Term One: Completed

And suddenly I’m sitting in my new kitchen!  This last week has been a whirlwind!  We’ve barely stopped for two seconds to take a breath.  But we have an apartment.  We have a table to sit at (no couch yet…but hopefully that’s in the near future).  We have a bed to sleep on.  And we have internet. So, we’re getting there little by little, day by day (right, Nabireites??)

This week we are also debriefing with MAF about our first term.  Um, let’s have a little moment of celebration that we made it!  They say that the first term is the hardest and we are here to testify that you can live through it!  (and maybe even kinda love it??)  So here are some things that happened during our first term; some of them good, some of them bad, some of them ugly…but somehow all of them together are a beautiful testament of God’s love in our lives.

-We moved halfway around the world…twice (if you count our most recent move back to the U.S.).   We all know that moving is stressful.  Moving halfway around the world?  Well, that reaches whole new levels of stress.  Not only do you have the move, but you end up somewhere where you don’t know the  language, customs or culture.  The first night we sat in our new house in language school, it all of a sudden hit me that I had no idea where to buy groceries, what kind of groceries I would even find, how to get to the grocery store…or even how to ask how to get to the grocery store. (obviously there was a ton more that I didn’t know, but finding food is kinda a big deal, ya know?) I knew nothing.  But we figured it out.  We didn’t starve.

-We learned another language.  Yes, Indonesian is one of the easier languages to learn…but let’s face it, when you can’t say “Where is the nearest grocery store?” you kinda feel like a 1-year old; it’s frustrating and stressful.  And even now when I’m speaking Indonesian, it’s an effort.  My brain has to be fully engaged in the conversation.  But we did it.  And that is luar biasa!

-We had a major medical issue within our first three months in country.  Third world medicine leaves something to be desired.  And, forget about finding the grocery store, how do you explain complicated medical stuff when you barely can say “My name is Becky”?  This medical deal sent us packing.  Nathan needed surgery and we weren’t ready to have it in Indonesia.  So we returned to the U.S.  Seven months later, we went back to Indonesia Crohn’s symptom free (for a little while at least…Crohn’s always comes back).

-We went on some super awesome vacations to Bali and Karimunjawa.  So fun!  Except that I got really sick in Bali…sigh.  Intestinal parasites are not so fun.  We did get to do some snorkeling in the ocean.  A first for me.  We also have spent some near-perfect afternoons on empty-except-for-us tropical islands, white sand beaches and all.

-We moved again.  Halfway across the country, from Java to Papua (it’s kinda like moving from Arizona to New York, distance-wise.  But let me assure you that Papua is nothing like New York!)

-Nathan completed his in-country flight training.  He was the first newbie pilot in Papua to solo in a turbine aircraft.  He’s pretty awesome and studly if you ask me.  And he loves his job.

-We moved again.  From Sentani to Nabire, our final base.  We were SO SO SO excited to finally get to Nabire and get settled into our home.  We may be biased, but I’m pretty sure that Nabire is the best base in Papua :)!

– We celebrated 3 Easters, 3 Thanksgivings and 3 Christmases apart from our family.

-We struggled with infertility.  This started before we left for Indonesia, but it has been ongoing for 5 years.  We are so grateful for the ways that God has taught us and encouraged  us.

-We swam with whale sharks, which, you gotta admit, is pretty stinkin’ amazing.

-We never got sick with Malaria or Dengue Fever.  Praise God!  Because those illnesses are doosies.

-Nathan was asked to be an instructor pilot for MAF (see, didn’t I tell you that he’s awesome and studly?) so, we came back to the U.S. for the three-week Instructor Pilot Seminar.

– We decided to adopt.  So, this wasn’t a quick, easy decision.  We didn’t want to rush into adoption because we were desperate for a child.  We took our time; we grieved the “loss” of biological children.  And now we can see God opening doors moving us toward adoption and it’s pretty cool.  God is pretty cool, isn’t He?

Whew!  It’s been quite a term huh?  There, of course, has been a lot more good, bad and ugly things that have happened.  These are just some of the highlights and well, lowlights.  But God is good and we’re so blessed to be serving Him with MAF!

 

A Dinner Date

I’m so sorry for my blog absence recently.  We are now in Nampa, Idaho getting moved into our new apartment.  We’ve been running around like crazy people buying super important stuff like sheets, towels and toilet bowl cleaner, all the necessities for apartment living.  We fall into bed exhausted every night but can’t seem to fall asleep because it’s still light outside at 10pm (what the what??).  So weird.

So, let’s rewind a second to our last few nights in Indonesia.  [By the way, at what point do we stop referring to Indonesia as “home”?]  Our super-sweet friends on base we’re gracious enough to feed us our last week in Nabire since we had unplugged our fridge and gave away all of our food.  On Wednesday night it was the Van Dijk’s turn to feed us and they told us that they would pick us up to take us to a new place in town.  As it turns out the new place was located at the top of our new watertower!  They had brought a whole meal up there for us so that we could have a candlelit dinner overlooking the ocean!  It was super fun (have I used the world “super” to much in the post??  Sorry about that.)

