Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pre-Christmas Activities

December is a very full month here on our center. I kind of forgot how busy things are here after a year back in the States. We started on the 2nd of December with the jr. and sr. high drama. They presented The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and did a great job! Then on the 3rd we held our annual Christmas Festival - where the gym is turned into a "mall". Each class, 7th through 12th, sells something and then individuals also have tables of goods to purchase.

The 4th was Sunday and then we had school Monday through Friday, which is enough activity on its own, but we seem to throw in dress up days just to make things more chaotic. So my dear friend Carmen decided that we should display the 12 Days of Christmas.

I was 5 golden rings. Here we all are - quite a crew.

Then the evening of the 9th was the school Christmas concert. The elementary students sang and acted. They did a great job, as did the music teachers.

The high school students sang and played their instruments. They all did a tremendous job!

The following day was the staff Christmas party. We held a progressive dinner times 4 - meaning that 4 houses hosted appetizers, 4 housed hosted soup or salad and 4 houses hosted the main dish. Then we all gathered for dessert at the end. We had a Sunday and 3 more days of school, that were filled with projects due and tests to be taken. Then on Thursday we had our class Christmas party. So here was my class on the last day of term 2.

Now that break is in full swing there will be more Christmas celebrations to come!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Belated Madang Birthday Post

I can describe my birthday trip to Madang in alliterations... Sun, Snorkeling, Shopping and Silly and then Fun, Friends, and Food. We took a few days to sit in the SUN and read. We had two traditional book readers and two Kindle readers. Nice to be balanced.
We made sure we had some tme to SNORKEL. Such amazing things can be found underwater. We enjoyed the sea stars as well as a sting ray - lots of clown fish and coral. We tried to get our little DVD player hooked up to the TV in the evening, but since the remotes had 'walked' away from the resort we never could switch over to AV and so we ended up watching some TV on the little 6 inch screen.

One day we met up with some friends that live in Madang and they took us into town to do some SHOPPING. We were able to go to a nice Brian Bell and find some things that we can't find in Goroka. Of course we had pay to fly them up to Goroka, but when you are shopping deprived it all seems okay.

FOOD is a must in the middle of a shopping day. We found a great place to have lunch and to visit. Fish and Chips all around!!

One of our days was filled with rain. It started raining around 3 am and kept raining until 3 pm. We weren't going to let that get us down. So we went out and played in the rain. The lovely ladies that took this picture had to think we were SILLY!

We spent the rest of our rainy day playing cards. We played 16 hands of Hand and Foot. This way we got to be partners with each person and play individually. We were a bit sick of Hand and Foot by the end of this day.

All in all the best part of our trip had to be the FRIENDS! We had a great time relaxing together. FUN is a pretty boring word to sum up our time, but it was FUN!

Thanks Carmen (in teal), Kristin (flowered top) and Robyn (in pink) for a great four days!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Birthday Bash

The years that I am in PNG, I try to celebrate my birthday with my good friend Becky. Becky and I share the birthday of October 3 (as do so many others!). This year Becky and I had a pinochle party. Our parties are really an excuse to have yummy food and hang out with friends.

Throughout the evening we change partners. We play four hands with one person and then change partners and tables. Here I am playing with my friends Peggy (tan sweater), Pat (blue top) and Carmen (black sweatshirt). Below is Becky (left) playing with Robyn, Shriley and Melanie (clockwise around the table.)

There was a third table in the kitchen where you find Terri (grey sweatshirt), Emily, Kristin, and Renee (clockwise).

Becky was the winner of the night, which seemed very appropriate. She hadn't won a pinochle party before and it was her birthday celebration.

Such a fun night!! Friends, food, gifts, and pinochle. I really had a great night with some wonderful ladies.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Field Trip!!

My grade 4/5 class took a field trip the last day of term. We have been studying Papua New Guinea history this last term and learned that one of the main exports is coffee. We live in a valley that grows lots of coffee and has a number of coffee factories, so we went to tour the New Guinea Highlands Coffee.

My students were good listeners, asked some good questions, and learned a lot about coffee. Mr. Dave, the company's manager, was our guide and teacher.
After the beginning presentation, all the kids had the opportunity to try the coffee. Thankfully their teacher didn't have to try any.

Parker has inherited his dad's love for coffee.

Best friends sharing a cuppa.

After our coffee tasting we went on a tour of the factory. This loft was full of bags of coffee beans.

The coffee is shipped all over the world. We learned that Germany and the US are the main purchasers from this company.

