Saturday, April 28, 2012

Milena's 14th Birthday

 Milena is Sydney's best friend on Rumbai camp.  These two girls have so much fun together.  I don't know what Syd will do without her next year.  The good news is Milena is moving to California so the girls will only be a short flight away from each other.  They are already planning some road trips.  I am pretty sure that Milena will be visiting us this summer in Stanwood.  We can't wait.

Friday was Milena's birthday party and her mom Cristiana is known for throwing the most amazing parties. This year the theme was zebra and it was amazing like always.  To capture the party she hired a photographer which I thought was such a neat idea.   The pictures turned out fantastic.  What a gift for the girls!  Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Classy Taxi

 Check out the custom job done on this taxi in Kuala Lumpur.  We were lucky enough to get to ride in this little beauty all the way to the airport.  The whole interior of the car was covered in four inch long black and white fur.  Can you say CLASSY?  If that wasn't cool enough the driver added six sweet stuffed pigs hanging from various windows.  Oh, and the smell was just as amazing as the decor. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Wildlife

We now take another endangered animal off our bucket list.  Last night, John and I needed to run a missing item to Kade at a sleep over so we borrowed the school car and headed to Sawit.   On the way back we spotted huge glowing eyes in front of us.  We slowed down and discovered this little guy.  He or She is a Slow Moving Loris.  Pretty cool, huh?  The last animal on my list is a wild Tapir.  They tend to stay deep in the jungle.  I haven't heard any reports of sitting on camp lately.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  I would love to see one before we go home in June.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Swim Meet Photos

Saturday mornings swim meet started with a down pour. Morning rains are quite unusual in Sumatra. It actually worked into our favor because the entire day was unusually cool. I am guessing in the low 80's which meant we were all freezing which totally cracks me up.

Sydney and her friends Akmal, Ella and Milena.

Sydney and her coach Paul Clark

Winning Relay Team
First Place

Sydney has become quite the swimmer. She loves it. We are really proud of how hard she has worked. It definitely is something she wants to pursue when we get back home. Thanks for the photos, Bianca!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A little bit of this and that

I thought you might get a kick out of some of the other little updates we have received over the last few months. This is Paul looking ready for the red carpet. Paul is really fun. He loves books and we often find him hiding under tables picture reading. Paul is well known for striking a poise for the camera. This picture cracked us up.

This email was a thank you for some new toys the kids received.
I guess they made quite a mess with this water toy.

Samuel sporting some stylish glasses lounging in his new baby seat. We picked him up a baby seat in hopes that would help him get more interaction. He was spending quite a bit of time playing in his crib and his head is getting pretty flat on the back. They keep him in his crib to keep him from getting stepped on by the kids. There is a lot of action in the orphanage. This will allow him to be set somewhere and be part of the action without being on a blanket on the floor.
Playtime with some new toys!
Painting progress

Color Swatch Anyone?

About three times a week, John and I get a quick little update from the orphanage. We love it because most of the time there are photos attached. Today's update was in regards to the exterior paint. They have been working hard to get it finished and its almost done. We had to crack up at their color choice. Indonesians love orange. We are thankful they chose orange as their accent color not the main exterior color.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

8.7 Earthquake

I just wanted to let everyone know that we are fine. Please pray that there is no tsunami. We had 13 small quakes over the last two weeks and I was wondering when we would get hit with a bigger one. I think 8.7 definitely counts as a big one. We have not heard any reports of damage or deaths yet. I will update when I hear more news.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lightning in Sumatra

Lightning and thunder are quite common in Sumatra. We thought you might enjoy a little sample of the light show we enjoy.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Saturday

Today (Saturday) we took the gift bags that PYP put together out to the students at Kulin. If you remember from Christmas this is the community outside Pekanbaru where 90% of the people make bricks out of the clay. It is a pretty destitute area. In fact some of the people in our group who have been around lots of Indonesian villages said that this was by far the most run down area they had come across as far as where they have to gather for services. Don't tell that to these kids though. They were all smiles!

If you have scanned through the pictures you can probably guess that it was HOT! Holy cow, was it hot. It was probably about 95 degrees with 95% humidity and that was outside. Inside the shed that we were meeting in, which had no air conditioning, it was at least that warm and then you can throw in 130+ sweaty bodies. Very steamy and odoriferous!

