Thursday, February 26, 2009
Hideaway Island ….A free ferry will take you over from Port Vila for a day of snorkeling and beach fun!
These are the Mele cascade water falls and gardens. For a mere $10 a family can go and play in them all day. There are several clear cool lagoons located at different stages of the waterfall to swim and play in. Other stages of the waterfall are obviously at a much steeper grade. These are just the bottom portions in the chineese gardens.
Havana Harbor.. swim with dolphins & turtles or go Marlin fishing.. or cross to the other caves for famous historical sights.
Havana Harbor is a beautiful place just 25 min from Port Vila via the ring road (the road that goes around the island). You can see the famous hat Island in the photo above and the other photos have views of lelepa and Moso Island. In these waters you can swim with turtles and dolphins, sail, fish for marlin and other species as well as dive! There are also several remnants to see from the americans time here during WWll.
This piece is about 1/2 acre but is laid out perfectly along the water. We could put several little bungalows for rent to international tourists and locals who want to get away for the weekend. or for friends and missionaries to visit. We have been working on this little plan for a while so we are excited! It would take a while to get it all built and we would stay in our current rental for another 6 months at least probably a year as we get all the financing to build and start building.
The price is just over the amount we have saved up from the sale of our house in Alaska so we need to get a little more before closing. Closing generally takes a few months. You give them a big chunk of it now with all the contingency clauses in place like contingent on financing etc.. and then in 3 month you settle with the rest of it. Meanwhile they would be busy clearing all the undergrowth and small trees.
There are coconut trees, banana trees, breadfruit and more. It is zoned commercial which is amazing as usually it is a big headache and $25,000 to get it done. It is also located in an area the has a road JUST being finished. (thank you America and your 40 million dollar grant for a road around the island!!) The road is currently not that great but they are working on it now (a Very professional New Zealand group) and it should be done by the time we close. There is no electricity or water. All these things are a plus for us because they are all coming but we are buying at the price before they come! We wanted to do solar power and wind etc..anyway.
It is also the FIRST lot as you come in to Havana Harbor. Havana Harbor is a famous area for swimming with dolphins and turtles, marlin and other sport fishing, snorkeling, and other eco beach recreation. You look over Lelepa Island, Hat Island and Moso island. Hat Island and Lelepa Island are famous tourist spots with caves, famous chief graves, and early cave drawings. That will be great for business. The price (although high for us) is excellent for here not to mention the fact that it is commercially zoned and has all that beach front. The only reason we know about it is that Josh went in to this realtor on Monday and the previous Fri this exclusive listing (no one else could sell it) had fallen out of contract. The people backed out cause they changed their mind on wanting beachfront and wanted to build in town instead.
Every realtor we have talked to said they would keep an eye out but they said we needed a reality check for what we want for the price we have to pay. Well we found it!! THANK YOU JESUS!! We feel such a peace about this and everyone we talk to confirms what a great deal it is. So we are excited! Please pray for all the proceedings. We still have to gather a little more capital before closing so please pray for that, and please pray that Josh gets a job soon!
Josh handed in 3 resumes to good prospects yesterday and is calling one other good prospect today. PLEASE PRAY we need a job soon! A good job. Thanks for all your prayers! Plan on coming out in a year to visit our little mini resort!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Thank you all for your prayers we are slowly on the mend. Still not there yet but it will happen! We are looking at some land and turning in some resumes on Thursday at 3 good options so please keep that in prayer and we go to finally look at some land on Thursday as well!! Yeah!! We really need to find the right thing and it is SOO expensive for beach front property. Which I suppose is to be expected since so many Australians vacation here and own second homes here. We will let you all know how it goes!! Blessings!
I saw these boys (about 6 of them) hanging out overhead in the guava tree on my way to the YWAM (youth with a mission) base.
I took there photo visited for a short while and was on my way. 10 minutes later 3 boys came running after me with a few freshly picked guava for me. They were smiling ear to ear very proud of themselves. What sweet hearts!
Vanu what? Where? Vanuatu is a group of islands in the south pacific with a population of only 206,000 spread over 83 islands, know most recently in the US for its debut in “Survivor Fire Island”.
Famous for its wildly intriguing tales of cannibalisms, missionary martyrs, live volcanoes, primitive tribes inside the thick jungle and azure beaches second to none, it is a fascinating mix of romance and mystery. I am at the moment in the busy island of Efate near the capital city of Port Vila. We live (my husband Josh and two small kids Dahlia 2yrs and Pierce 4 yrs) in the village of Pango a 10 minute drive to the city.
