We live amongst a tribal group known as the Dem who are located in the mountains of Southeast Asia. We are here to learn their language, translate the Bible into their language, and teach them about God. If you would you like to receive our monthly newsletter, send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
One day we took a walk/hike to a hamlet about 15 minutes away
The kids did great on the trail. We did carry Roman most of the way even though he would much prefer to do it all on his own:)
On the way up we met some women carrying boards down. Do you see the bag hanging down on the lady's back? Yeah, there's a one year old baby in there.
There are about 5 honais (those round huts) in this hamlet. The kids chased the chickens and then we sat down with some ladies and they gave us bananas. Roman ate three in 5 minutes.
This was the baby in the bag. Isn't he precious? Most of their babies are very healthy looking and just adorable:)
This lady was helping the kids get flowers.
I haven't gotten a picture yet of the inside of one of their houses. There is a fire in the middle which keeps everything nice and smokey (no chimney). The floor is woven out of some type of bark. Everyone just sleeps on the floor around the fire. There is also a designated area for the pigs to sleep:)
The people here are very generous with giving us lots of fruits and veggies almost every day! The green oblong things are called chayote in English (according to wikipedia:) and can be used instead of apples or zucchini in recipes. We really like them! The green bundles are the leaves from the same plant and are a pretty good substitute for spinach. The red fruit is called 'buah belanda' here and I couldn't find an English name. It translates into Dutch fruit, but anyways, it's delicious! It's kind of like a sweet, tart tomato. That doesn't make much sense so you'll just have to come visit and try it out:) We've also received sweet potatoes, pumpkin, passion fruit, corn, peanuts and cabbage.
As we unpacked all our boxes the people were glad to take them off our hands. Someone told Dylan they were going to use theirs for their bed.
Gideon and Roman love to be out on the airstrip. Sometimes they can go out by themselves, but not on plane days!
They love to have their picture taken and then come look at it afterward:)
Raquel has been playing with the kids from the afternoon we arrived. There are hard times when they don't understand her or they play too rough, but overall she has had a great attitude and is fitting in well. We thank the Lord for her willing spirit in making yet another set of friends in a new place/language!
It rains almost every night here, but occasionally during the day and then we get beautiful rainbows. Not a bad view from our living room window!
Gideon and Roman on the front porch one morning watching a Momma pig and her piglets
one day our water stopped running so we took a trip to the water source
our water flows from a stream into this orange tank located around 300 meters up the mountain from our house
yep, it was empty
Roman was happy to play in the water
After playing for a little bit, I took the boys home and Dylan, Raquel and all the other kids followed the pipe that runs from the tank through the bush to our house. They found and repaired a few leaks and our water came back. Hurray!
This little boy carried this board down the mountain for us. The people have carried wood for all of our houses. It's located about a half hour hike up the mountain. A lot of times the women carry their babies in a bag on their back and a piece of wood on their head. Very resourceful:)
Raquel getting instructions as Dylan works on some electrical project on a rainy night. Raquel is a big help. She even knows how to turn on the generator on and off when Dylan needs to use certain tools.
After weeks of trying to get our internet running, it's finally working and we can share all the fun pictures of our new home and life here. Here are some pics of the first couple days.
October 17th- We were up bright and early, packing all the last minute things and then got to the airport at 7:45
Two hours later we were still there...
then we made it onto the plane. The pilot was running late and trying to get to our airstrip before the winds got too strong.
Gideon was so excited to be on the plane:)
Raquel was our faithful copilot
and Roman and I hung out together.
After about an hour and 15 minute ride, we were there. We circled once and we were able to see our house. Gideon started to cry because his ears were bothering him. I told him it was fine because we were going to land and see Daddy and our new house in just couple minutes. Well, then we circled again, and again... The winds were too strong to land and the pilot looked back at me and said 'Sorry, we're going to have to go to Wamena and try again tomorrow.' That's when I wanted to cry. We had all of our stuff packed and ready. Four big styrafoam coolers were holding all our meat and cheese etc. for the next 3 months! I didn't know anyone in Wamena. I just wanted to see my husband and go home!
Well, thankfully the MAF people took excellent care of us. We were able to stay on the MAF base in a house that belonged to some people on furlough. It was a really nice house and they had a big empty freezer for all our food and the kids had a blast playing with rabbits and chickens and jumping on the trampoline.
The next morning we made it!
This was our first meal in our new house. Our friend Mel had sent a delicious taco soup with us and we enjoyed it immensely:)
We set out exploring our new home with lots of friends to help us:)
Checking out a fun waterfall just down the path from our house
Later that day Dylan checked out sick people on our porch. Dylan and Logan have started building a separate little building across the airstrip where we can do medical. 20+ people a day usually come with various ailments. We do what we can to help with the limited knowledge we have. The closest city with any sort of medical facility is about a 2 day hike for them and right now they can't really go at all since they have to cross over territory of a different tribe who is mad at them and would kill them.
As the sun went down, we began to experience the cool temperatures that Dylan had told us about and didn't seem possible in the sweltering coastal town we were staying in at the time. Sweatshirts, footie pjs and socks are our friends as it gets down to the high 50's at night time! We spent our first night in our new house. The loft wasn't finished yet so Gideon and Raquel each slept in a tent and Roman was in a pack n play with a mosquito net over it. Dylan put our bedroom wall up that afternoon, so we were the only ones with a 'real' room. We all slept soundly that first night. It was such a relief to finally be here!
Over the next few days we began to settle in. Dylan continued building and I started unpacking.
I'll be posting more pictures soon, so stay tuned...