This time there was no church service just games and awards. Once we arrived the kids, who were waiting quite patiently, were brought up for winning various awards for things such as a coloring contest, an essay contest and best song and dance routine. All of the contests were Easter themed. We were even treated to a few of the songs and dance combos. As the guests we were called upon to hand out the awards to the students. They were so cute. As a sign of respect when children shake hands with adults they take the back of your hand and place it on their forehead. It seems weird at first but you get used to it and it really is a sweet gesture.

After the awards the kids went outside for an Easter Egg hunt. There were ten eggs hidden outside for the 120 kids that were there. Those lucky ones who found one were able to get a prize. After a while most of the kids had given up finding the last three eggs and broke out in a soccer game. Some of those kids are pretty good for not having access to any teams or organized soccer available to them. Next up was the kids getting to eat hard-boiled eggs and homemade doughnuts. That place was pretty quiet for a few minutes as the kids chowed down.

As the kids were finishing up their food we started to bring in the boxes that had the gift bags in them. The kids, remembering the last time we came, had all eyes glued to those boxes, wondering what we had in store for them. They would have to wait a little bit as the teacher discussed how they were going to distribute the bags. When we passed out the soccer balls for Christmas it was utter chaos. This time it went much more smoothly with each class coming up and forming a line. Our friends Wendy and Shane purchased new Bibles (in Bahasa Indonesian) for each student. Wendy handed those out and then they came and got a bag from Syd, Marshal and Hudson. Again each child took the bag and then shook each person's hand. It was at this point that we all were all about ready to pass out from heat stroke. The getting up and moving around to get each child their bag had turned us all into dripping messes. That didn't seem to matter to the kids as they were all so thankful to get their gifts.

After we handed out the bags Ailsa set about explaining what you use floss for. To us it seems pretty straight forward but floss is not common here. In fact most of these kids will never have used a toothbrush before they were given one today, so a little dental hygiene lesson was warranted. After that we had to leave because the rain was coming and if we did not leave before it started our van would have been stuck in the mud before we could get out of there. So we all said goodbye climbed in the van and headed back home.

I won't rehash the specifics of Kulin. If you would like to learn more about it here is the link to our Christmas post that talked all about what goes on in this little Christian community.

We want to thank all of the dentists in the Stanwood, Marysville, Washington area who donated the toothbrushes and floss for the kids at Kulin. It will make a big difference for them! Thank you so much to those of you who donated toy cars. The boys were thrilled. A huge thanks the PYP kids who did an amazing job putting everything together and course their families who donated soap.

During this special time of Easter, when we remember the sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross it is so amazing to see these little ones so excited about Him. They too are making a sacrifice to follow Him and we want to do whatever we can to support them in their walk with Him. Seeing how committed they are to their faith makes us that much more committed to ours.

Moving some logs into a low spot in the road. My pickup would have made it a lot easier than the minivan we were using.

Easter Eggs, Indo style.

Check this out!

A typical child's handshake to an adult.

Easter Care Packages.

Party favor for the girls.

Party favor for the boys.


Structures where the bricks are stored.

Soil used to make bricks.

The new church sitting ready to be used.
The local government has blocked it from being used.

Inside of the church they are not allowed to use.

Finished except for the cement floor.
Ready for services to begin but will likely remain empty do to the persecution of Christians.

Easter Parties Rock!

Poising for the camera.

Good looking guys.

Beautiful girls.

Sometimes serving others is a HOT job!

Marshall passing out snacks!
Snacks included one hard boiled egg, a water and a powdered donut.

The Three Amigos.

She was so proud of her backpack. Check out that outfit!

She is enjoying one of the hard boiled Easter Eggs from the Easter Egg hunt. I love her dress. You could tell the Moms put a lot of effort into getting the kids ready for the party.

The kids loved having their picture taken.
They got such a kick out of seeing the image on my digital camera.

This little boy reminded me of Brooklyn when she first came home.
His hair was so thin probably from malnutrition.

I wonder what is in this bag?

She likes it!

Too excited to even make it back to her seat before looking in her bag.

I'm not exactly sure what to do with this.

Dental Health Lesson.

Wendy handing out new Bibles to the kids.

Comparing bags.

Checking out her new crayons.
The crayons were definitely the item they were most excited about.

Handing out the care packages.

Thank you for all the toothbrush donations!

Yes, a pink one!

Hum...what are these things for?

Learning to floss.