Please feel free to interact and post questions, quotes or comments.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
I realized many of you have no idea what is like over here as we didn't either till we got here. So here is a typical day for us. It starts early as the sun and heat are in full force filling the house by around 6:30 am. By then you are just too hot to stay in bed any longer. After a quick cold shower (there is no hot water) with a handheld shower head to get rid of the stickyness it is time for breakfast. At up to $20 a box for cereal that is out and yogurt although less expensive at $12 a container is also not an option. Fortunatly we have a great variety of fresh fruit so we usually start our day with papaya or passion fruit or if it is available mango. Avocado and coconut are other options. We also have acces to some 1/2 whole wheat bread we usually buy. I haven't found any whole grain flour or whole grain bread yet. Oats are also out at $7 a small bag. We are learning to adapt to new foods. Protien is harder to get cause of the cost and for whatever reason Chicken and fish seem completely ellusive outside of the restaurants. SO we have found peanuts and peanut butter. Laundry is usually next on the list. We don't have a washer or dryer so we use our little laundry sink outside and hand wash and hang. This part is a bit time consuming as our clothes get so dirty so fast here. Josh is great at it and a big help. In the kitchen we work with out appliances as well except the luxury of a very small fridge. We also have a rice steamer, wok and hot plate. Electricity is made here from a diesel fuel plant so it is VERY expensive. We try to really cut down on our usage, but we do run fans at night cause with out them you couldn't sleep. We are gratefull for a friends advice to bring a bug net as that has been a life saver. WE are covered in mosquitio bites from during the day but it is alot less than with out the bug nets over each of our beds. n the mornings we usually scrub off our tile veranda as well to keep the ants at bay. The black ones aren't so bad but the fire ants we could DEFINETLY do without. They seem to be making a beeline across the inside of our house so I find the cleanser spray very helpfull. they aren't big fans. Most weekday mornings we head to the base (15 minute treck in the HEAT!!) to the base for morning worship with everyone here. We absolutly love that part. We meet under a new shade building they just filnished with a grass or palm frond roof called natting goring. It is cool under there the breeze comes throught the open sides and the worship is really wonderfull. When it is really hot and we are free for the day we pack up our stuff (guitar, books, toys lunch) and head to the beach to lay in the shade. The kids take naps there and play and we all stay cool and out of the way of the bugs. During this time I usually make the 15 minute jungle walk to the base and get on the internet. And then leave the computer here and head into the market. I take a "bus" which is really a small mini van with the letter b on the liscence plate. You flag it down when they come by and pay $1.50 each leg of your trip. To save money you want to consolidate your trips otherwise it can get pretty expensive by the end of the week since not all the shops are in walking distance. The market is an open air affair that is open 24 hours and all the villagers come to town with their produce to sell. By Sat (today) you are buying the leftovers that have sat out all week and on Sun it is closed so the villagers (from all the islands) acn go home and get more. It reopens on Monday. It is really pretty cheap. We love it as a great source for the delicious fresh prganic produce you can get. But the other part of shopping for any protien, stapeles like bread, pasta, rice sauces etc all that is available anyway is in a few "super markets". These are HIGHLY expensive so we pick and choose carefully. Bandaids can be $11 and cheese can get over $50 a kilo. But you can find some things like bread and noodles. This is where we would also try to find any plastic wares like a trash can etc.. But for any electronic things you go to the other end of town to the Chineese shops. bear in mind whatever you buy in one place needs to be carried across town while you get your other things on the list and then all needs to be carried back to the bus stop and once you get off the bus we have a 5-10 minute (depending on how much stuff you have and who you have with you) walk through some pretty big mud puddles to the house. The vehichles won't go there cause it is too full of giant holes/puddles. By evening we are at home with the fans blaring making a dinner of rice and veggies in the steamer or pasta or bits of whater we have which may be peanut butter and jelly if I couldn'g get what I needed at the store. Peanut butter is very important to us for protien as we have yet to find how to get fish and chicken. Josh bought a spear gun but got an infection and crazy sun burn last time he went out so he has to stay out of the water for a while. the coral spores get in any open wounds and they really get bad. The fllies as well really get into any open wounds so mosquito bites that have been scratched or any other little cut need to be seriously doctored and covered immediately! All of our feet are pretty tore up and I think I need to find some better band aids as the ones we have don't stick so they don't do much good and the flies are still infecting them. Josh and I got a few cuts from barbwire on our legs and those are taking FOREVER To heal. SO in the evenigs after dish and porch clean up to keep the ants away we read stories to the kids or watch a dvd on the computer. Some days we have been out for quite a while though and by dinner it is close to the kids bed time. We LOVE the beach and the breeze there is so nice that we try to get there as often as we can. We can't wait to own our own piece of beach. It is really expensive to do so as the Australian tourist buy up alot as do resorts that cater to the Australians. Please pray for this. We would really enjoy the cooler bug free beach atmosphere. For the meantime though we are blessed that the beach isn't too far. Life as you can see if really quite differant than the US. It is a 3rd world country so it isn't exactly like being in Hawaii. We do love it though and look forward to what God has for us. I am posting a few mini videos and photos on facebook so check there to see them. Thanks for all your Prayers!! Love Kristy Josh Pierce and Dahlia
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Tommorow we get together with a group that is planning all the youth ministry the preschool, after school care, and youth group type stuff. So that will be good. I am looking forward to getting started on something. Just sitting around the house gets old so this should be fun. Well keep in touch! Kristy
Monday, February 9, 2009
I woke this morning with Dahlia before Pierce and Josh and had a great time to just be with the Lord, and enjoy a quiet time out on the veranda with the early morning breeze and the beautiful music of the island birds thinking how amazing it was to be here and how lucky we were. I must admit to having found the price for paradise...I paid it at the supermarket last night! I looked at a box of cereal but quickly declined once I saw the $14.50 price tag!! For real! A gallon of milk is $8, and I accidently paid $4 for 4 oranges after thinking they looked cheap next to the $18 ( I am talking american dollar) a kilo nectarines. The other toll we paid was in the serious heat that comes this time of year. It is only about 85-95 but the humidity feels like 100%. Josh and I started laughing as we looked at our clothes this morning to get dressed and EVERYTHING even t shirts looked too hot! I have decided that in order to make it all work we will definetly need to adopt the ni-vanuatu's (natives) way of eating and dressing. You can buy produce from a large open market where all the locals and other islanders come to sell thier goods. There is no haggeling and no bargaining so it makes it really easy. All the locals buy whatever they don't already grow in their own gardens there. So after discovering that coconuts were only .40 a piece and avocados were only .45 each for big ones...we changed breakfast menus! So coconuts, avocados and bread it is! I am really looking forward to the market to see what is available here. One of the neighbor ladys here came over to meet us and brought a wonderful bunch of green bannanas that were the sweetest bannanas I have ever eaten. Especially excited about the passion fruits, mangos, and guavas. Fruits not native to Alaska or Colorado!
