April 18, 2014

More Mid-term Pic's

All the snow in Revelstoke made for a pretty good play ground for our Luke, Si, Helena, & Charlotte. They had their cousins to show them how it is done!
Luke is working on a snow fort. It is funny how I now agree with the "no-tunnels-because-it's-too-dangerous" policy. As a child I did nothing all winter but build giant mazes of tunnels throughout our front yard, and could not imagine a heaven without winters that last 100 years and snow piles 200ft high. Oh the hypocrisy of fatherhood.
Charlotte experiencing her first winter experiences!
Helena just loves playing in the snow, whether it is with others or just solo.

Poppy, Helena, & Charlotte testing Grandma's cookies!
No snakes to worry about here! Just frost bite.
Home sweet Home. It's hard to see any houses from the street at this time of year.
An "action" shot of Gabe & Simon jumping off a snow pile.
It was so cool to see our kids play with their cousins like they've always lived next door to each other. Gabe & Si are two peas in a pod. Unfortunately I don't have any pic's of Luke with Levi out in the snow.

April 9, 2014

Mid-Term Pic's

Back in Indonesia!

I was a little sporadic with my camera during our 1.5 months in winter wonderland, but here are a few pic's nonetheless. I do wish I had made sure I had pictures of everyone, but I didn't...sorry!
 Amy and her Mom.
 Charlotte running to catch up to Grandma and her siblings on the wharf in Sechelt, BC.
 Grandma White and Charlotte.
 We all got to attend one of big cousin Eli's hockey games, Amy's older brother Matt coaches his games. Eli #17 on the bench with Dad!
 This is the same ice rink Amy once watched her brothers play their hockey growing up. Of course, she remembers what snacks they had available at the canteen better than any actual hockey...

 Luke & family cheering Eli's team on!
Helena and older cousin Isabella following the generational footsteps and looking for ice rink snacks.

March 10, 2014

Back to Home!

We're back in Indonesia!

Our family arrived safe and sound back here in Tarakan just this morning. We're feeling kind of tired as our last flight from Jakarta started with a 2am taxi ride to the airport with 12 check bags and four tired kids. Actually, it took 2 taxi's. This was to Charlotte's delight as her favourite thing about Jakarta is counting taxi's, blue being her favourite. One time she threw a fit on the ground in front of our ride because it did not have the light-up Taxi sign on top..."It's not a Taxeet!!!! It's not a Taxeet!!!"

A couple surprises back home in Canada:

  • Somehow I forgot that prices go up overtime. The rise of cost reminded us that what we thought was overpriced in Indonesia, is not as overpriced as we thought. The one exception: Costco hotdogs went down in price!! According to my calculations, a decrease of roughly 25%, not that I'm keeping track. Oh yah. I ate a few for the road. We don't have Costco hotdogs here, which is probably a good thing. But I'd certainly take a Costco, if they are looking to expand overseas.
  • Winter driving is still crazy. In fact, we were a bit surprised that winter generally still exists and is going strong. Revelstoke gave us all the snow I could imagine or ask for, to the dismay of most Revelstokians. The road from Revelstoke to Vancouver was nasty in spots both ways. This was one of the main reasons (besides fatigue) that caused us to cancel our trip up to Prince George & Houston. But I must say, we were totally blessed by some friends of ours in Gibsons loaning a great vehicle to us while we were home. It ran awesome and was a real answer to prayer. Thank you Brian and Julie!!
  • When spotting a Seagull at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, Luke exclaimed to his cousins: "Wow!! Check out this massive Pigeon!! It's huge!!" Apparently he did not remember ever seeing a seagull. 
  • Helena was thoroughly confused what baby carrots were...She's eaten plenty of regular sized carrots, but baby carrots looked strange!
  • On Simon's first day back he thoughtfully told me that he thought "Canada sure was a rich city".
  • Charlotte...She just took everything in stride, including relatives she never knew she had and lots of snow to play in. Of course, her eating habits were a bit fussy, that is, until Amy made some Indonesian rice / chicken soup and she ate 3 helpings! As she was 6 months old when we left, it was so neat to have our family meet her, and her to meet them.

