July 15, 2014

Visiting a Friend

A friend of ours recently moved from Tarakan "city" to a community further up the island. Although not out in the jungle, this area is definitely a little more country-esk. We went out as a family to visit Orpa and her son Sem once they were moved in.

Luke checking out the kitchen!
The reason for our friend Orpa's move was because her husband's family had a home they could live in rent free, so they could save to one day buy their own home. Charlotte thinks any home with tricycles in it is Aye-Okay!
Below, Orpa and her sister visit with Amy. It was a sunny day, and as the tin roofing heats up to molten lava temperatures, it creates a convection style oven in the house. I took this picture sitting in front of a fan. Orpa's husband works off island, so it nice for us to see their family with a home to live in, even though it is a bit of a drive from town.
A view of the "street" outside the house. When it is raining hard (as it often does) I'm sure there would be a small river or two to cross. It certainly is less noisy out here though!
One bonus of a Torajanese style house built on stilts is that it is noticeably cooler underneath the house, and also makes a great sandbox! Our kids spent most of their time here playing with some local kids - dirt is universally fun. I always love how kids here know how to strike a picture perfect pose in a matter of seconds. If I ever try and get our kids to line up like this it usually ends in tears :)

May 31, 2014

Attending a Funeral

Recently, I attended a funeral with a few others from the hangar. The daughter of a long time friend of MAF, Pak Coa, was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident the day before. We left the hangar mid-morning and met at the family's home.
Dealing with death here is certainly different than back home. The body is usually kept in the home before the ceremony and burial.

Below, the procession to the grave side starts as they cary the body from the home to a waiting vehicle. According to their beliefs & customs, the body is only wrapped; no box or coffin is used. The body also has to buried within 24 hours of the time of death.
Below, the family helps with the burial.
After the burial, a ceremony is performed. Pak Coa is the older man (below) in the centre foreground. For 30 plus years he has worked on and off for MAF on a contract basis - fixing homes, building projects at MAF hangars, acting as a night guard, etc. He has personally worked for Amy & I helping fix up our home here and is greatly appreciated by all of us here! Last year, another daughter of his passed away from cancer, leaving a husband and children. Now, he has lost two daughters in a seven month period. I ask that you pray for both Pak Coa and the two family's that have experienced this loss.

April 27, 2014

Going Solo

Last week our newest pilot Pete Neal flew solo for the first time here in Indonesia. It has been a long standing tradition to give a pilot a nice bath right after his/her first solo flight. Anyone can participate, especially the little ones who know no mercy, nor when enough is enough...because when to comes to soaking someone, it can never be enough.
 Oh, the anticipation!

 A few shots of random MAF kiddos...looking cute & preparing for battle.


 Above is Pete & Joy's son coolin' off in the tight-ee white-ees while waiting patiently for Dad to get home.
 It's go time! Pete did come prepared with his own water gun and water balloons, but in the end it only further encouraged the children to refill their weaponry multiple times.
Craig giving Pete a dry set of pilot bars. Good job Pete! It takes several years specifically dedicated to preparation to get to this point. It is a pretty cool testament of God's faithfulness to us over the years each time one of us reach a big milestone like this.

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.