Monday, April 26, 2010
After 2 Weeks
The video here shows Nilda in the pink shirt being introduced to a washing machine for the first time. It was given by a UN worker. Sometimes her hands hurt from washing the family's clothes with the harsh powder.
We have been in East Timor for a little over two weeks. This last week has been very difficult for us – probably more emotionally than anything. It is very hard to live in this place. There are many demands, the culture is different and we are finding the climate stiflingly hot. Sometimes it can be very depressing as I feel a little lost and aimless. But God gives us encouragement.
We returned to Atabai (the famed landslide road). This road presents a whole story in itself. On the way, they are working on the road and we have to stop. This is not a 10 minute “sorry for any inconvenience” sort of stop. Its more like a “turn the engine off, put a rock under the wheel, take a drink and a snack and watch them roll rocks down the hill for an hour or so” sort of a stop! After filling the road with several tonnes of rock they tell the excavators above to stop working so the machines below can clear the road. With half a million dollars worth of machinery they have installed a somewhat less than sophisticated communication system comprising of a young man resting under a tree. When he feels the urge he blows loudly on a plastic whistle which is the signal for the guys above to stop. Now it appears that there is one notorious excavator operator above who does not really know what “stop” means. Even when the road was cleared and we were motioned to drive through there were still rocks rolling down. I think I missed the driving lesson about driving through landslides but I’m learning on the go. You approach, wait for a gap in the rolling rocks, say a prayer and then floor it. There’s no other way really. So, after 4 ½ hours we made it to the job. I figured we might as well eat lunch and go home again but we had to put water on the house first. We dropped a 3/4in pipe into a nearby well and ran the line to the house, installed a pump, hand basin and pipes to the “shower”, toilet and sink. We need to return sometime to finish it off. Our little truck went well carrying 20 sacks of cement, 40 sheets of roofing iron, 20 lengths of timber, pipes and other gear – even the kitchen sink! What else does a missionary need?
Poor Israel does not yet use a snorkel so he takes a big breath and plonks his face in the water to see as much as he can before running out of breath – it is very funny to watch the poor little fella. Cynthia is also getting quite comfortable with snorkelling and Serenity enjoys going out to the deeper water for the bigger fish. We also checked out the water project at Beraka. Darryll and I installed it a year ago very quickly and I am very happy to say it still works. The water still flows and they say it comes out of the tap all year – even through the dry season. Thanks to those who supported that project. I will send some photos sometime. We wanted to check a water project at Sidara which was supported by Grafton Salvos about 5 years ago but the river was up and there is no bridge. They say that with the big rains a section was washed away so we’ll have to check it out later.
We'll put up some pictures later - internet is really slow in Dili at the moment and it seems hotmail has not been working in this country for the last 2 days.
May God bless you all, don’t forget to pray for us if you do that sort of thing. Write us a note if you want as we don’t hear from many folks.