Thankful For Safe Travel
We are very thankful to God for watching over us during this trip, both on the snowy roads of British Columbia, and all of our flights to and from Indonesia. 1st Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to "pray without ceasing" and to "give thanks in all circumstances", and every flight we took and every highway we drove, either alone or with the whole family (10 different flights & a couple days on snowy roads) I had it upon my heart to pray for safety. I remember coming home on our flight from Hong Kong to Jakarta, thinking about how we were somewhere off the coast of Vietnam, and how 40 something years ago this was the very same air space that was full of B-52's & F-4's and who knows what else - all with the mission to bomb North Vietnam, Cambodia  and Laos. Less than 2 hours after our flight landed in Jakarta, an Air Malaysia flight took off from Kuala Lumpur and went missing in this same area. As of now it is still missing and is all over CNN, BBC, etc. Very, very sad.

One Last Thing:
Last year my brother Jordan and my Dad were able to visit us here in Tarakan. Jordan was able to shoot a lot of footage of his visit, and edited down a some of it into a video. Of course I am biased, but I think it is awesome work by my brother. If you have not seen the links we already have on Facebook, please check this link out:


February 12, 2014

Visiting Canada

Yes, back in Canada!

After 2 years and almost 3 months in Indonesia, Amy, myself, and our 4 brave kiddos have made the trip back to cold, cold, Canada. The reason is for a short mid-term break to touch base with family. (by "mid-term" I mean that we are over 1/2 way through our first 3.5 year  term with MAF).

My first week home involved a lot of whining, as both Amy and I were coooold! It truly is amazing how the body can adapt to new temperature norm's, maybe not so different from those cold lake experiences any good Canadian lad has had a few of..."Come on, jump in! It's not so bad once you get used to it..." By week two I was already feeling a little better being a little colder, but my fear is that as soon as I adapt to this icebox living environment we're going to be climbing back on the airplane & flying back to Borneo. Sweating lots is supposed to be good for you, which is good because that is what I'll be doing.

I want to thank those of you who prayed for our 3 days of travel, as we felt it. Below Helena is totally knocked out as it was around midnight when we loaded on to our flight from Jakarta to Seoul, Korea.
 Sorry for the bad photos! My little Samsung phone is all I've had access to for the most of the last few weeks. Below Helena, Si, & Luke watch big planes land in Seoul!
 Cheeeeese! As Charlotte was 6 months old when we left Canada, this is her first "winter" experience. Although, the real snow is yet to come when we head up to Revelstoke next week.
 Ah yes, the bonus of good coffee on every street corner...Yum!

Right now, I am once again in Nampa, Idaho (Mission Aviation Fellowship's headquarters for overseas support is located here). I am taking a few courses that will most definitely prove useful once we return to Kalimantan. We are discussing exciting phrases & terms like "Aviation Operations Manual Maintenance Requirements", "Approved Data vs. Acceptable Data", and "Non-destructive Testing Procedures & Techniques". Don't you wish you could be here too?

January 7, 2014

First Flights & Water Fights

This past summer "Mike Papa Zulu" became a new addition to our fleet of MAF aircraft here in Tarakan. This is a picture the day after her (Yes, it's a her, I can already tell she'll be a good ol' girl) first day of official flying in Kalimantan.

Why would it take so long to get flying if she has been here since the summer!? Well, she was due an engine change when she arrived from Papua, along with a lot of other jobs big and small to make her similar & consistent to our other two Cessna 206's, including changing out a bunch of avionics equipment. Plus, we had to deal with all the paperwork required by governments on both sides of the Pacific to make her officially airworthy.

That all said, as part of the maintenance staff, I was happy to see her flying people & cargo, and getting all muddy - just what she was brought here to do!
Every once in a while, washing aircraft on a hot Borneo afternoon gets a little out of hand. Our Karyawan (Indonesian word for "Employees / paid staff") can go from quietly doing there job to full on water fight in just seconds. This particular day I happened to have my camera.

Below, Pak Markus patiently waits outside the staff room with a bucket o' water...

Nelson, almost ran on to a controlled runway in an attempt to keep himself dry, his plan eventually failed.
 Markus, again, waiting in ambush. He tactics eventually paid dividends, but by that time I had grown impatient with the camera.
 Our water reservoir just happen to run dry that afternoon, but that didn't stop Nelson from using swamp water from who-knows-where!

These are some pretty cool guys to work with, who love Jesus and it shows in their lives. They are invaluable to MAF's ministry here. Plus, they let me go home dry and not smelling like swamp water. Not bad.