The kids are doing wonderful. They enjoyed their time in New Zealand as we did as well, and are loving it here. There must have be 20 kids in our yard today playing football, frisbee and just running around. ONce Dahlia and Pierce start playing out there they all come around. Its great. We played with them quite alot as well before we went over to the base to work on the building project. At the actual YWAM base ( a 10-15 -20 minute walk depending on how tired the kids are) has a few kids and lots of fun young adults that play with them so they enjoy it there and Josh and I have a chance to help out around there. Tonight we just got back from the opening night of the leadership confrence and that was just a great welcome and celebratory dinner with all these other missionarys from other near by YWAM bases. There were people from Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinee, Fiji, other parts of Vanuatu, New caladonia, Austrailia and soon some from Hawaii and New Zealand will arrive. We really feel like it is Gods supreme timing that we got to be here just before it started so we could be a part of seeing what God is doing all over the area and be encourged to hear storys of His goodness and see what the others feel God is speaking for the coming year. The Base leaders here Amanda and Jeff have been fabulous and so warm and hospitable. Just loving us and being excited for us and really taking good care of us. We feel very blessed to immediatly feel at home and amongst people of like heart so quickly. The Ni-Vanuatu are really wonderful as well and very friendly and kind. We have already met several of our new neighbors, and probably ALL the village kids!
I will take some more photos and get things posted on face book soon. If you missed my last batch of photos (the ones from New Zealand) you should check them out on facebook. I also want to start a photo blog as well for "the land that time forgot" as they call it ! When I get that up in a few weeks or so (after this weeks confrence and we get moved in at least for a while) I will let you all know where it is. This place is filled with wonder, mystery, primitive cultures, over 150 languages not at all familiar to each other and even active volcanos! Not to mention the Island of Tanna has the worlds most accessable active volcano. WE have a lot to explore and we are excite to do it. we did discover that you can't exactly buy a little boat and hit all the islands. One of the missionarys told me the fastest boat can make the trip to the island of Santo in 12 hours and the longest route they ever took to that island took 5 days!! So that gave us something new to think about! Anyway we love you guys and just wanted to let you all know how it is going. Please be praying for us. We really have felt Gods blessing in even the smallest details as things that very likely could have been trouble like extra baggage, and overwieght baggage fees were all waived, customs issues were quickly resolved and we have just felt that God has been clearing the path for us, so we really appreciate all your prayers. We do continue to need them as after this week we will settle on what we are going to be doing etc... Thanks!
Blessings, Josh, Kristy, Pierce and Dahlia (recent island transplants- wa-hoo!!)
Pierce had a little difficulty on the trip over as he was so tired that he started to seriously hallucinate and for a long period of time (over a span of 3 hours!). He would lay down and then sit up eyes wide open and say wierd things like "Where is the hook it was just right here?" Then he would lay down and start talking with his eyes closed "Dahlia its mine, give it back!" Then wake up crying he couldn't get comfortable and do it all over again. It lasted several hours and we just kept praying he would fall asleep. Once he finally did all was well. Dahlia did good and we were able put here in a bassinet thing that attaches to the bulkhead wall. So she got plenty of sleep. Thank you all for your prayers!
We only had one other mishap in that someone accidently took our bag at the airport cause theirs was an exact duplicate but they realized later that day and we got ours back. Strange, I buy a duffel style suitcase at a thrift store and its exact twin shows up in New Zealand on our flight! They were probably surprised to get to their destination open their bag and see a bunch of kids clothes. Anyway we were glad to get it back. We are at the YWAM base here in New Zealand and are headed out with some friends of my parents today to do some sight seeing. It is windy but warm. Anyway just wanted to let you know we made it safely!