Monthly Archives: June 2012

Coming up for air…

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the silence for a while. Our household has been in the grip of a nasty cold bug that has had 3 of the 4 of us down and out for two and a half weeks now. Matt got it first and then it hit Elizabeth and me last week, just as we were preparing to host our church small group. While we hacked and sniffed and sneezed our way through hosting and feeding 40 people for a Wednesday night church service, we completely collapsed after it was over. The girls and I haven’t left the house since last Monday…

Yes, you can say cabin fever.

But until we are all completely healthy, here we stay.

Today, I think that all of us started feeling better. My biggest sign was that we did SO MUCH STUFF, like we were making up for lost time or something!

After we got all ready this morning, Elizabeth decided she wanted to do a craft, so I opened up one of my favorite idea websites and she picked a story box! I absolutely love this idea, but Elizabeth at the moment is much more familiar with her own invented princess stories than with traditional fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk. So… I just went with it and let her make it what she wanted. By the way, if anyone can recommend a good children’s fairy tale book, we’re looking! We ended up using markers instead of paint (she insisted) and then just went outside to find some rocks and flowers to add to the landscape. I think it turned out great! Here is Elizabeth with her creation.


A closer look:

Charlotte really liked the part where we went outside and looked for rocks, and since today seemed to be not so scorching hot, we went back outside for a bit. Have I mentioned that a few weeks ago four tiny little kittens decided to adopt us? They are cute, but sometimes make a racket!

The girls love (LOVE) to play with them, and Charlotte just got brave enough to start picking them up. I feel sorry for those kittens sometimes! Both girls are still learning to be gentle.


Playing with kittens turned into sweeping the porch, and I wouldn’t bother telling you this if I hadn’t gotten some goofy pictures of the girls. The many faces of Elizabeth!
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And of course my cute (and growing so big!) little Charlotte.

Then we had lunch and after that I was in the mood for scones. So I made these. They are delicious. I should know. I’m eating one right now. Yum.

Anyway, after naps I decided that the girls needed a little treat of hot chocolate, so we had a hot chocolate tea party! Someone brought us hot chocolate mix with colored marshmallows from America, and they are a real treat! I’m trying to save them as a treat that they get every once in a while so we can spread it out. Here’s my little tea party princesses!


Earlier in the morning, while Charlotte was taking a quick nap, Elizabeth and I gathered up a few toys and stuck them in plastic containers, filled the containers with water, and stuck them in the freezer. So… in the afternoon they were frozen and ready to come out. We took them outside and they started to melt almost immediately! I guess that’s what happens when you live on the equator. And today was a cooler day!



They had a lot of fun breaking out the toys, watching the ice melt, and saying “COLD!” We do lots of stuff to stay cool around here. And here is a cute new pic I snapped of Charlotte after she got bored with the ice and toys. My little cutie!


Sorry to bore you with the ins and outs of our day today! But we did SO MUCH today, especially after being sick for so long. We are getting really really ready to go somewhere! Maybe we can venture out of the house tomorrow. I think we’re ready. So glad to finally be feeling a little better. Coming up for air…


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More pictures from all over.

We’ve been taking pictures lately of everything we see around here, and we’d like to share a selection of them.  If you follow us on Instagram (@mattmenger or @karajenine) or Twitter (@mattmenger), you may have already seen some of these, but for the rest of you here they are:


Our village house, under construction.  You can almost see the beach down there…(not everything about life here is hard!)


A woman preparing cloves for drying.  They separate the flowers from the stems and leaves before setting them out to dry in the sun.



This is the reddest dragonfly I have ever seen!


I just love this picture!  That’s a decaying papaya tree about to fall over.  The shape of the cells and everything just makes it look weird.



The jungle slowly creeping over our wall and into our yard.  A constant battle.


The trash dump around the corner from our house.  Garbage is a big issue here, but thankfully there’s now a dumpster and at least some of the garbage makes it inside.


I snapped this one on the road home from our village.  That sun is bright, and I burn in 15 minutes without sunscreen.  This is almost on the equator.


This is near our village.  I saw a little boy hard at work  playing on the beach, using his imagination.


Outrigger canoes are the standard craft out here, used for fishing and transportation.


And we’ll leave you with a beautiful sunset, shot from outside our front gate.


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Consultant Check

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We finished our consultant check of Matthew in the Tiada language a few weeks ago, and I think I’ve finally de-stressed enough that I can sit down and write a post about it.  That was a really, really busy 2 1/2 weeks!  Since I don’t do translation myself, this was an opportunity for me to learn a lot about how the process works and what the translation team (made up entirely of Tiada people)  needs in order to succeed.  We also found that there are several things I can help the team with in the future even though I’m no linguist.2012-06-02 11.59.02

So, what is a consultant check?  In short, it is one last step in the approval of all the work the translation team has done up to this point before the material is ready for publication.  As an outsider, the consultant from our organization can see the translation for what it is without the rose-colored glasses that all who work on it on a day-to-day basis tend to wear.

We brought in some other Tiada speakers to help us with the check.  The consultant would ask questions about the content or meaning of each verse and ask them to answer based on what the verse said.  Since they have never seen the translation before we can get unbiased answers from them.  They are asked to answer from what the text actually says, not what they might think is correct based on what they remember about the passage or what they learned in Sunday School.  This helps the translation team ascertain whether their writing is accurate, clear, and understandable.  When the helpers have trouble answering questions or answer incorrectly, we know that there’s an issue.  Maybe the sentence is awkward, there is missing information, or the grammar is incorrect. 

This is a painstaking process!  This was the first consultant check for all of us, so there were a lot of issues to deal with.  Some sections and chapters were excellent and we flew right through them; other sections needed some work.  During the check, we were able to finish up through Matthew chapter 18, and I’m pleased to say that it’s approved for use!  We are working on finding some funding and having a second consultant check later this year to finish up chapters 19-28.  Then we can finally get Matthew printed: the first officially approved Scripture in this language! 

The team and I learned a lot during this check, and there’s some work we want to do before the next consultant check to make sure that we’re ready to go with a clear, accurate, and understandable translation.

Well, if you were ever wondering what a consultant check is, now you know. And knowing is half the battle (ala G.I. Joe).

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