Have you ever had a goat in bed with you? We came close this week!! After being woken up in the middle of the night by a huge storm right over the top of us and thunder that shook the land beneath us (easy to feel when you’re sleeping on the ground!) we had a goat run right into our front verandah, (our bedroom) screaming in fear as if to say “I’m so scared, is my Mummy here?” Of course, she was not & there was no hesitation in sending it promptly back outside into the storm! Sorry to all you animal lovers…
The next day we had news that our friend Jenet had lost her Mum. She quite suddenly became ill and died 2 days later in Ba’a hospital. The funeral was the following day ,they can’t wait around long here in the tropics, & it was just amazing to see how quickly the family came from all over Indonesia. Family is everything here… We were honoured to be asked to come and be part of the ceremony, so on the day before Good Friday we all ‘donned’ our Sunday best, well actually Matt wore a skirt… (a sarong as he had no long pants) & went to Dave & Jenet’s place for the funeral. Apparently this was the second funeral of the day as there had been one earlier for a 3 month old baby. We were told to get used to it as there are many funerals here! There were hundreds of people there with plastic chairs borrowed from all over the community lined up all the way to outside and even across the road. We got to meet many of Jenet’s family and did our part in helping to “eat a cow” which was our first & only red meat since we have been here! They did a horse as well which was interesting, to say the least, but I wasn’t sure which was which!
Easter is huge here with a full re-enactment of the crucifiction on Good Friday. The carrying of the cross started at 3pm and ended at sunset with the 3 crosses on the hill overlooking the coast. On Saturday night many of the locals lit candles all over the place in anticipation for Sunday morning and then at 2am we were awoken by singing that went pretty much until sunrise. Pretty special… but not much sleep! The kids had their first Easter without chocolate this year as well… Amazingly enough they weren’t disappointed when they woke up to find a nut bar and a powdered sachet energy drink beside their beds!!
By far, the highlight of our week (and probably month) was Saturday when Benny & Defi brought all the ‘Mercy Home’ kids down to ‘our place’ to “play!” We had such a great day & the kids had a blast swimming & riding our kids bikes. We cooked up a massive pumpkin & some rice which actually fed all 24 of us! These kids have all come from extreme poverty & some of them are still suffering the consequences of the years prior but Benny & Defi are doing such a magnificent job with their ‘new family’ (The home has not been open a year yet) They now have a small bus to get to school in, beds & 3 meals a day but they are still praying for a well which would make things a whole lot easier for them! Can’t wait to ‘play’ again soon!
The boys conquered something major this week as well…. We now have a kitchen/school/office/training area/dining room (you get the idea!) They managed this amazing feat without a ladder, without power and without the all the right tools!! We have no idea how they managed to do it (other than alot of creativity, climbing and danger) but, as you can imagine, we think they are pretty cool right now!!
Well, I could go on and on about our adventures but I’d rather keep you waiting till next week!! Have a great one.
Nat, Matt, & Kids, Sal & Paul