As promised, the photos from our MAF Papua Family conference! I won’t do “Daily Photos” for this week, as I wanted to post more photos than just the 7 for the week, and also didn’t want to re-post them in my Daily Photos post. Of course I’ll keep them for my own daily photo records, but just won’t post separate ones here 🙂 If you want to see more photos from conference (of course I wasn’t able to have my camera with me all the time, so others have captured photos that I didn’t!) you can go to my friend Becky’s blog here and my friend Erica’s blog here. (Both are great blogs if you want to read more about life in other parts of Papua… Erica lives in Sentani and Becky just moved to Nabire!)
First, our room! We actually ended up in the same room that we stayed in two years ago. Very basic and rustic! There are two bunk beds and one double bed. We brought sleeping bags for the girls and regular bedding for ourselves. The sleeping arrangement (Natalie on top bunk, Claire on bottom) worked out well until the second night, when we were awakened in the middle of the night by a loud thump and subsequent wailing. Yes, Natalie fell out of bed. Yes, from the top bunk! She was fine, but scared and a bit banged up. As I was comforting Natalie in our bed, we heard another thump and wail. Claire had fallen out of bed as well, just minutes after Natalie! So, after that ordeal, we moved Natalie’s mattress and sleeping bag from the top bunk to the floor in between the two beds, and Natalie slept there for the rest of the week.
Here you can see our row of cabins. We’re in the building on the left, the furthest room to the right.
Some more of the campground here in Pyramid. This is the church building where the kids have their VBS, the building to the right is used by Doctor John (okay, he’s not really a doctor, but we treat him like one here in Papua! :-)) who comes from New Heights to treat our physical ailments while at conference, and the building to the far right is our row of cabins.
Having fun… one of the families put up a hammock, and here Natalie swings her friend resting in the hammock!
My beautiful Natalie girl! I think that I took this picture while I was sitting on the porch outside our room while Claire was inside napping. Natalie came to ask me for something and I snapped this picture of her in the afternoon sunlight.
And some fun with gummy worms. One of the things the kids most enjoy about conference is the American candy!!! The New Heights team brings several suitcases filled with American candy for us to enjoy. We do pay for it – about 40 cents per candy bar – but it is sure fun to have all those treats to enjoy all week long! And it’s not just candy… they bring other treats like pretzels and Cheez-its, too!
Some kids chew candy, others chew… their bracelets from VBS?! Silly Claire!
One afternoon one of the MAF wives held an old-fashioned dance lesson in the chapel. I just watched and took pictures for a while, and then joined in at the end when someone’s partner left and they needed me to step in 🙂
It was so much fun to see Natalie enjoy the dancing, even though she had no idea what she was doing! She caught on pretty quickly, though!
Do-si-do down the row of people, sashay with your partner…
Later we had some fun coloring with sidewalk chalk on the patio. While at conference, the kids are in VBS each morning, but then the afternoons are free time. So often we spent time just sitting on the grass or concrete patio while the kids played with blocks or sidewalk chalk. Nice time just to relax!
And Claire thought it would be fun to roll down the hill!
and then she saw me taking pictures of her, and this is the face I got! Nice, huh?!
Behind the bathrooms are the old fuel drums where water is heated so we can have hot showers in the morning or afternoon!
And the inside of the bathrooms. You can see the red tub that I was about to fill with water to give the girls a bath. They still aren’t quite shower-takers yet, so we brought a tub so that they could still have baths.
And speaking of baths, Natalie definitely needed a bath after this next activity! It is kind of a tradition that if it is rainy and muddy, the kids will start a mudslide down the big hill. Well, we had some unusually nice weather (remember I said it has been cold and rainy here? Well, about 3 days before conference it dried up, and was sunny and beautiful for about a week!) so there was no mud for the kids to have their mudslide. What’s a kid to do?! Well, create their own mud, of course! So, they filled buckets with water, started pouring the water down the hill, and as they slid down it, voila! Mud!
I was pretty happy that Natalie didn’t want to join in. I HAD brought a swimsuit for her “just in case” but as the kids were playing, I asked her if she wanted to play, too, and she said “No.” But a while later, she came to me, asking to put her swimsuit on and join in. And of course I couldn’t be the mean mom and say “no”! So on went the swimsuit and off went Natalie down the hill!
And here’s what she looked like after playing in the mud for about a half an hour! I rinsed her off with a hose and then gave her a bath!
My handsome hubby… Of course I had to have a project to work on during conference (I listen better when I am doing something with my hands :-)) so I brought some yarn and a pattern for a hat for Dan. I started it on the 2nd day, and finished it up by the end of the week! Dan loves his new hat! (if you are interested, I posted it on Ravelry here)
We always have a “fun night” on Saturday night (Conference runs from Tuesday through Monday). It is always fun to see videos that people have created, songs, and skits that are performed. This year was no different. We enjoyed a song about the joys of conference at Pyramid…
…a Saturday Night Live-type skit (“The Perfect Cheer” MAF-style for those who were wondering)…
…a song about the joys of being a Canadian and the wonderful-ness that is Tim Horton’s…
…watched the guys perform a traditional New Zealand Maori “Haka” dance (with a guy who’s actually part Maori!)…
…and watched the VBS kids sing the songs they had learned that week!
And then, after a Sunday filled with a great message from God’s Word, visiting with friends who had driven up from Wamena, and packing up, it was time to leave on Monday!
The main conference room is used as a luggage staging area for all the flights that go in and out of Pyramid Monday morning. Some people leave quite early (6 am or earlier) but we knew we would be around for a while because once we get to Wamena, we are home, instead of having to wait in Wamena for a flight to Sentani/Nabire/Merauke/Timika. So the Wamena crew is always the last to leave Pyramid. The girls got a bit bored but had fun playing games…
… coloring SpongeBob pages…
… and snuggling with their “teachers” from VBS. Claire really hit it off with a couple of the New Heights crew, and was sad to see them leave at the end.
And that’s it for conference… for this year, anyway!