Archive for May, 2013

May 27, 2013

Renovation Days 23 to 24

by bzephyr

In the last few days that Wayambo was in the village, we realized that there would still be several jobs to finish after he left. So he worked hard to complete some of the more technical jobs. He prepared everything to help the guys finish the small roof extension…


He hung doors…




And he worked late into the night to fit the new toilet waste pipe into the existing pipes…


Thank you, Wayambo for closing the door on this stage of the building renovation. This was the seventh time that Wayambo had made the trip to Arop to help us with building projects.


See you next time!


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May 26, 2013

Renovation Days 21 to 22

by bzephyr

On days 21 to 22 of the Aitape West Translation Project’s renovation, we saw door frames and window louvre frames installed…


The kitchenette in the flat was moved to accommodate access to the old toilet and shower rooms, the plywood walls were put up, and a new door installed…


And the old flat has access to the new bathroom…


Split blackpalm “limbum” was collected for siding…


Meanwhile, next door at the office, Onnele literacy teachers Rosalyn and Linda are enjoying the new things they’re learning about dictionary making…


The overflow pipes for the two tanks were creatively fitted, even though we didn’t have the right connections. Wayambo improvised with some tightly wound sheets of plastic…


The plywood walls and limbum siding starting going up…




The view from the developing new bathroom with its new door and plywood walls…


The siding needed to start above the first floor windows so that we could hang the downpipes in front of that space in the days ahead…


It was the last day for the translators and literacy team to be together. Tomorrow, the literacy team would head home and the translators would continue revising their translations of 1 & 2 Timothy. Today, the literacy team returned the favor and helped the translation teams read through these letters and made valuable suggestions…


May 26, 2013

Renovation Days 19 to 20

by bzephyr

On days 19 and 20 of the Aitape West Translation Project’s urgent renovation, we saw the kwila hardwood floors being installed…


The translators also returned from their communities where they had been village checking 1 & 2 Timothy, and they consulted with the literacy teams about the progress they had been making on their dictionaries…


I continued to work on cleaning up the last computers still effected by viruses…


Jacob continued to get lessons in carpentry…


Hey, there weren’t doorways there before!


We often joke around with Wayambo and tell him that he is a man who wrecks buildings and puts holes in them where they didn’t exist. But we really wanted these holes. The new room will access the old toilet and shower rooms. And there will also be an optional doorway connecting these two flats…


The hardwood floors were also installed upstairs…


And from the opposite angle…


Window frames were installed…


Arop translation advisor, Emil Ninkure, helped teach some of the dictionary lessons…


With the translators and literacy team working together, we had more people than ever at this workshop…


May 16, 2013

Renovation Days 16 to 18

by bzephyr

On days 16 to 18 we saw the roof worked on, and the second water tank put into place. In this remote part of Papua New Guinea, we collect rain water off our roofs and store it in large water tanks to be used for showers, laundry, dishes, and drinking.

The second floor wall framing was completed, and also the roof extension…

Wayambo impressed me as he sat on the most precarious batten and fascia board, and then started bouncing up and down…


The inspector came by to check on the work…


The second water tank set in place…


And the tank was ready to be used…


And that very night, we got a really big rain that made both tanks half full from only half the roof.IMG_2804cropsmall

But in the Aitape West Translation Project we are completing this renovation as we build a bigger staff in order that we can supply the peoples of Papua New Guinea with God’s living water…

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  (Isaiah 55:10-12)

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:10)

May 12, 2013

Renovation Days 14 to 15

by bzephyr

This month has been quite crowded at the Aitape West Translation Project with overlapping translation and dictionary workshops. The literacy team continued to make progress as they taught through the dictionary workshop coursebook.


We’re getting ready to host even more team members in June/July when we consultant check 1 & 2 Timothy, record the audio of Acts, and host some international partners. So it’s good to see new walls going up.

By day 14, work started on the new second floor room that was formerly airspace for a nest of little bats located above the water tanks. Since the room will include the existing door to the verandah and extend out beyond the current railing, it was time to remove some posts and bearers…



At this point in the project, we realized that we were a little short on lumber. We arranged for local neighbors with a chainsaw to cut what we needed. But when they couldn’t get their saw running, Wayambo found enough spare pieces laying around that he could rip himself…


Here, you can see where the new floorplan connects to the existing verandah. Not only are we extending the floor in the direction of the old water tank location, we’re also extending outwards a few feet…


Hey, this is exciting…IMG_2751cropsmall

What can we do to help?


