It's October again, when living in the tropics kind of stinks if you grew up loving autumn, even a half-hearted mostly-warm-till-December Georgia autumn.
I miss the changing colors, the pumpkins, the brisk air in the morning. I especially miss it if it's blazing hot like it's been in Sentani the past few days.
So what does one do when one yearns for fall in the tropics? You pull out the plastic pumpkin, you hang a fall wreath on the door, you make you and your hubby a pumpkin spice latte (made with home-cooked squash, which is close enough to pumpkin, but it was a bit pulpy and we gagged on the last few sips), then you go hide in the air-conditioning.
Ok, enough whining, Natalie. Here's the latest.
Zoe and I spend our mornings doing school together. On this particular day she was a pirate and wanted to do her work in her pirate ship. I love her imagination and enthusiasm for life.
We are now taking care of this lovely parrot "Kwik" for some friends who have gone on furlough. Our friends are Dutch, and so Kwik speaks Dutch. I'm hoping to have it saying, "Hey, y'all" by the time our friends return in five months.
This lovely lady is my new helper, Ibu Lora. For our first eight months in Papua, I have not had a helper, by choice. Maybe it was pride, but I just wanted to see if I could do it on my own. Even with David and the kids helping around the house, I was about half-dead trying to stay on top of everything and then Ibu Lora providentially came along. She works for me two days a week, and came to me blessedly well-trained, and she's a good cook. She is a native of southern Papua but has lived in Sentani for many years.
How many snakes do you see??? Carter has borrowed a male snake from a friend and is hoping it will mate with his female. They seem to like each other.
There's a band teacher at the school this year, so Grace is learning to play the flute! Here she is, checking to see if she has proper placement. I love hearing her descriptions of what a room full of 7th and 8th graders learning to play instruments sounds like - it's very comical.
Most Fridays I try to do an art project with Zoe and two other girls on base who are homeschooled. These owl paintings were the first thing we did together, and I got the idea from this super-fun website deep space sparkle.
Yesterday I was helping Carter with his algebra when the table starting shaking.
"Stop shaking the table," I told him.
"I'm not," he replied. Then he and I looked at each other wide-eyed and said, "Earthquake!"
And we shimmied for a few seconds and it was done. I guess it wasn't really an earthquake, but more of a tremble. This is the third one I've felt here, and each time I vascillate between wanting to bolt outdoors, and wanting to stand up and "surf" the tremor. It's cool and scary all at once.
So we may not have lovely autumn to enjoy, but we have our tremors, cute owl pictures, lovey-dovey snakes, Dutch parrot, flute-playing, and new house helper to enjoy and be thankful for. Life is good.