It's been about a month since we first arrived in Papua. Boxes are (mostly) unpacked, furniture is in place, we are in a school and work routine, and we are starting to feel "betah" - at home.
Papua is vastly different from Kalimantan, in many ways. The current weather season, for one, has taken some adjustment. Right now it's angin barat or "west wind" season, and every afternoon, a mighty wind blows through the house, making the curtains fly...
...and blowing all kinds of dust and dirt into the house. And that is something else that is different here - how quickly the floors get gross. For now, I am choosing not to have a house helper, so I am working hard to stay on top of the chores - but really, that's not such a bad thing. I recently wrote on the MAF blog about how the chores are good for me, which you can read here.
Our days start earlier here, and that has been an adjustment. If David is flying, he has to be at the hanger pretty early...
...so by mid-morning I feel ready for a nap! David says the terrain interior where they fly is wild and beautiful, with mountain peaks reaching above 14,000 feet in places.
The people are beautiful, too, with a totally different look from the interior people of Borneo.
Many of the people interior, and around the town where we live, use net bags called noken, which they hang from their heads. It's amazing what they can carry in them. Often in the afternoons an old grandma comes to our house, carrying several kilos of pineapples in her noken. It makes my neck ache just to watch her.
Carter has been on the lookout for any new and different critters - especially of the reptilian variety - and while he isn't currently keeping a snake, the cage is all ready for one, just in case. He was happy to spot this tree frog in a neighbor's tree.
I have missed my little canary Zip that I had in Borneo (sadly, we just learned of Zip's demise; rest in peace, little bird). But I am so happy to have a pair of black and white songbirds living in a tree in our yard. They sing and dance all day long, and are fun to watch.
Carter and Grace are adjusting well to their new school - I will try to blog about that soon - and Luke, Zoe, and I are enjoying our time together homeschooling this semester.
So...our work and school routines are falling into place, the house is arranged, we're adjusting to the climate...and now we're ready to look beyond ourselves and become involved in the local community.
One way we hope to do that is with the Papua Harapan School. This school, started by an MAF'er a few years ago, exists to help Papuan children - especially ones from interior areas where educational options are limited - have the opportunity to get a quality education.
This weekend, we, along with another MAF family, hosted a few of the Papua Harapan kids in our homes for a few hours of games and hanging out, just to get to know them. They are amazing, intelligent, and fun children, and we thoroughly enjoyed being with them.
We look forward to spending more time with these kids, and becoming more involved in the community.