With David's new position with MAF, he travels quite a bit, which mostly stinks for me and the kids. We never like him to be gone. I mean, who wants to fill his role as Gate-Closer and Cockroach-Killer when he's away? Not me. (Just kidding - I miss him for way more important reasons than that.) But, a perk of his job is that occasionally I get to tag along. In April I was able to join David for management meetings on the island of Flores, which is in the southern part of the Indonesian archipeligo.
It is a beautiful, undeveloped part of the country, known for its coral reefs, volcanic mountains, and yes, those fierce creatures known as Komodo Dragons.
Okay, this one isn't looking too fierce, but they can be if they're hungry.
The major highlight of the past few months was my parents' first visit to Papua. We made some fantastic memories with them. Dad got to fly with David one day and goof off in some villages.
We did a beach trip to our favorite beach, where Mom surprised us all with her enthusiasm for snorkeling. In the photo, she's holding up the snorkel.
On our beach trip we took along our two young Papuan friends who attend Sekolah Papua Harapan and spend one Saturday a month with us. Nelsea got to try her first roasted marshmellow and pronounced it yummy!
Mom, Dad, and I went with Luke's class on a field trip to a small village on Lake Sentani that is known for its clay pottery. After hearing about how the clay is dug up, cleaned, shaped, and fired into pottery, they got to try their hand at making something.
There was a most unusual pulpit in the village church. Pak Yohanis, the kids' Indonesian teacher and native of this village, explained that the locals eat a starchy porridge called sago every day, like we might eat bread or pasta, and they cook and store sago in clay pots. The big sago pot is a symbol of the Word of God, which is supposed to be our daily bread, or sago in this case, and so it's a reminder to the preacher and the congregation that every time the Word is preached, it's to be their daily spiritual sustenance. Pretty cool.
A rite of passage at our kids' school is the 8th grade banquet, when the 8th-graders "graduate" to high school. The kids got all spiffed up, and we had a lovely celebration with them. Our 8th-grader is on the far right. It's hard to believe she'll be in high school this fall!
After school let out for the summer (could you hear my cries of joy all the way from here?) we headed to Bali with my parents for vacation. Ahhh, Bali. We had some good times, eating, exploring, and just relaxing.
Nana loves waterslides!
Some post-breakfast buffet silliness.
Apparently, my mother and I are easily amused by oceanspray.
This view. I thought the hotel's website was lying to me until I saw this view for myself.
It was sad to say goodbye to Mom and Dad, but being in Bali was a bit of a balm for our souls. Too soon we were back home, settling into a summer (non)routine. And then it was Fourth of July, the one holiday that feels like it's supposed to - hot and humid! No seasonal delusion needed! Despite the fact that my kids have spent most of their lives in Indonesia, they are still fiercely patriotic, as evidenced by these cookies:
Reading books, playing with neighborhood kids, and trips to the pool have helped us fill our days.
Zoe, lettin' it go.