Monday, September 15, 2014

Family fun


My parents came to see us in Ambrym in July-August!  We had a great 3 1/2 weeks with them in country.  We spent a week in Ambrym in the village, and the remaining time in Vila.  We didn't do anything extraordinarily special, other than just hang out, which was special enough in itself.  So thankful they work so hard and save up to be able to come see us.  
 The view on the way to the volcano.
We did go to the active volcano, Marum, on our island - or at least most of the way to it.  Here it is behind us on the ash plain. 
 Dad did some playing with wood and bamboo out in the village.  So many new wood varieties to explore!  He carved Jesiah a little outrigger canoe.
Yanik cutting off a Limri wood plank for dad to take home.
Mom helped us paint in Gretchen's cupboards.  Bill's son Marcus really hooked us up with these cupboards and we can easily fit 6 months of stores in the pantries and other shelving he made us!
 We got to participate in the ceremony for Sylvie and Stephanie to go to Pentecost island with Tobie, her fiance.  This is usually just an exchange of a bit of food and money showing that Tobie's family will take care of her from here on out until they can afford to get married (ridiculously expensive here because of paying bride prices and money and food to all the extended family).  But Elder Harry, Sylvie's dad, asked that people see this as their marriage before God that they are legitimately together and had Houghton pray for their new lives together.  And no, the state of Temar's (Sylvie's brother, left foreground) shirt above, is not unusual.  You wear your clothes until they fall off of you here!  Thanks to Grace Bible Church in Miles City, Montana, US, we have a crate full of second-hand clothes we get to pass out when we return to the village on October!  (The guy on the right is Principal Sandy, who let us stay in his house for 1 1/2 years while we were building ours!)
Here is the new family on their new island (Tobie's home island)!  We got to see them off as they joined us on our boat ride to the airport.  We had to fly through an airport on Southern Pentecost island (the island just north of us) rather then through our usual one (at West Ambrym) because of land disputes blocking the ground the airstrip is on.  Its great that we could see a new place, but the water between Ambrym and Pentecost is open ocean and has very high swells that we don't enjoy a whole lot in our little banana boat!  We have heard that the W Ambrym airport may be opening again the end of this month, which would be a huge answer to prayer!
 Go go gadget arms!  Mom and I in Vila walking around Hideaway island.
Hanging out at Hideaway for the day.  It was too cold for me to swim, but the kids got in!
We have a great full-family shot from this day that I need to get from the Richards and I'll post it in with these.

Monday, December 30, 2013


The kids have gotten to celebrate their birthdays in style with lots of friends here in Australia.  Gwen got to have a day at the zoo, Si had a camping sleepover, and well, Addy got to go to a friend's party.  Her birthday is in March so she'll celebrate in Vanuatu.  And of course, Kaiden had a BIRTH day here too!

At Addy's friend's party:
 Meridith (one of the birthday girls) and Addy - two unusually colored kitties!
 Jamie, Si, Marshall, Ella, Grace
 Gwen, Kristen, Meridith, Addy, Lucy (the other birthday girl)
 Kristen painting Gwen's tiger face.
 Addy's kitty whiskers. 
 Si wanted to be a cheetah. 
 All the celebrants with Kristen, the birthday fairy diva.
 Barbie cake
 bouncing a ball on a sheet
 Pin the tail on the My Little Pony
 Kristen and Gretchen
 Fiona, Sara, Lola
me, Gretch
 Houghton, Don
Simon, Fiona, Mark, Lola

At Gwen's party:
Gwen's birthday was ages ago but we didn't really get to have a party for her or anything all that special in the village so she was to have something more planned in Melbourne.  She wanted to go to the zoo but it was so cold the first long while of us being here!  Then Ian (our builder friend who lives here) got us hooked up with tickets to the free-range zoo in Melbourne so we finally went this month!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

All you ever wanted (and didn't care) to see and know of giraffes.  Watch at your own risk (of wasting time if you aren't into giraffes).

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

At Si's party:
(to be added later)

Kaiden's birth  day!:
Welcoming Kaiden Timothy Richards into the world November 26.
Houghton, Gwen, Gretch, Kaiden, Addy, Jesiah
  At the hospital - Addy, Kaiden, Gretch, me
Putting Kaiden in the hateful carseat for the first time.  Not his favorite place of course! 
The girls are very good sisters to him and are very helpful.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Teaching and...stuff

We helped out with some of the things on for Wycliffe Australia.  They have a yearly course called Probe, which is for people interested in possibly being a part of Bible Translation.  It offers a taste of the kind of training and work Bible translators are involved in.  I taught Phonetics, which is learning the sounds in languages of the world as well as individual symbols to represent them (the International Phonetic Alphabet).  Houghton taught Anthropology (culture and keys for observing an understanding it).  We enjoyed being able to help out and interact with people interested in missions.
 All the students stayed in the lodge I live in on the Wycliffe campus so it was nice to have evening and late-night talks about missions and God's work around the world as well!
 Assessing sound transcription and production individually at the end of the course.
Students and most of the instructors.

And now for the ...stuff.
Our hairy neighbors.
 Check out this size of this family meal!  We are LOVING getting to run to fast food every now and then here and the convenience of that (that we miss in Vanuatu).  I'm not sure who the headless weirdo is...  :)
With my friend Nadia that I met when I was a student in 2009 at an anthropology event at the (Egyptian) Coptic church.  It's been nice to have time to catch up with her while we're in Melbourne.