I have decided that I am going to slowly prepare my family for life in the tribe. I heard of a missionary family who in preparation to go to Africa, stopped using their air conditioner and had the entire family wear chacos everywhere. While I am on board with the chacos (I don't actually own chacos, but I do wear flip flops everywhere, so I think that counts) I am not on board with giving up my air conditioning. My philosophy on that is to use it while I can, and create beautiful memories together to think about when I am sweating profusely in the tribe. We are going to take baby steps, people, baby steps.
Up to this point, unless it just happened naturally we haven't taken major steps to live life like we would in the tribe. (We did have one class in our training that tried to give us an idea about what life will be like. It was called "simple living" but it only lasted 10 days and when it was done there was much rejoicing and everyone returned to life as is). In fact, I have been indulging my kids for quite some time with a little more junk food and TV than I normally would allow them, because I figure that soon enough they won't get either. Plus, sometimes I feel a little guilty that they probably won't get to experience things that "normal" American kids get to, like going to Disney World... or college.
Our current baby step is to spend as much time outside as possible. It is actually quite easy right now while we are staying with my mom who happens to have lake front property. But we are outside in the heat and humidity, playing with various creatures and getting bitten or stung by many varieties of insects. Our list so far includes ants, mosquitoes, red wasps, and yellow jackets. It has been an exciting month. ****update: within an hour of posting this, Mae got stung by a honey bee after trying to crawl out of my mom's doggie door to her backyard****
On a more fun note, my mom's place is crawling with tree frogs, which apparently are spawning now and so this place is also crawling with baby tree frogs. Yeah, that's right! They are teeny tiny, itsy bitsy, and every other cute phrase that represents something being ridiculously small. Here is a picture of Lucy holding one. I am also trying to teach my kids not to touch any animal, insect, plant, etc. without asking me. Not much here poses a threat but who knows what innocent looking amphibian might pee poison in New Guinea. It really is a hard balance to achieve- teaching them to enjoy being outside in nature, but to also be slightly on their guard for dangerous things. Although, when I think about it, is really that different here? I mean I can worry all day long about New Guinea, but then I watch the news or MTV and realize that raising kids here is just as scary...it may be more familiar but it is just as scary. Can I get an "Amen" from all the moms out there!
So, for now we are enjoying our adventures at the lake. Here are some more pictures just for fun! This is Lu bravely jumping off the dock! And me yelling at Mae to not drink the lake water... She is listening well, don't you think?
P.S. Our next "baby step" is no TV. We sold ours before we left Missouri and when we move back to Mississippi there won't be one to watch. Please do not tell my children. They may lock themselves in their room at Grammie's and refuse to leave.