Maybe I will just give an update this time instead of complaining about how slow the internet still is, do you think that is a good idea?! But if you could, please pray that our v-sat dish would be released from customs. It has actually already been released TWICE but then pulled back in for reasons unknown (cough*corruption*cough) and so that means we are still limping along on very slow internet here.
In other news…
Natalie has really been enjoying school for the past few months. Her favorite subjects are math and Indonesian! She is in school every day from 7:45 to 2:30. The school is only a few minutes from our house which is wonderful! Some days I pack a lunch and take Claire on the motorbike and we eat lunch with Natalie – so fun to see her in the middle of the day!
We have been fighting some illnesses in our family the last few weeks. First Natalie started off with a cold, and then I got sick. Nothing serious, just low energy and a mild cold, but enough to not be able to do my usual daily activities like exercise. And then Claire got sick, too, with high fevers. After a couple days of fevers, she started having some other symptoms, and so I thought it might be a UTI (urinary tract infection) which she has had a couple times before, the first when she was only 4 months old. So she got started on antibiotics. And Dan wasn’t feeling well, either! So we were all a pretty miserable bunch for awhile. And unfortunately it wasn’t just us… a lot of other people in the mission community here in Wamena were sick, too – with a lot of different things. Thankfully just about everybody is doing much better now!
So a couple of weeks ago when a lot of people were feeling sick, the two teachers (husband and wife) at the school here also got sick (not with the same thing, either!) In a larger school, that wouldn’t be a big deal at all. But at our little school, where they teach all the grades between the two of them, it is a huge deal! We had several days without school, and then a couple of half-days that first week. The next week, they went down to Sentani to seek further medical help for the wife (the husband was better by then). Thankfully there is a Dutch missionary who is also an elementary school teacher, and she was able to teach the younger grades, while one of the men stepped in to teach the older grades. We had a week of half-day classes while the teachers were in Sentani and getting medical treatment! Thankfully they are back now and feeling almost back to normal.
I have been helping out at the school a bit recently, too. A friend and I are leading the school Christmas program, and so three times a week we teach music classes to the kids (twice a week for the older kids, once a week for the younger kids). It has been fun and I have also been able to revive some of my rusty piano skills (no, I’m not playing accompaniment! But I have been able to help some of the kids learn their harmony parts.) I’ve also started helping out with the art class for the younger kids. I filled in while the teachers were gone, and since then another mom and I have been helping out to teach art together. Always something new!
I have also been doing a bit of preschool with Claire at home, although not as regularly as I’d like, especially with the not-so-normal schedule these past few weeks! Her friend Ryan’s mom homeschools him in kindergarten every day, and sometimes Claire will go to his house and “do” kindergarten together with Ryan. The other day I asked Claire if she obeyed Ryan’s mommy when she was over at his house, and she said, “Yeah… but sometimes not!” So then we had to have a conversation about obedience… Never a dull moment with Claire around. She is just as happy to play dinosaurs and light sabers as she is princesses and unicorns!
We are looking forward to having a new family move to Wamena in December. We actually attended the same small group while we were both young childless married couples in Tennessee at Moody! And now they have finished language school and several months of training in Sentani, and will be moving to Wamena! They have 4 children – a daughter a year younger than Natalie, a son a year younger than Claire, and 1 year old twin girls! So they will definitely add some more life to this base!
Well, I think it is about time to wrap up this post. Last time I posted, I was so excited that I could get on early in the morning and the internet was faster. And then I think I was up early every morning for a week, trying to post pictures, and the internet did not want to cooperate, even early in the morning. So discouraging. So sorry it has been so long since an update. I think I will try to post this and then try my luck at posting pictures!