May 05, 2010

The past few weeks have been about as crazy as this picture of Zoe in a bucket!  This time of year always seems to bring a flurry of visitors and activity.  Not that I'm complaining.  Life on an island can be a bit dull at times (no, really!) so a change of pace is welcome.

My Aunt Mary and Uncle Harvey paid us a visit around Easter.  It was their first trip to Indonesia, and we tried to pack as much into their week here as we could.  They celebrated Easter with us at church and at a brunch with our MAF teammates, Uncle Harvey rode along with David on a medivac flight, we visited all the local tourist spots (all four of them!) and took a two-night trip interior.



In the picture above, Mary and Harvey try out fried chicken feet.  They were very adventurous and we had many laughs, especially over Mary's introduction to the Indonesian squatty potty.  

I was also proud of how Aunt Mary braved the rickety bamboo bridges we frequently crossed on our hike interior.  Looks easier than it is!


Carter is always catching critters - he caught this skink at our friend's hut near their rice field interior.

On our hike, our friend Pak Ajang took us to a place where in the old days of Dayak headhunting, they used to store the heads.  There was only a depression in the earth, and the heads are long gone (to Luke's disappointment).  

In the photo above, Pak Ajang is demonstrating how his ancestors in years past would prove their bravery by leaping off this stone over a spear that was stuck in the ground.  If they cleared the spear, they could call themselves brave.  If not...well, I guess they called themselves severely injured, at best!
 There was a tense moment when a kerbau (water buffalo) got between us and the trail.  They are docile creatures, but none of us wanted to get any closer to those horns than necessary.  

Zoe, however, didn't mind getting up close and personal with this kerbau, under Pak Ajang's watchful eye.

Here we are after a trip to the Tarakan beach.  It's always fun to see Tarakan again through a newcomer's eyes, and experience the culture anew.

A few days after Mary and Harvey left, we had a party for Grace's 10th birthday, a few days early.  Then we were off to family conference in Balikpapan.

Conference is always a highlight of the year.  A group of ladies from MAF headquarters came out to do the VBS and they all had a wild and fun time.  Kevin and Linda Swanson, whom we know from our Tennessee days when they worked at a counseling center and later when Kevin served as MAF CEO, came to be our speakers.  They did a fantastic job speaking on the topic of joy.
Here's our MAF Kalimantan team.  I love these people!!! 


Grace's actual birthday happened when we were at conference in the big city of Balikpapan.  So we were able to celebrate by going out to Pizza Hut and have J.Co doughnuts - which are just as good, in my opinion, as Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  A very special birthday, indeed! 

I can't believe Grace is 10 already.  Seems like she was just this size the other day.  This is Grace with my grandmother, Mamaw.  On April 24th it was two years since she passed away.  We miss her so much!


The day after conference David headed off to the U.S. to be trained to fly and instruct in our new Kodiak aircraft.  I'm glad he has the opportunity to go but we sure do miss him!  Just about 10 days to go and he's home.

Natalie

5 comments:

Mary said...

Great to relive our visit!! AND to see what you've been up to since we left!
Auntie M

Laura said...

Natalie - I love reading your blog posts and getting a peek inside your life half way around the world. You, David and all the kids look great. Stay in touch!

Jamie Jo said...

I enjoyed reading your article in the WOTH magazine this week, so thought I would take a look at your blog. Great photos and stories. It was nice "meeting" you! Keep up the writing.

The Irwins said...

I love that first picture of Zoe. She must be a hoot! Hope you had a great mother's day. And, how great that your parents and David will be there soon! Thanks for the chat the other day. It made my week!

Maylan said...

I used to have a guest from Canada staying at our place. The little guest room has its own washroom. When our guest left, we were left with a nasty thing and my family could not understand the problem and came up with the word 'dirty person'. Reading this, remind me to your story and that case came up to my mind. Well, at least now I know that it wasn't because of being 'dirty', but being shy to ask 'question'.

I could not explain to my family that a white person does not know this kind of pot.