Monday, February 9, 2009

From the Land the time forgot! We are here finally!!

Wow we are here! WE finally made it! We arrived yesterday morning from New Zealand, and are so blessed to be here. We took a 3 hour trip on a smaller plane that disembarked on the tarmack to a small simple 2 story cement building (the international airport). Our first day we got moved into a very cute little 2 bedroom place with a great veranda and a simple little efficiency kitchen with a hot plate, sink and a frigerator will be coming next week. For the Islands it is quite nice and we feel blessed. Our hosts at the Ywam base arranged it for us before we got here. Once we get our bags in the house we went for our first view of the closest beach. If we walk just a block or so around the corner we have a coral beach. I will have to get a photo to show you what that is like. It has no sand where the water hits the beach. It is just this amazing coral everywhere. Big jagged coral reefs all over.Dahlia and Pierce both got scared (plenty of crying) just looking at it with its huge crashing waves coming in loud and forceful, but the 20 or so native kids seemed to love it as they splashed around! After that we walked over to the base and with in a short time Josh was already hard at work on the large wood and palm meeting hut with the other ywamers. They heat really takes it out of you and wow was Josh ever tired that night! They worked long and hard and just got it done tonight for the start of the Melanesian YWAM leaders confrence. Josh and I got some serious coral shoveling in today getting the floor (coral bits) laid. As all my muscles were screaming I was thinking of what I deal I was getting getting such a great work out for free! Afterwards we ran for our first vist to the sandy beach just a few blocks away. There is a beach resort just around the corner from us and it is a really nice place. It is amazing we get to go use the same beach for free that people pay big money to come to. WE love it. I should clarify that Dahlia is still terrified of the waves (even from a safe distance in the sand ) and cried the entire time and didn't want me to put her down. She kept saying "Water scary me" and worried about any of us that went in. SO we will have to pray she gets used to it as we think she will and come to love it. The water was the perfect temperature. The views are just amazing! Dahlia prefered the rubbermade tote that we turned into a bath tub for her and she spent over an hour in it and refused to get out! Granted it is VERY VERY hot right now. She was probably very wise! She even had bath toys in there! The tote is only an 18 gallon tub, so it was certainly cozy, especially when she and Pierce got in it after returning all sandy from the beach. Pretty sure we will need to come up with a fun mini pool solution. Shoot we would like to get in and cool off too!

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!!)

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