September 30, 2012
Three years ago Jacob Steven Scott joined our family. His twin sister Jenny Elizabeth arrived six minutes later! The twins have stretched us as a family and caused us to pull together to raise these little people. I look at my three older kids and wonder what they would be like if we hadn’t added the twins to our family. I think that Jacob and Jenny Beth have taught our other kids to consider others over their own needs. Granted, the little ones get into their stuff and sometimes throw temper tantrums…but Josiah, Noah and Ellie are glad that they have these two little siblings keeping them on their toes all the time!
One more thought about the twins. When they were born, other twin parents told us “just wait until they are three. It gets easier!” I looked at them through sleep deprived eyes and desperately hoped they were right! Three year olds need lots of attention and direction; however, I have noticed that they have a special relationship and do entertain each other from time to time. They are hardly ever separated even though they do have distinct personalities. Jenny Beth is ‘all girl’–she loves anything PINK and asserts that she’s the princess in the family. She follows Jacob around like a little puppy and adores her big sister and brothers. All she has to do is speak and they would do nearly anything for her. Jacob, on the other hand, is a typical boy, seeking thrills from jumping off of things, aggravating his sisters while constantly talking and using language creatively. His favorite thing in the world is being able to ‘help’ someone with a job. The phrase “never a dull moment” applies here all the time!
Ellie decorated Jenny Beth’s pink cake
Josiah and Noah Noah decorated Jacob’s–he wanted a triangle on his! I loved watching them have so much fun making the day special.
September 13, 2012
A dictionary workshop began this week for literacy teachers and translators. Ben has had time to tackle his massive ‘to do’ list for the project since Emil (Arop translation advisor) volunteered to do all of the teaching this week, which includes intro to typing and computer skills for the literacy teachers. Ben’s available to trouble shoot and help out but is glad to have some time to work on other things this week! Next week the team will do dictionary making training, with the help of those who went to a dictionary workshop a few months ago. One of the things we value in our project is seeing trainees become trainers for others!
Friends taking a walk…
Ellie joined in on a game of Beetle (it had a longer name but I couldn’t catch it!) Two kids throw a woven ball made of coconut leaves back and forth. If they hit someone, that person is out. I told Ellie it reminds me of a cross between monkey in the middle and dodge ball.
Noah takes a leap across the ‘baret’ (ditch) in front of our house.
Today we finished up the bulk of our homeschooling work…which means we have more time to hang outside with our friends…it often takes 2-3 weeks for the older kids to get the courage to go out and initiate games, so having two weeks of school break at the end of a village stay is perfect!
And one more baby shot…this baby is special because we have seen her daddy grow up from a young boy into a man in the last 10 years since we came. Isn’t she a cutie?!
September 6, 2012
OK, so I’m not exactly in the wilderness…just the jungle..
and these beauties aren’t manna…
they are small mandarin flavored lemons. We buy them for 10 toea tu tu (5 cents for every two). They are about the size of a U.S. half dollar coin, and are easy to use. Our three year olds are able to squeeze the juice out of them! We use them in lemon meringue pie, lemonade, Peruvian lime soup, and anything else we need lemons for.
Here are a couple of other unexpected ‘food’ blessings we had this week:
Aupa, the green leafy vegetable in my large cooking pot, is one of my favorite greens here. It has a mild flavor and I use it as a substitute for spinach in omelets, quiche, lasagna, stir fries and curries. p.s. I have it in water because I don’t have refrigeration. It keeps for a couple of days that way. This aupa turned into Malaysian curry.
And finally, the snake bean and long wrinkly green beans. Both of these are wonderful in stirfries/fried rice/curries. The snake bean has the flavor of a green bean but it is hollow inside. I scoop out the seeds and dice it up like a green pepper. The long wrinkly green bean can be a bit tough but I cut it up really small and it is yummy.
In the last few years, I had heard that our market (once a week) was closed. It was rare for us to get much of anything fresh here except what children came to sell us at our door. Now there is market two times a week about 30 minutes walk away, and a friend of ours generously offered this week to go for us. We can totally survive on the dehydrated beans, meat and veggies that I brought with us but it’s fun to have something fresh to cut up once in a while! Yay.
September 1, 2012
Our second week in the village has nearly come to an end. Sure enough, we have progressed from the neutral zone of transition (where we feel like we haven’t settled in mentally/emotionally/physically yet) and now feel comfortable with our surroundings. Everything is better: school, cooking, just daily living. The translators began translating 1 Timothy. (yay!)
That brings me to my next thought: life is messy.
Several times during the week we have had rain, which brings endless fun to our children, which I wrote about a while back. With the rain comes mud. But the upside is, we have plenty of water and less of those steamy hot sauna-like days as I like to call them.
Along with the physical mess we deal with from day to day, there is constant talking and commotion in our house from our family alone. Not to mention the dogs fighting outside our window or the rooster that just crowed underneath Beth’s house just now. Oh wait, there’s another one near the front of the house!
And finally, there is the emotional drain of dealing with translators who are sick (quite a few have fallen ill this week) and several culturally stressful issues. I cannot write about the culture stress publicly–the internet is now accessible in so many places, including here in the jungle (a cell phone company has come in now) but lets just say Ben could use prayer just about now for one of these issues! Because we are the outsiders, it is often difficult to foster healthy relationships in a place that sees us as a never-ending supply of aid…and not only that, we are an easy target if someone wants to show how important their problem is, even if their problem doesn’t involve us.
But all I have to do is look at the kids God gave us to realize that the messy life we live is full of blessing. Sure they are noisy, sometimes they fight and yes, they often have mud fights. One day I’ll look around my empty house and miss all of it. I am sure I will even think “it wasn’t as messy as I thought it was at the time!” It’ll just be Ben and me…all wrinkly and lonely. So today I’m going to focus on the task ahead of me…that is…getting through the day. And I’m going to ask God to help me do it.