Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pregnancy Update

Due Date: January 6th, 2013
Current Status: 37 weeks along
                        No sign of labor beginning any time soon
How do I feel:  HUGE!  
                        Sort of tired
Baby Development:  Everything is looking good for our little growing boy
Latest name option:  Sparticus Ceasar Herman Jack James Jordan Carl Thompson Jr.  (hehe)  :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hurley gets Moby Wrapped!

Our dog, Hurley, is your average run-of-the-mill PNG bush dog.  He is nothing fact, there are lots of other skinny, scrappy, stray dogs running around that look just like him.
We got him from a Papua New Guinea family about a year ago because he was their third dog, and our station policy says that you can only have two.  Therefore, he needed a new home.
Unlike many other dogs in PNG, he is fed 2 meals a day, gets taken on walks, is let inside when it rains, and sleeps in at the foot of our bed at night.  We do, however, tell him that there is a small price he must pay in order to live in such luxury.  This small price includes things like:
** Having to wear a costume to our station Harvest Party
** Being diapered (I needed the practice.  Unfortunately, Hurley's tail made diapering slightly more complicated.)
** AND, most recently, being Moby Wrapped!!
In a fabulous box from my Aunt Linda, Aunt Cindy, and Grandma, we received an ever-so-popular Moby Wrap.  For those of you outside of the baby loop (like I was just a few months ago), a Moby Wrap is basically a long piece of material that you wrap around yourself several times forming a pouch you can put your baby in...very similar to becoming kangaroo.  I carefully wrapped the material around Jordan according to the directions.  This was rather anti-climatic, since the fabric just hangs there without anything in it, so we decided to test the wrap by putting Hurley inside.  Turns out...the wrap worked BEAUTIFULLY!  and Hurley just curled up his front paws and sat there.  He was a great sport (although the look on his face made us wonder if he was weighing whether or not this present torture was worth the consistent food supply and sleeping conditions.).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Carpenter Makes Christmas Cookies

Occasionally, Jordan gets a craving (even worse than my pregnant cravings!) for cookies.  The other night, after asking me if I would make him cookies (a request he soon reneged after one glance at my swollen feet), Jordan decided to make them himself.   Apparently, getting out the mixer and the transformer was too he opted for the more convenient cordless drill!  Turns out it was surprisingly effective!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One random Wednesday...

It was a normal Wednesday before school had begun...I was at maintenance working on invoices when I got a phone call from Jordan.  Our friend Dan and Jordan were planning going into town, and Dan was wondering if I would check in on his son, Little Jordan, while he was gone and make sure he had lunch.  I said it would not be a problem and around lunch time I wandered down to Dan's house to find Little Jordan.
He was busy playing with 2 other boys and a dead snake they had just killed.  I felt bad telling just Little Jordan we were going to go eat lunch so I invited all 3 boys over to our house.  They were eager to come so we set out on our journey across station.   Along the way we ran into 2 other boys.  The original 3 bragged that they were invited to my house for lunch.  Well, that made me feel bad for those 2 who got left I invited them too.  I was now Mother Goose being followed by her 5 little goslings as we continued toward my house.  As we neared my house I turned to look back...and somehow I had picked up another little gosling and was up to 6.  Oh well, the more the merrier, right!?!
They all came in and sat very politely on the sofa...all 6 of them...on the sofa.  I put in Toy Story 3 and made some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  We had a great time eating our lunch and laughing at the movie.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing this random Wednesday!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jordan's First House

I'm pleased to present to you.....STONE COTTAGE!!

The house that Jordan has spent the last several months building is finally complete!  It was lovingly given the name "Stone Cottage" after Jordan found a giant rock in the river and had it hauled up to the house to add some "visual interest" to the front yard.  After that, it became a game between Jordan and his workers to see who could stack ONE more rock onto the top.
Thanks to a couple Work & Witness teams, several national carpenters, a few volunteers, and Jordan's know-how and bravery (I figure you have to be brave...or take on a project like "build a house!!"  for the first time EVER!) the project was a success!
The house's first tenants are due to move in the beginning of November.
We pray that the Lord will use the house for His purposes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


"Pteropus, belonging to the MEGABAT suborder, Megachiroptera, are the largest bats in the world. They are commonly known as the fruit bats or flying foxes among other colloquial names. They live in the tropics and subtropics of Asia (including the Indian subcontinent), Australia, islands off East Africa (but not mainland Africa), and a number of remote oceanic islands in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans.”
(my own emphasis added to "megabat" because that was my favorite part!) 

The other day, I was walking home from a long day of school, minding my own business…when our dear friend John calls out to me.  I’m not sure what he says at first, so I begin walking toward him.  Before I know what’s happening there is a bat being unfolded and held up right in front of my face.  I wasn’t scared…just "vigorously confused."   Why was there a bat in my face?  Was the bat still alive?  If the bat is alive, does John have a good enough grip on it?  Where did it come from?  Why was John’s stance and facial expression one of an artist proudly displaying his masterpiece?    It took me a while (and admittedly, a few steps backwards) to figure out what was going on.   

