Tuesday, January 29, 2013


We are now about two weeks away from our first break since we have been in the tribe. We have to come out for about six weeks to do our taxes, attend our region's annual Conference, and our coworkers have to do a translation check. We are excited for the break, especially since we are running out of food, but are a little sad to leave this place for so long.

This is the first home we have had of our own in five years! And even though it is unfinished, it really feels like home. We have planted a nice garden that is starting to produce huge pumpkins and delicious watermelons and I am so afraid that all of that is going to be destroyed by the time we come back. Plus, I finally have one chicken that likes us and actually stays around our house and voluntarily sleeps in our coup at night. We have taught her to eat out of our hands and she lets the girls pick her up. Sometimes we even let her in our house to play. (I know it is weird. But our life is weird, ok?) Anyway, I am so afraid that while we are gone for so long that she will get eaten by a dog (see previous blog) or she will think we have abandoned her and will go somewhere else to live.

But most importantly, we have really begun to feel at home in this village and among these people. We have learned most everyone's name and who they belong too, and have even begun to speak a few sentences in their language. We feel comfortable here, and we feel like we are a part of village life. Like we belong.

Don't get me wrong we are ready for a little break. Living and working in here is like working a job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no holidays or weekends. We even had a knock on our door at 7:45 am on Christmas morning by a guy who wanted to hang out and help JMG with language. Most of the time we don't mind because we actually like this job, but even something you like can get old with no break once in while. So, if this break was just two weeks, I would jump on a helicopter tomorrow, but six weeks feels like an eternity. I feel like six weeks could easily erase all we have accomplished these last four months.

Sigh. Oh well, there is not much we can do about it. We have to come out for taxes and Conference, and if we come out later, then we will be paying for an entire helicopter flight ourselves rather than splitting it with our coworkers (and most of you will remember how expensive that is). So, we will go out and enjoy eating some yummy foods, skyping with our parents, and looking at all the different ways to use Nutella on pinterest, but we will be thinking about our new home and new friends in this little village. And I will be praying that my little house chicken survives without me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This Week In Hewa

This Week in Hewa

This week in Hewa I learned the hard way that you should always check your bra for spiders.

I also learned that just because the World Health Organization declares that a disease has been eradicated from the earth, doesn't mean that it actually has, and it doesn't mean that your husband won't get it (please google "yaws" for more information).

I learned that my previous thought that $7 a dozen is way too much money for eggs (yes, that is the price of eggs in PNG) was incorrect. I was really looking forward to raising my own chickens and not paying for eggs anymore when I got into the tribe. Little did I know that raising chickens in the jungle is really hard. There is no chicken feed to buy so you have to let them run all around the jungle to find bugs to eat and then supplement them with any leftovers you have. The problem with this is they then lay their eggs in the jungle and you have to go looking for them. They are almost always impossible to find.

My coworker, Susan, gave me 7 baby chicks to raise. We took them away from their mother pretty early so that they would get to know me, my house, and my chicken coup, and would want to stay here to lay eggs. After three weeks of feeding them, protecting them, and even bringing them into our house to sleep at night (they slept in a box in the loft bed with my two oldest daughters), a dog got into their cage outside and ate them all...well, all except one.

There was one little chick that survived. I have no idea how, so we named him Harry Potter, the chick who lived. A week later Harry Potter was eaten as well. The dog who must not be named is no longer welcome in the George's yard as you can imagine. So, Susan and my Hewa neighbors gave me some bigger chickens who can defend themselves, but they do not know me or my house and they keep going back to their original homes.

Well, this week, Susan noticed that one of my chickens was going to lay an egg in her coup, so we grabbed it and locked it in mine. It laid one egg, and we figured it would come back the next day to lay another, so we let it out. We figured wrong. It laid in Susan's coup. So, we locked it back in my coup for 3 days, but for 3 days it refused to lay any more eggs. So now, we have two eggs. We've been out of eggs since early December and there will be no helicopter in here for another month. And we have two eggs.

I am trying to decide what to do with these two precious treasures. Should we just eat them? But there are five of us...how do we split two eggs between five people? Should I make a cake? But, I am also out of flour. So, seriously, what do you do with two eggs? I am open to suggestions?

And when the helicopter comes in a month, I will be joyfully ordering eggs at $7 a dozen.

*P.S. Since our "facebook by email" updates aren't working and I can't post these updates there anymore I have noticed that most people have no idea that I am still writing this blog, so if anyone feels generous enough to post this on facebook for me, I would be eternally grateful.*

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some Days

Some days here are fun, exciting, even miraculous and some days you wake up with ringworm in your armpit.

Some mornings in church you love that every kid in the village (including your own) are climbing all over you and laughing and playing with you, and some days you leave nauseous because you are now covered in snot and pee.

Some days you feel like you are really bonding with the ladies here. You see all that you have in common from just being a wife, a mom, a woman. And some days you get angry over the fact that your friends can walk around topless, but you can't wear a pair of long baggy shorts.

Some days you feel like Supermom, who has fed and educated her children well, and kept her house in order, and some days you wish your kids were in "real school" just so you could spend a whole eight hours away from them.

Some weeks you feel like a genius. You feel like you are gonna kick this tribal language in its very difficult rear end and everyone is gonna be amazed at how fast you are learning, and some weeks
you forget even how to say "hello".

Some days you love the fact that your kids get to grow up in the jungle with all sorts exciting and different experiences. You are proud that they are getting to see the world and that they won't be oblivious to life outside of the wealthy West. But some days you are afraid for your kids when you are constantly treating malaria, staph infections, stomach viruses, and various other injuries in a place with very limited medical care.

Some days this feels like home, and these people feel like family, and some days you long for the home where everyone speaks your language. And you would give anything if you could hug your real family. But everyday you know that no matter what you are feeling, you are known. You are understood. And you are loved.