May 11, 2013

Renovation Days 12 to 13

by bzephyr

With a bigger team and growing opportunities to facilitate Bible translation and language development, we needed an urgent renovation to an existing building in order to accommodate more people at our training center in the bush. By day 12 we were utilizing the water tank that had moved to its new location, so it was time to move the second water tank. And this meant we could start framing the room that would go in at ground level.


Once the bearers and floor joists were in place, it was time to start putting up the wall framing…


And once the ground floor walls were up, it was time to think about supporting the second floor. This is when Wayambo’s skills really started being appreciated. Building a two story addition onto an existing house is not as easy as it would have been to build a separate building. And this is especially true for this house, because they’ll have to do some creative jacking of the house in order to knock the existing posts out without compromising the integrity of the existing cantilevered structure.


At the end of day 12, this warped bearer was giving them real problems.


They couldn’t jack the existing house high enough to pound this bearer into place. So they’ll have to try again tomorrow after a good night’s rest…


The next day, they had success, and so it was time to take the old posts out…


More jacking and supporting…


Another day’s work…


And meanwhile, the literacy team continued to make progress on their dictionaries…




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May 10, 2013

Renovation Days 8 to 11

by bzephyr

In the Aitape West Translation Project, one of our main goals is the training of trainers so that Papua New Guineans are equipped to serve their own communities and also share their skills and experience in helping others from the various 831 languages in this country. So two years ago we realized that we had a need for additional staff to train our PNG colleagues from the 11 languages in this project. We are now seeing new teammates join the project.

Below, our new teammate Luke from the UK demonstrates some features of the computers that these literacy personnel are using as they work on their dictionaries.


The quick influx of new staff has also created an urgent need for additional facilities in our remote village training center.

By day 8 of our renovation project, Wayambo had started making some significant changes in the existing downstairs flat. He had moved the kitchen counter over about a meter in order to make space for a new hallway to the old toilet and shower rooms from the new flat being built outside this kitchen window. This existing flat will receive the new bathroom.


And the framing for that new hallway has started…


Wayambo started fitting the new shower tray…


And we saw a new ditch dug to direct the waste water from the new shower and hand basins…


And one of the jobs that I’m spending a lot of time on in this project: the plumbing. On day 11, it was once again Sunday, so time to rest. But we did allow our water pumps to work all day as we pumped water from the remaining existing water tank to the repositioned water tank. And before we turned the generator off for the night, we were able to start getting water out of the newly plumbed water tank. Tomorrow, we’ll move the second water tank so we can start building the two new rooms.


These days also marked the dictionary workshop being into full swing after the translators left to go home and check 1 & 2 Timothy with their communities. But they also marked the start of several days of cleaning viruses off our 22 project computers and our local network. Below, Beth (right) and Luke’s wife, Laura (left), help run the virus scans.


Everywhere we look these days, we see people working together to support the growing work and ministry of this Bible translation project. We are blessed!

May 9, 2013

Renovation Days 5 to 7

by bzephyr

With translations, dictionaries and scripture use training going ahead in nine languages, we are so thankful for our growing number of staff. And work on the urgent renovation continued despite some big rains. We were thankful for the rain, because we had already emptied one of our two water tanks in order to start construction. The second tank was nearly half empty. So the kids had a good excuse to get outside and collect water by any other means, although baths were needed after this got muddier…


I failed to get pictures of the renovation on days 5 and 6 because I was busy with the Dictionary Workshop…


The translators stayed around for 3 days after their workshop to help work together with the literacy team as they met for the second time to work on their dictionaries…


By the end of day 7, much more had been accomplished on the renovation. It was decided to widen the two rooms by another foot and a half based on the length of the 4×4 bearers that we had acquired. But this also meant that we would be short on flooring, so we would need to get our hands on a few more pieces before the project could be completed.


You can also see above that Wayambo did figure out how to make enough cement for new circular tank stand pads. This was a really nice surprise since we’ve had two other tanks break after sinking into the soft ground. Although we were short on gravel, there were several hardened cement bags lying around, and once broken up, that was able to substitute for the needed gravel. Wayambo’s always good for creative solutions.

