Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our stay in Nauru has covered the U.S. fall/early winter season, by far my most favorite time of year. At the first, there was some discussion about missing scheduled activities at church, upcoming holidays, local events, birthdays of family plus our anniversary. As each event came and went, there was a bit of sadness at missing out on what was going on at home and missing being with others for our own celebrations. I hadn't mentioned, but one of my 'milestone' birthdays celebrated here was acknowledged by many of you and it truly MEANT A LOT knowing you hadn't forgotten me. That same birthday evening, some ladies from the church came to the house bringing gifts, explaining some Nauruan cultures, singing songs which gave me the surprise of my life .. or so I thought until this week. A few weeks earlier our upcoming wedding anniversary was mentioned in passing, but it wasn't made out to be a big deal at all. Now between that time and the anniversary date, I have become stricken with a somewhat debilitating back problem and have spent a lot of time laying on a hard surface waiting for some medicine to kick in. (BTW, work is a no-go for the remainder of our stay). Let's just say, our anniversary celebration had included a quiet day and a bowl of soup!

But anyway, back to my big surprise! Monday evening, I had just gotten up from the floor when someone knocked at the door. It was our neighbor girls bringing fruitcake and gifts in honor of our anniversary. They came in smiling, looking a little awkward as they presented their homemade gifts. Then, after we had sat and talked a while, they sang a song for us complete with candlelight and the Nauruan hand motions that I had seen at the Christmas program earlier this month. We were overjoyed at the expression of these young girls and the thought that came to my mind was "My heart is full." The Lord truly knows how to deliver a blessing, even when I didn't even know I was in need of one. In fact, that may be a good summation of what this trip has meant to me, "My heart is full."

Monday, December 21, 2009

The pig roast is history! After 7 straight days of rain, we awoke to blue skies! The roast was a huge success! Started with the selecting, transporting, housing; then the killing, cleaning, cooking; then the serving! I will spare you the pictures of the in between events, just showing the before and after. Everyone there (and they know pigs better than we do) said it was the best! The kids enjoyed the afternoon of competitive games and later received ribbons and recognition. All in all the day was well worth the anticipation!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sights and sounds of Christmas are on the island. Familiar carols are played over the loudspeakers at the shops, and an occasional tree and even a little outdoor lighting is seen on some houses. The school year finishes here December with the final day being their Christmas program and party. I was privileged to attend the festivities as one of the church ladies is a teacher and invited me to come along. It was quite a sight. Preschoolers all decked out in island garb, singing and dancing with their music and even doing some acrobatic moves. They were having a great time! And the audience loved it! Put a smile on my face the whole day!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our pig roast has been postponed a week. It's hard to maintain an outdoor fire in a downpour! ... But the anticipation is building because of having to wait another week. I guess this feast business is the real deal!

Our attendance was back up on Sunday which was great! The wagon was full again with kids and we had a great lesson on the "busy angel Gabriel" in Luke 1.

Stay tuned for pig update SOON!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bad weather I know sometimes affects church attendance, and we found that to be true here as well. After all, it had rained nearly nonstop for 3 days, Thursday-Saturday, and on Sunday morning though it had let up a little, the attendance was down. Our outside meeting area, although covered for shade, was showing the effects of the rain too, so we met inside. One of the men said we could be in for this "westerly" for maybe 3 days, maybe 3 months ??? you just never know. This morning, Monday, it is raining again, but this feels just like a light shower compared to the past week. I am happy that we live on the top of the hill!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

One of the men in the church is from PNG and has been on the island for 2 years as a high school teacher. A faithful believer, he was a great encouragement to Adam and has been to us as well. He will be returning to PNG this month and so we are planning a send off for him. As my history reference states, "There can be no feast without a pig!" So we are planning a PIG ROAST! The folks are very excited about this and plans for the purchase, the kill, the clean and the cooking is underway. This should be happening within the next week, so will report on it soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Still reading the history and came across the fact that Nauru receives from 5 to 180 inches of rain each year ... quite a variation. Guess which year we are experiencing? As of day 74 on the island, we have had 47 days of rain, and the rain is not just a gentle shower, it is a straight-down, hard, no wind rain. We have conceded to the fact that the outdoor clothesline is not an option and have taken to hanging clothes in the house from the get go. At first on a small drying rack, and now we have erected a full length clothesline across the living room. It's just another reminder of the conveniences we take for granted. Today, take some time to be aware of what you have!