Carter came back from his Outdoor Education trip in one piece, but just barely. For days and days after his return, he slept, fevered, and ate very little. Highlights of his trip started to emerge through the fog for him: pulling 8 teeth in the dental clinic, going on long hikes, time in their small village, hanging out with village kids.
For most of the time that Carter was on OE, David was in the U.S. at instructor pilot training at MAF headquarters. He was able to go meet our new little niece in Colorado while he was stateside. She is Grandchild #16 for the Holstens!
After his training was done, David and I met up in Bali for a few days getaway. Some truly awesome friends of mine helped watch the kids so I could go. I didn't realize how much I needed to get away until I got there. We stayed a few nights in the fancy shmancy part of Bali and we luxuriated in every minute of it.
It was therapeutic to have time alone, sitting by the beach, reading a book, catching up from the three weeks we were apart. It was like the honeymoon we never had. We also took the time to do a little shopping, eat some amazing food, and get our feet nibbled on by fish.
I know, weird, right? But it felt good, and our feet were so smooth afterwards. I just tried not to think about other people's feet having been in there.Welcome drink, Bali-style. I look sloshed, but really I wasn't. I was just really, really relaxed.
All too soon we headed home to Papua and jumped back into life here. Grace has been playing basketball on the middle school team, and it has been tons of fun to watch. I remember shrinking in embarrassment when I would sit with my mom as she cheered on my brother in sports, screaming her head off. And now it's me playing the part of Sports Mama. Tomorrow is their last game, and they are playing the moms. Should be fun.
Luke participated in a chapel program about friendship at school recently. That's him with the green bear.
Luke seems to enjoy school overall, but occasionally he still asks to be homeschooled. One morning when I was trying to drag him out of bed to get ready for school, he rolled over and said to me, "See, Mom, if you homeschooled me, you wouldn't have to do this." Don't tempt me, boy.
Zoe recently reached that milestone that officially moves her out of Little Kid-dom - she lost both top teeth.
We were very excited this month to welcome our first visitors to Papua - David's brother Jon and our niece Savannah, and her friend Sadie. We had fun showing them around and they got to experience all sorts of "firsts" - first rat sighting (Savannah), first time snorkeling, first avacado shake, first time in an MAF airplane, first time line-drying clothes (Savannah discovered she really enjoyed hanging out clothes), first time to visit our home, ever!
It's always fun to see our life through a newcomer's eyes: the crazy traffic, the open-air market, daily chores, the flying, the people, the Base Life. We really appreciated the opportunity to introduce them to our world, and also to get to know our niece better.
There has been lots of rain recently - I mean, LOTS - both here and interior. Last Saturday David and another pilot did a flight into Mamit with a group of visitors from Jakarta and the U.S., and they took in rice and noodles for victims of recent mudslides in that area.
That's it from this side of the globe!