The sun was setting as we ate.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

[Woah!  These pictures uploaded super fast.  American internet is amazing!]

I’m a sucker for a cute lantern.  And candlelit dinners with my hubby pie.

Thank you for such a fun memory Van Dijk family!!

Transitions

In the last week we have…

…packed up our entire house and moved all of our stuff to the hangar.

…said goodbye to our friends in Nabire.

…said goodbye to our puppies.

…said goodbye to our friends in Sentani.

…cried a lot (that was mostly me, not Nathan).

…flew half way around the world (this is no small thing…it’s FAR.  Really FAR!).

…had jetlag so bad that we felt sick (actually, this is still happening).

…played with our super sweet nieces.

…meet our cutest-nephew-ever, Parker.

…driven (in our new car!) from Phoenix to Nampa (16 hours in one day…yikes).

…had a root canal (Nathan, not me).

…seen our new apartment where we will be living during the adoption procee (signing the lease tomorrow!).

…shopped at Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Marshalls!

 

And next week we will…

…move into our new apartment.

…hopefully furnish that apartment (lots of shopping).

…have a job interview at MAF (me, not Nathan).

…debrief with MAF.

…go to the doctor to see if we have amoebas or something.

…go see Avengers (hopefully)!

…switch our residency to Idaho (so that we can start the adoption paperwork).

 

So…yeah, we’ve been a little busy and my brain is fried.  I’m looking forward to finding our new normal!

Moving

As I said the other day, our internet has reached new levels of slow.  What I wouldn’t give for a 56k dial-up modem right now!  We had a download speed of 20 bytes the other day.  Now we’re back up to our 1kilobyte/sec rocket speeds.  Sigh.

Anyway, since the internet is slow, I don’t expect to be updating much between now and when we leave on Saturday.  Saturday!  That is crazy town.  I’ve been up to my eyeballs in packing so I haven’t been able to stop and think about the fact that WE’RE MOVING TO AMERICA!  You’d think we’d be over-the-moon estatic, but really this move comes with a lot of mixed feelings.  Yes, we are excited about the adoption, we are excited to see our family, we are excited about Taco Bell; but we are sad to leave this place.  Nabire is our home and we love it here, frustrations and all.  I love my husband so much for giving up his dream job for awhile so that we can add to our family.

How a Washing Machine Became a Salad Spinner: A Short Story

Once upon a time, Mypilot brought home a TON of lettuce from Pogapa.  Mypilot’s wife was super excited because there was no lettuce available in the land of Nabire.  The thing about lettuce though is that it gets soggy if it stays wet, thus the salad spinner was invented.  Sadly, Mypilot’s wife does not own a salad spinner.  And so, here enters the washing machine.

Any washing machine worth it’s salt has a spin cycle.  And the spin cycle makes for a very effective salad spinner.

Lettuce in a pillow case.  Yes, a pillow case.

Lettuce in a pillow case, in the washing machine.

Washing machine set to the spin cycle and 11 minutes later, freshly spun lettuce!  Salad for lunch at Mypilot’s house!

(Sorry the picture is sideways…our internet has reached new levels of slow.  Since it’s already taken me an hour to get to this point…I’m leaving the picture sideways.)

Hangers

This is a basket of hangers:

Aren’t you glad you visited my blog today?

But wait, this isn’t just a basket of hangers…this is a basket of hangers that represents every single piece of clothing that we had to make a decision about.  Somehow I feel all this pressure to be cute in America.  And I have no idea what’s in style anymore.  Do I have to buy skinny jeans and lots of cute scarves to be in style??  These are the burning questions people.

So, um, if you happen to see us in our first few weeks back in the States in our baggy, holey, stained, out of style clothes; bear with us…we still have some shopping to do!

Up Goes the Water Spout

We have a water tower on base.  Basically water is pumped from a well, up the tower and then the height of the tower creates pressure as the water runs to all of the houses.  Well, our tower has been around for a long while and it’s starting to get pretty rickety.  So, it’s time to build a new tower!  This one is two meters higher than the old on in hopes of creating more water pressure!  That’s probably way more info than you wanted to know.  Sorry.

Anyway, so the tower is supported by four HUGE, HEAVY beams (made of iron wood…that stuff is solid!).  In America, I’m pretty sure these giant beams would be lifted by a crane and put into place, but over here in Indonesia where we don’t have access to a crane, the workers had to be more…creative.

Taking, one beam at a time, they attached a series of ropes to the beam and threw the ropes around the surrounding trees.  And then, they hoisted that puppy!  See the guys in the background of this picture?  They are doing most of the hoisting.

Up it goes!  The wood brace is called a “kaki kuda”–horse leg.


They did this four times.

And now, the tower looks like this:

My vote is that we build platforms on the tower so that it could be a giant tree house!  How fun would that be?  With all the proper security features, of course.

Deja Vu

This was yesterday:

Doesn’t this feel vaguely familiar?

We’ve definietly done this before!

This was in January 2009.  Before we had ever stepped foot in Indonesia.  We had no idea what lied ahead.

And now we’re on this end, packing again.  And we have no idea what lies ahead!