This is written by Roxy ( my mom)
A little time has gone by and still things are leaving a big impression.
I absolutely love working with the Youth With A Mission base here. They are so lovely in every respect. The Ni-vans (pronounced knee-vans, means the locals) smile a lot , are shy a bit, very friendly , overtly curious on the street and usually very helpful. They speak a language called Bishlama, which is a type of pigeon English. So about every 7th word you can understand. I saw an advertisement for a credit card that read "Yumi blong card" Yep, you get it, The card that belongs to you and me. Things like that make you smile.
Other than the ni-vans here there is a couple from Australia and with out them I am not sure how long the base would last. This couple Jeff and Amanda are a little power house. They have great networking skills with the government and are creative problem solvers. Living amongst so much poverty creates many problems that you are just not big enough to handle but when you have the favor of the government you have many more resources to draw on. I really admire them for all their energy, skill, and obvious love .
So other than them, Kristy and Josh, and Dick and I , we are the "white People". That is so funny, it sounds so racial but I haven't told the ni-vans how politically incorrect they are.
A couple weeks ago for dinner we had fried chicken for our International dinner. We try to cook something that goes with the country that we are praying for that night. Someone had heard of fried chicken so at 6:00 pm I was asked if I would help. It should have been about done cooking but no one would even start because the ni-vans are afraid to cook for the whites.
We had 60 ppl to cook for many Australians and New Zealanders and even a few Americans (2 different health care teams were here). They asked me. I have never cooked fried chicken successfully, usually I burn it on the outside before it is done on the inside. Well, the long and the short of it was that it was quite successful, we had gravy and mashed potatoes. I hate trying something that I am not sure of but it was real break through for me. I want to help where ever I can and not feel that whatever I do is somehow a reflection of me, like if it goes bad that I really messed up. It is hard to get free of yourself don't you think? Well anyway , I loved being free enough of myself to just run the risk of cooking something for 60 ppl that I would not even have done for 5 in my own kitchen with all the conveniences.
Oh yeah, the rest of that story was that I was cooking outside by flashlight. There was 1 light where we cook and it was not over the gas burner so while the pots were full of hot grease and chicken, we picked up the table holding the gas 3 burner stove and propane tank moved the whole set up so that I could at least see what I was cooking. They had been cooking by flashlight for quite sometime. the flashlights are on there cell phones! As the whole group was moving the set up I thought to myself "this could turn out quite badly, but we do have medical help here if necessary".
I wanted you to have a few pictures of our world here. So that you can see my cooking set up. Josh is working on a more formal kitchen but it still remains that we have a tiny refrigerator, for a young married couple this refrig would be a challenge, it is just so SMALL! a gigantic freezer ( with no food in it) and well... as you can see below we don't really have conventional oven or stove. I love how they use 2 cinder blocks and 2 pieces of rebar. That is the stove!
When we have propane we use the 3 burner stove on the table top. We do our wash up of dishes outside with dogs under foot.
Speaking of dogs, we eat out under the pavilion, it has a coral rock floor, when ppl are done with their leftovers they throw their bones to the dogs right there by the dinner table! Help! That was a bit too much for me and I have been asking ppl not to do that, white lady or not. It conjures up thoughts of Vikings eating their meat with their hands dripping with grease and then throwing the bones to the dogs and have the dogs fight for the bones with yelps and growls as background music. Ya, ...NO! Yesterday I was thinking that we should have a Korean meal and serve up dog, and let them wonder where all the dogs went. More than a few of us would be so relieved!
Blessings to you all, thinking of you,