This was the 'cup room' - where coffee beans are roasted and tested to insure consistant quality of the beans.

The students were interested in the roasting process.

This is a vat of beans. Then they travel from here to be checked and bagged for transport.

Here is where the beans end up - bagged and stacked.

And here we are at the end of the tour. We had a great time and learned lots.

Friday, September 23, 2011

PNG Independence

PNG Independence is celebrated by our school in style. This year I am helping out with our student council group and Independence Day is our biggest fundraiser. I baked and "decorated" a cake for our cake walk. It was pretty late at night and this smilely face cake is all I could come up with.
The next morning, Sept. 16th - Independence Day - we began with a pie auction. Some pretty yummy items up for bid.

At NCA we have a unique twist on the "kissing booth". We send kisses - lip shaped suckers and a rubber stamped lip print. It is a very popular booth, and a lot of fun to deliver little bits of encouragement.

One of our other booths was the stocks. You could pay to put your friends in the stocks and then throw wet sponges at them. I had two students send me a "kiss" and two other students put me in the stocks. I think I prefer the "kiss".

Here is a shot of our cake walk. It is the most popular booth at the our celebration. Most PNG citizens don't have an oven and so the chance to win a cake is a big draw.

It is awfully fun to award a cake to the winner!! Here is our student council president showing off the cakes.

Friday, September 9, 2011

August Prayer Letter

School: NCA has begun!

Finally August 3rd arrived and we got to start school. I had been waiting for so long to be back into the classroom and I was thrilled to get started. I am teaching grades 4 and 5 again this year. Right now there are 15 students—8 fourth graders and 7 fifth graders. The class is currently made up of 2 Australians, 2 Germans, 1 Canadian and 10 Americans. Of course most of them know little about living in their home countries. They are great kids and I have been enjoying getting to know them over these first three weeks.

This part of the school year is a little bit difficult. Everyone is trying to learn new routines in my class as well as in music, art and PE. We will all get them down soon. The work load is a bit of a jump from 3rd grade to 4th grade, but they are all doing well.

This first term is shorter than usual because we postponed the beginning of school as we waited for some of our teachers to arrive. Just last week we found out that there is a new national holiday this Friday and so we have lost yet another day. I am not sure how we will get all this term 1 information digested, but I am sure my students are up to it. Plus it will make term 2 seem like a piece of cake. Please be praying for both students and teachers as we try to learn/teach all that God would have of us this term.

Tribal Update (excerpt from Gary and Esther Smith’s letter)

A couple weeks ago some religious leaders threatened some of our tribal missionaries. Though things looked a bit concerning this was the outcome..

This morning after a not so good night sleep I looked outside and saw men walking around our houses to protect us. Then the plane came in with the NTM leaders and left to go get the police men. We all met together and prayed and reminded each other to respond as Christ would respond.

The police arrived at the same time as the delegation. So we gave the floor to the religious leaders and they accused us of all kinds of falsehood and they said we had to leave and gave us a 2 month deadline to get out. The police men then gave us (around 120 people) the floor and they listened to testimony after testimony of how God has changed their lives and that Jesus is the only way to God. I literally cried as a listened to them give God all the glory. The police man had to stop people as hand after hand went up wanting to give testimony!

After these men heard the testimonies one man proposed that we can stay until we finish the translation. They literally changed their demand and said, “We never said they had to leave.” The testimony of God’s working in the lives of these people silenced them! So they even apologized to us and we shook hands. Our houses are still standing and we are safe, but more importantly our faith is stronger!

We are excited to hear of the faith in the Lord that is developing in our new brothers in Christ.

Praise/Prayer Points
• Praise for the many believers in the remote areas of PNG who are growing in Christ.
• Pray for my dear class as we continue to grow academically and spiritually.
• Praise that our 3rd grade teacher has her entry visa. Pray that she will be able to arrive in the next few weeks.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Joanie's Birthday!!

Even when Joanie isn't in PNG we still celebrate her birthday in style. Second-handing is one of her favorite pasttimes in Goroka. Don't you miss this? Here are Pat, Stuart, and Matt checking out with their finds.

Even your husband went second-handing. No wrist slitting that I saw. Here are Robyn, Dana and Kristin.

You know you are my dear friend if I will go into the second-hand store AND get my picture taken just for this blog post!

And we couldn't leave out your lovely daughter. Here are Stephanie, Matt (again), Carmen, Jenny and there she is Hayley. We love you and hope you have as much fun as we did on your special day. Happy Birthday!!!