Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I remember back in flight school they were always giving us mock mission-flying scenarios to prepare us for the real world of mission flying. I don't remember the one about the leaping lizards attacking you on take-off. Oh, and try landing at a marginal airstrip while the person right next to you is doubled over in a plastic bag. Ya, that can be a bit distracting too. :) And yet, I love my job! Wouldn't want to be doing anythign else!
We've got so many cool & interesting critters here in Indonesia. A few months ago I found a dead crab in the wing of my airplane during a morning pre-flight. I spotted his claw hanging out a small hole where it looked like he was trying to get out but got stuck. Still haven't figured out what a crab was doing in our plane. We often have birds and mud dobbers building homes in our planes, but a crab??
Anyways, heres a few pics of lizards we've seen in Indonesia. There's lots more, but this just gives you an idea.
Monday, October 27, 2008
We’ve all been taking turns with stomach bugs and flu-like symptoms (actually, I tend to get missed by the bugs, but I’m not complaining…I think it’s the hot sauce I eat that kills everything!) But about a month ago, Tanner got an especially vicious stomach bug. After several weeks with no end in site, we took him to the doctor. A week and a half later, after finishing the medicine, still no change. Now he was beginning to lose weight, (and his appetite,) and we were getting really concerned.
In the midst of that, Joy had to make a trip to Singapore. Over the past two years she’s had a lymph node that’s increased in size continually. Recently, after having it checked here, doctors said she should have a biopsy. But they can’t do anything like that here in Tarakan, and really don’t know much at all about that kind of stuff period. An American doctor in West Kalimantan told her she should go to Singapore soon, b/c it definitely needed to be checked.
Thankfully, although a tumor was found attached to the lymph node, it was NOT cancerous. However, during the descent into Singapore she popped her eardrum do to an intense sinus infection. The ENT specialist said she had some of the worst sinus problems he’s seen in a while. Although she wanted to come back home, she had to stay there several more days to allow the medicines to start kicking her sinus infection out and healing her ear.
Meanwhile, during the time she was gone, I juggled half-days at work with caring for the five kids—most of whom were taking turns being sick. By the time Joy came back, we had to take Tanner to the hospital for further testing. They found that he had a bacterial infection in his intestine. So now he’s on new medicine, and it seems to be making a difference slowly.
Sorry if this was a gross, or depressing post. That was not my intent. Rather, I wanted to let you know a little of what goes on “behind-the-scenes” at times, when you may perhaps be prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for us or other missionaries, but don’t exactly know why. We really do covet those prayers! Sometimes simple medical issues that wouldn’t be that big of a deal in the U.S. can turn into very frustrating and discouraging problems over here. Certainly it’s an opportunity for the enemy to try to get us down. But praise the Lord, it’s been a rough couple of weeks as far as the health goes, but we’re still loving life here, and very thankful for the privilege of serving. Indeed, God is good! Thanks for being part of our prayer team! I think we’re all on the mend now! :)
Below: A recent Saturday afternoon at our little beach on the other side of the island.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Then we started digging. The ground was very uneven, so we had to level it out. All the boys showed up to dig. Tanner wasn't about to let the shovel manhandle him--he tried with all his might to dig to China. I guess since China is practically next door, I'd have to say "dig to America" now if I wanted to be dramatic.
Tyler, however, had a much more supervisory demeanor. He reminded me a lot of some of the PA road crews I used to see back in the day. You know... a couple of guys all standing around staring at a hole (as if it was going to dig itself if they just staired long enough,)--and always one guy, probably the supervisor, leaning on a shovel. But let me tell you, don't try to take that shovel away from Tyler. Whoa doggy! That boy takes ownership of his tools!
Eventually, Britton and I were able to finish off the digging.
Then we formed up and varnished the first of two framed sections that would form the sandbox itself. Again, keep in mind that you don't just run to the store and get nice dimensional lumber. This was rough-cut, non-dimensional wood, that we then had to plane and cut to our liking. But let me tell you, it's gorgeous hardwood. Anything but hardwood would get devoured by termites and ants here. And it's pretty cheap. But I still feel guilty. It'd be like building a sandbox out of oak or something like that back in the U.S.
Before dropping the box into our hole, we lined it with heavy-duty vinyl, so as to keep the prolific grass and banana trees from growing up through the sand later.
Then we plopped in the first secion, built another one on top, and tied the two together.
Finally, we rounded the edges and took the splinters off the top, so as to save on future applications of bandaids to the "backside."
Well, that was supposed to be it. But a few days later we realized that the project couldn't end there. Anytime the twins got out front, they'd head straight for the sandbox and dive in like a pair of home-sick meerkats being chased by an eagle! That wasn't going over to well with the mommy, especially just after their baths. So we built a picket fence with a gate to close it off from the little munchkins. Again, we had to hand plane, cut and rip every piece of wood from large, heavy, rough-cut lumber. To the left of this picture is our little front porch with locally made rocking chairs. To the right, behind the picket fence and under the banana trees is the new sandbox.
It was a bit of work, but a fun project with the kids, and probably the new favorite spot in our yard--well worth the effort.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Below are two shots of the shrimp farms that surround the island of Tarakan. Shrimp are one of the few major exports from Tarakan.
I love waterfalls, and we have some really SWEET ones in Borneo!! I'm convinced that many of these have probably never been touched by human hands or feet. They are literally out in the middle of nowhere. I took all three of the pictures below in a two-minute time frame, while passing over the top of one of our very prominent, huge, rugged mountains. I'm guessing that maybe a dozen waterfalls speckle this massive mountain, especially after a recent rain. Look closely to see how many you can find in the shots, and then imagine what they look like in "high-def" as you seemingly float overhead at 8,000 ft. Wow!