Tag Archives: beach

Choir Practice

During our most recent village trip, Kara was asked to help the local choir learn some new songs to prepare for an upcoming competition.  It was a challenge considering the notation system is different, they have changed the names for the solfege (ti is now si) and the songs had some very difficult parts.  However, Kara did great and the choir loved it!  We also just made them some “practice tapes,” actually mp3s these days, so they can continue to learn their parts well. 

Here’s some pictures below from the trip, in no particular order:

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Drawing in the sand with Grandma


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One of our helpers, Hisma, and Charlotte


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The road through town



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Charlotte eating a fried whole fish, tail first (her favorite part!)


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Elizabeth doing the same, and Grandma getting the photographic evidence.



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Our girls and some friends.  Our tablet is a big hit…


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Elizabeth and her friends.

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Kara leading choir practice


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A panorama of the inside of the church there.


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Charlotte and a friend.


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Soprano and Alto practice at our house.


These photos are from an older trip, but they’ve never been posted so I’m putting them in here:

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All the kids out swimming.

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Our girls wading in.


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Filed under Ethnoarts, Family Pictures, our kids, Village life

A week in the village

Just after the start of 2013 we headed up to the village as a family to spend a little over a week in our new village house.  It was an excellent trip: we met more of our neighbors, went to church and Sunday School, and generally learned a little more about life there.  The church also hosted a special community-wide service to celebrate the end of the Christmas and New Year’s festivities.  It wasn’t just a church service; afterwards there was a meal, singing, and then dancing (called dero) that went almost all night long.

This blog post is just a random sampling of some of our pictures from our time there.  Later I’ll post again with some video and more information about the singing – it was interesting to see and participate in!

Kara and the girls enjoying the beach. A little rocky, but otherwise excellent:

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Kids playing in a fishing boat by the shore.

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Elizabeth LOVES exploring the beach and wading in to look for special rocks and shells.

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Once everyone got over being shy, we had kids in our house nearly every afternoon:

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Not the greatest picture, but here’s Elizabeth in Sunday School.

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The inside of the church.  For being in a village, it is quite a large church building and the community is very proud of it.

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The church is on a hill, and this is a view from the front of the church looking back towards the beach and our house (not visible).

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Some of the best (and freshest) fish ever.  It may not look great to you, but don’t knock it until you try it!  Here it is chopped up and prepped for frying.

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The local sawmill.  It was really nice to order wood for some shelves and to be able to pick out the lumber myself and have it cut to my specifications. This sawmill has to obtain government permission to cut trees, and they are given seedlings to replant in the areas where they chop down trees.

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The kids playing in the field in front of our house:

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Overturned canoes make great benches:

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And toys:2013-01-11 16.01.18


That’s it for now!  Another blog post will be posted later about the singing tradition, batunjuk.


Filed under Church Events, Food, our kids, Village life

Life in our new home

Last Tuesday, we headed to the village to stay in our recently completed home there for the first time as a family.  It was exciting to finally get there! This has been a project for two years now, and seemed interminable.  After all the construction work, expense, delays, and complications it was a relief to live there for the first time. 

We expected it to be a stressful trip, and although some things are different about life there it wasn’t nearly as difficult as we’d feared.  Maybe that’s because we had two years to get ready for this!  Our girls loved life there once they met some of the other little girls and they had a fantastic time feeding chickens and rabbits, playing in the mud, and last but not least enjoying the beach about 50 yards from our house (it isn’t all rough and difficult Smile).

There will be much more to share, but for now we’d at least like to give you all a few pictures and a glimpse into village life in our part of the world.

Out our front door:


And another one, with a bit of our car in the picture.  That’s the church up above on the hill.


Our girls playing.


Looking back into the house.  A view of our dining area (bedrooms to the left):


Our bedroom:


Elizabeth and Charlotte’s room:


From the back of our house, looking to the front.  Dining area is to the left:


Our kitchen, with on of our wonderful helpers!


Our kitchen again:


The bathroom, complete with squatty potty!   


Our girls enjoying a bath:


The moon was huge and incredibly bright while we were there.  No city lights also helps:


Our girls playing in the sand outside our front door.  There’s a nice puddle from a leaky water pipe:


Our girls and some new friends playing:


Walking down to the beach.  That’s the side of our house on the right:


Matt and Elizabeth walking on the beach:


Another shot of the beach:


A local fisherman heading out for the evening:


Charlotte being her cute self:


On the road home:


That’s it for now, but there will be much more to come!  Matt will be heading up once or twice by himself during December, but given how busy the Christmas season is here our next family trip will be in early January for a few weeks.  We’re already looking forward to it!

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Filed under daily life, Village life