if we left if on all the time.

So far the modem has been in the kitchen and my computer is in the office, making for trips back and forth to turn the internet on and off.  And that’s annoying, (and sometimes Imaybe  forget to turn it off).

Ta-da!  I know you wanted to see it.

The modem in the office.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Now you’ll excuse me while I go wash all of the spiderwebs out of my hair…

Interior

The best thing about being in the interior of Papua is the people.

They smile.

Alot.

(ok, so they don’t smile for pictures…but I promise, in real life, they smile alot.)

Our lives couldn’t be farther apart, and yet they are SO HAPPY to see us when we land in their village.

Many of these people, especially the younger ones, have never ventured beyond the mountains that border their village. I can barely fathom a life lived in one small village.

I haven’t seen much of the world really. I’ve been to maybe 25 states and 7 countries, but the world is HUGE and I have so much left to explore!

Being fair-skinned in a dark-skinned kind of world is a strange thing.

Everyone wants to take our picture.

At this particular village, a group of men carrying some kind of huge automatic weapons walked up to me (they are in the military) and asked if they could take my picture.  I usually say “yes” if Nathan is close by.

So, I smiled for abut 10 pictures and asked them if the picture was for Facebook.

They laughed and said yes.

So, somewhere out there in Facebook world are a bunch of pictures of me with Papuan soldiers carrying giant guns, standing next to a tiny airplane in a tiny village in the interior of Papua, Indonesia.

Who would have ever guessed this would be my life?  Not me.

Stump Puddle-Problem Solver

We had this problem in our front yard that every time it rained (which is frequently), we’d have a GINORMOUS puddle in front of our porch.   To get inside the house, you had to traipse right on through the giant, (did I mention?) muddy puddle. There was no avoiding it.  It was too big. 

We wanted to do something about it, but we didn’t want to spend a ton-o-cash. 

Then I found this picture on Pinterest (are you on Pinterest yet?  it’s aweseome):

And I thought, “One of the trees on base was stuck by lightning!”

And a tree struck by lighting in close proximity to the fuel gudang (what’s the English word??? um, storage area?) is bad…wood, sparks, fuel.  Bad.  So, the tree was cut down, leaving a ton of stumps lying around.  Perfect for my little front porch puddle problem!

…in process.

I realize that in comparison to the original Pinterest version, our little stump puddle-problem solver seems kind of weak sauce, but it works and it was FREE (except for the $8 shovel we had to buy)!

Hopefully it won’t just rot away…

No more puddle for us! (at least not right there…the backyard is a different problem story.)

Dog Walking

We’ve starting taking our dogs for a walk everyday. 

They love running around the base.

Nathan loves chasing them around the base.

I love watching it all happen.

It’s a win-win-win type of situation.

Have I mentioned recently how close we live to the ocean?  No?  Well, let me remind you: we live SUPER CLOSE to the ocean and it’s awesome.  You can’t really tell in the above picture, but the blown out white area in the top right of the photo is ocean.  Pretty, pretty ocean.

There it is again.  Sigh, I love the ocean.

Plus, that guy is pretty cute.  I think I’ll keep him.

The puppy too.

Life is good. :)

Green Thumb

I have no idea if I have a green thumb or not.  We had a few plants in our condo in Prescott that I managed to keep alive, so here’s hoping!

Since there are a few veggies that are not available in Papua, I thought I would try to grow them myself.

This is my garden just a few days after I first planted everything, including tomatos, pumpkins, spring onions, bell peppers, cilantro and jalapenos.

Yes, those are egg cartons. 

Yes, I buy 30 eggs at once, what’s your point?

No, my garden will not stay in egg cartons forever.

Here’s my little garden a week later!  Yay!  Things are growing!  So far my peppers haven’t come in at all, which is dissappointing since it was the peppers I was most excited about!  I’m not sure if that means they don’t like this climate, they are just slow growers, or if I killed them somehow.

Anyway, once I get more egg cartons, I have a few more seeds to plant and then I’ll get my “real” garden going!