Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week in Review: April 29-May 5

“I feel like I’m nothing without wildlife.”  ~Bindi Irwin

“If you step on people in this life you’re going to come back as a cockroach.”  ~Willie Davis

I saw something this week that I had never seen before.  It surprised me, bothered me, and intrigued me all at the same time.  He was sitting very peacefully; he didn’t seem to be bothered, surprised, or intrigued by my presence at all.  I walked by him several times in about a 45 minute period and he barely moved.  Perhaps he was sleeping off a wild night?  

After passing by several times, I decided I would see if he’d let me take his photograph.  Fortunately, he was still there when I returned with the camera, and he graciously posed.

Yep.  I have never before seen a cockroach in the wild.

When it came down to it, it turned out to be a “Wild Kingdom” kind of week.

One morning I was out early walking the dog.  Around the corner came a (rather large) dog, headed straight toward our (very small) dog.  As he got closer, I decided to grab his collar to keep him from attacking our (very obnoxious) dog, but as I took hold of his collar, my (very stupid) dog began mouthing off, ran around my legs, and had just enough leash to be able to jump on the (much larger) dog’s head.

Wild barking and growling ensued on both sides.  Finally I decided to let go of the leash and throw my (very empty-headed) dog off of the other one, while continuing to tightly hold on to his collar.  That worked, but then I had to figure out how to get her back without the two of them getting into it all over again.  I held the (largish) dog at arm’s length and grabbed my (peewee) dog’s collar and scooped her up, simultaneously releasing his collar and raising the (micro-) mutt above my head so he couldn’t get to her.  He lost interest and turned to walk down the road as if nothing had happened. 

Meanwhile, of course, I was covered in mud.  

Our neighbors have gone to the US for a few weeks and I discovered this week that they have squatters living in their house.  Well, actually, living in the walls.  I checked several times over several days, and three different nights (because the unwanted guests don’t seem to go out much at night) I sprayed them with chemicals thinking that if I made them unhappy they might leave.  But it has been to no avail.  

The bees have assumed permanent residence.

Then the other morning, I heard Paul exclaim in horror from the front room.  

“What is it?” I asked, not really certain I wanted to know. 

“There is a whole creature on our chair!”

Now, it’s important to note that there is a shortage of comfortable seating in this country, so the IKEA chairs we sent over are rather special to us.  Unfortunately, our cat has decided they’re cozy too.  What we didn’t expect was that she would bring in some of her kill and deposit it there.  I went in to take a tentative look.

Um … that may be a whole creature, but it’s a digested one.

“Oh great,” he replied.  “There’s a barfed up rat on our chair.”

Ahhh … between all of this and the new horse that moved in across the street from us on Friday, we live in a wild kingdom indeed.

But this week was more than just a collection of animal encounters.

Wednesday night was date night for Paul and me.  We went out to … you guessed it … a community meeting.  We had the opportunity to gaze into each other’s eyes and fall in love all over again amid talk of organisational structure and centre security.  Of course, we didn’t do that, but technically the opportunity was there.

We actually did get to go out (as a family) on Friday night for “Hamburger Night.”  (That will be the theme of another post sometime.)  The kids then participated in “Skate Night," when the meeting house (with it's concrete floor) is transformed into a skating rink (ripstiks allowed, much to Evan's delight.)  The best part of Skate night this time was the disco ball ... turned by hand.  Like a friend said, "Only in Ukarumpa!"

On Saturday, after several hours of set-preparation for the Grade 8 play, the girls went to a birthday party and Evan went with us to a Senior recital that included saxophone, marimba, drums, piano, and lots of amazing talent.  Oh, and cookies and strawberry lemonade punch. 

We really need to be careful not to cram all the fun into one weekend …

To their relief, most of the school kids had finished their standadised testing by Friday morning.  The fun is not over for me, however, as next week I get to proctor several days of make-up tests.  Most of these are kids who just arrived from the Pacific Orientation Course (POC).

Yes, after fourteen weeks of language learning, near-vertical hiking, endurance swimming, and assorted cultural faux pas, the new batch of POCers arrived here early in the week.   Our new crew of fifteen adults (plus several children) includes a primary campus teacher (yes!), a fixed-wing pilot, a department manager, a construction worker, a welder/mechanic, a survey worker, a scripture-use worker, a literacy worker, and a linguist.

It is always so exciting to see who God brings to us and the gifts and skills they will add to the Bible translation team.  Praise God for sending these new workers into this harvest field!

One of our translation teams, including expats Linda and Mavis, are preparing for the dedication of a mini-Bible and audio-recorded Bible (Audi Bible).  On June 15, the Maia people will celebrate these new Bible selections.  This will be the ladies’ last stay with the Maia people, and they ask, “Please pray that the celebration will honor God and draw many Maia people and that many will avail themselves of these and other resources, so that their lives can be transformed.  Pray for grace for us and much wisdom for each day.”

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We are missionaries serving God and the task of Bible translation by serving the missionary community in Papua New Guinea through Personnel Administration and MK Education. We thank you for your prayers!

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(Updated 13 April 2013)