March 20, 2012

**Warning to my mom and others with snake phobias - there are snake photos in this blog post!!!**

First, an update on the birds - they are gone!  Hallelujah, Amen.  It was not without a good bit of tree-banging and praying.  David said he heard them over by the airport one evening, squawking away.  They can stay over there and keep the airplanes company from now until eternity as far as I am concerned!

Right about the time the birds left us, we became caretakers of a new creature, this time a lovely green tree python.  See, this is how your children can change you.  If reptile-loving Carter weren't my child, I probably wouldn't find myself slamming on the brakes to check out a dead snake in the middle of the road like I did recently.  I digress.

Ever since we found out we'd be moving to Papua, Carter has been dreaming of having a green tree python as a pet.  He planned for it, researched it, purchased items when we were in America to go in a snake cage.  And two weeks ago Carter's "Verdi" came home (if you haven't read the children's book Verdi, you should - it's a great little story about a python who doesn't want to grow up and change.  Heartwarming.  Really.)

As Steve Irwin would say, isn't she a beauty?

This past weekend we hosted two Papuan girls, Mey and Ivan, from a local school that does English training and discipleship classes for high school graduates.  Part of their training requires them to do a home-stay with an international family for a weekend.  We tried to give them a "typical" American weekend (as typical as you can get in Papua) - a high school basketball game, waffles and cartoons on Saturday morning (our standing family tradition), and a cookout and games with friends.  We also decorated cookies for St. Patrick's day, but I spared them the green grits.  

They are sweet girls and I enjoyed getting to know them and learning about their culture a bit.  

So I started this blog post yesterday and because of internet issues I've had to finish it this morning, but that just gives me a chance to report on the crazy night we had.  First there was a massive thunderstorm that rolled through.  Then, at about 3 a.m., David shakes me and says "Earthquake!" I was so confused, but keenly aware of the bed shaking and the pictures on the wall rattling.  I stood up, wondering if I should go to the kids' room, not knowing how earthquakes work and if it would get stronger, and then it was done.

You can see a map and details here.  David is supposed to fly today to the area near the epicenter.  Between the earthquake, storms, and local people demonstrating every other day, Papua has proven to be a wild place!!

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