These past months down here in Merauke have been a challenge when it comes to getting blogs and newsletters out. As since the month of February we have had three different times when we have lost internet. And each time seems to last about three to four weeks at a time. On the bright side our children are learning that life can go on just fine without having a WiFi hook up. And they are all learning how to become masters in the card game called Dutch Blitz through this last round of having no internet. So now that we have internet let us try to get you caught up with how we have being doing before we lose connection again. And if you find that we are being silent again please know that we have most likely lost internet again and that we are still thinking about you all!
Greg has spent his time doing a mix of things through out the past months. He has found himself doing a lot of IT work and getting things connected and working with our Sentani office. We are trying to install a v-sat at the office so that we can still have internet when the town losses its. This is very important as most of our office work, flight information, and other things are all done on line. So it has caused some problems when we have lost internet for two whole months down here. He has also been able to land on some new runways/rivers over the past few months which have been exciting and challenging. As one river they discovered had a very powerful current which found Greg along with our national helper in the river as they tried to tie it off to the shore without letting the river carry the plane away or damage it. There have also been a lot of over night trips to our MAF base in Nabira as we have seen a need for the use of the float plane grow in certain areas out there as well. This is neat to see but it does mean time away from our families which is not always easy on the kids.
The children have been faithfully working on trying to finish up their school year and in the next up and coming weeks should have most completed. We also made a trip up to Sentani in April that allowed Isaac and Jaclynn the opportunity to take some testing along side their peers at the international school. The purpose of this was to make sure that they are staying up with what other kids in there grade. And even though it meant having to get up earlier to be apart of this testing they really enjoyed being with their classmates once again. The testing also just happened to be the same week as the high school basketball tournament which allowed us to be apart of that and connect with people in the community that we normally do not get to see all the time. Besides school Franklin has developed a interest in gardening and loves harvesting our banana crops. Jaclynn and Isaac have found that they like to help out with baking in the evening especially if it gets them out of dish duty. Then in May Jaclynn celebrated her 12th birthday with a household of people to celebrate with her. Another highlight for us all is that we have enter into cool season here which has been such a wonderful relief for us all.
I (Julie) have been seeing a steady improvement in my health since my surgery back in February. I am finally back to eating most things now that were starting to make me sick. Though lately I have been having problems with continual urine infections. The doctor here believes that the cause could be from them using a catheter while I had surgery. So I am on something for a little over a month to see if we can get that to clear up all the way. I am grateful that the end of our school year is in sight finally as we are all ready for a break. With my teaching load getting lighter I have found more time to study language more as well. Which has been really helpful as these past weeks I have been able to met a few new people in our neighborhood as well.
The celebration of Idul Fitri is in mid swing. Yesterday we spent time with four different families that we know and eat way to much food. As it is custom to eat at every house that you go to. This year we did a better job spreading the visiting throughout the day but still found ourselves stuffed at the end. Please pray that God will keep opening doors for us to reach out and become part of their lives.