And let’s take a closer look at how the new bathroom is coming along…


And looking from the inside out…IMG_2222cropsmall

It was time to rest after another hard day’s work. And look at that wall ready to go up…


May 8, 2013

Renovation Days 2 to 4

by bzephyr

So we’re creating new quarters for a growing staff in the Aitape West Bible Translation Project in Papua New Guinea. Did you see those broken ladders yesterday? They got repaired, and we gained a brand new one as well. Wayambo added bailing wire between some of the legs to help hold them together….


Also on Day 2 we stacked all the plywood with pieces of flooring between them in order to dry out these valuable materials that had gotten wet during the long trip from Wewak town…



The first water tank was removed, and the pipes had to be temporarily re-plumbed so the remaining tank could still supply water to three houses. The extra downpipes also had to be directed temporarily away from the work area….


The new cement footings were poured for the new posts…IMG_2066cropsmall

Our 600lbs of batteries had to be moved over about a meter to make room for the new bathroom. Since this includes seven batteries wired in parellel, we decided it was easier to move the whole thing than to disconnect the complicated maze of greased-up wires. This required a bit of engineering, some re-wiring to the inverter, strengthening the wood box, and a lot of muscle from our neighbors and translators…


The new bathroom was started in the existing breezeway…



Day 4 was Sunday, so it was time to rest after a productive three days.

Sunday also marked the end of a two-week translation workshop and the start of a three-week dictionary workshop. The translators from nine languages would be staying for three days to overlap with their literacy teammates in order to check one another’s work.

May 7, 2013

Renovation Day 1

by bzephyr

Our Bible translation team has been blessed to have several new team members join our ranks in the past few months. This is great because we’ve been realizing in recent years that we need more staff to keep so many things running smoothly in the areas of translation, literacy, church partnership, linguistics, and scripture use training for eleven languages.

But the larger team means that we have an urgent need for more staff quarters. This month we have 47 beds filled as we host overlapping translation and dictionary workshops. In June, we’ll have several more people joining us as we consultant check 1 & 2 Timothy and start recording Acts.

I’ve been quite absent recently from social media and blogging, but the current renovation is so fun to watch and manage, that I’ll try to post some pictures here as I find time between plumbing jobs, computer crashes, and dictionary lessons.

We are so thankful that several partners came through with emergency funding for this urgent need in the past several weeks. Just in time, too! Our carpenter, Wayambo, arrived here in the village on April 25. Here are pictures from his first day on the job.


To save money, the plan is to build two rooms underneath the existing roof of this building where the water tanks are located. The original thought was to fix another broken water tank and pump water from one to the other before moving the first tank so we wouldn’t lose any valuable water. However, the other tank proved once again to be too difficult to fix. So we resorted to emptying the first tank into the ditch. But not before informing our neighbors that good clean water was available.


Our neighbors’ children quickly formed a queue to collect water for their families for the next few days. We were glad our water didn’t go to waste, but now we’re praying for rain! One empty tank usually means that we need to start more stringent rationing of this precious resource.


The first most difficult decision was where to move the water tanks. We have other building plans in the works, so we’re limited as to where they will fit on our plot of ground. Above, you can see the ground that was leveled for the new placements.

The other problem with where to put the tanks is where to direct the overflow of water after heavy rains. This new spot is far from two available ditches. The plan will be to run 100mm pipe underneath the house, which stands on small posts and has just enough clearance to fit the pipe and direct the water to the ditch on the opposite side of the house.

Unfortunately, acquiring gravel is quite difficult for us now, so we were planning to simply put the tanks on the ground, a dangerous proposition since this was the cause of our other tanks breaking. But we’ll attach flexible pipe to the outlets so that sinking tanks will not cause immovable pipes to put pressure on the tanks as we have learned the hard way. But stay tuned, because Wayambo has proven to be resourceful with this kind of problem in the past.

Another job for day number one was to start repairing our old broken ladders. Are they beyond repair?



And the first day is also the day to adjust the table that holds the chop saw and start on those first cuts…


Wayambo is wearing the cap, and he’s getting assistance from our neighbor friends in Arop. Thankfully, we’re starting to get to the bottom of the major problems we were having with our generators for the previous two weeks, so we can still use a good tool like this one.

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