It turns out John had caught and killed the bat earlier when he was working on our neighbor’s house…and he was just very proud of that accomplishment.  No big...

Once I took a few pictures, and made absolutely sure it was actually dead (I imagined it doing the oppossum playing dead thing...then "coming to life" in my hands and attacking my jugular!) I decided to try and hold it.  This picture is proof...although not my most flattering.  I believe I'm right in the middle of saying, "Oh gross, I can feel all its little bones through its rubbery skin!"

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jordan's Latest Project

PNG has a "rural registrar program" that involves Papua New Guinean doctors traveling around to different hospitals, learning as much as they can from each one (I'm not sure of the details).  But I know that several of those doctors come to Kudjip for some of their training.  A few of those doctors have families and require a house larger than what we could provide...cue Jordan!  This is the "Rural Registrar House, also known as the "Mountain House."  To be used by visiting PNG doctors and their families.  So far, Jordan, a crew of about 4 guys, 2 Work and Witness teams, and several other part-time laborers have had their hand in building this house.
Husband brag time:
It's really quite impressive to see Jordan be able to take a few drawings of a house floor plan and turn it into an actual, real, standing house!  What a super talented man I married!!

The house isn't finished yet, so expect more pics to come!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Voting in Kudjip

July 4th, 2012 marked election day for the province of Jiwaka.  
I was fortunate enough to have a front row seat, since they set up a voting area right outside of maintenance. Everything seemed to go very smoothly with very little fighting, bribery, or corruption (which I'm told is not always the case at other voting areas).  
This was the bus of voting officials and armed forces who came to monitor the voting in the area.  Only a few had to stay in Kudjip, the rest were sent out to neighboring villages.

This is how you vote:
1.) Stand in "line" a LONG time.
2.) Enter the secured voting area and receive a ballot.
3.) Stand in line some more.
4.) Go up to the "voting booth" (the desk surrounded with cardboard) and mark your ballot.
5.) Turn in your ballot.  DONE!

There are separate lines for men and women...I'm not sure why.

This is the list of candidates along with their pictures.  These were posted around the outside of the voting area as well as inside the voting "booth."

The "line."  If you don't require any personal space, then PNG is the place for you!!

To make sure that people only vote once, you have to get your fingernail marked with some sort of permanent, extremely difficult to remove nail polish like substance.  

Voila!  It's like the "I VOTED" stickers you get in America...just a little longer lasting! :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y...that is Rachel's battle cry!!!

I know...I had vowed to never attempt tortillas again, BUT I did!  AND I  came out VICTORIOUS!!!!  Take that, Tortilla!!  They turned out beautifully round and well cooked!!  Jordan walked in the kitchen and the first thing he said was "WOW, did YOU make those??"  
It turns out the trick is to use hot hot water and never let them stick to the counter.  Now I want to have tacos for every meal!!  (well, not really.)  


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Out of the mouths of children...

I had the privilege, this last semester, of teaching the elementary missionary kids.  Attending the school, we had Lexi (a kindergartner), Jorina (a kindergartner from our neighboring Swiss mission station), Olivia (1st grade), Emma (2nd grade), Jerome (3rd grade, also from the EBC Swiss mission), Emma (5th grade), and Lydia (7th grade).  While secondary education is absolutely more in my comfort zone, I realized there are several perks to teaching the little kiddos.  One of my favorite parts of teaching these little guys is that they pretty much say exactly what they are thinking...which can occasionally make for some funny quotes!  I wrote down a few and thought I'd share.

Emma: In my story I'm not married but I have kids.
Jerome: How can you have kids?
Emma: I adopt them.
Jerome: Why aren't you married?
Emma:  Because it's GROSS!!

Lexi: Emma, you said you were going to be nice to me today!
Emma: Lexi, I didn't mean literally!!

Jerome: That's okay.  They (the kindergartners) are just babies, they need the day off.
Emma: But when we were babies we NEVER got a day off!!

Lexi's Prayer:
"Please bless Hurley.  Help him not to get get sick.  And Aunt Rachel better not be feeding him tuna! Amen."

(Reminder: Jerome is from Switzerland and English is his 3rd language)
Emma: Please stop that Jerome!  You are driving me nuts!
Jerome: What does that mean,"You are dried peanuts?"

Jorina's Prayer (almost everyday...I never had the heart to correct her):
"Please help the people in the hospital and the doctors to go well"

Emma: Haven't you ever heard of, "Do unto others as unto them?"

Lexi's Prayer:
"And please bless the bat that died and bless the bats that are still alive and bless the butterflies and help them not to die or get their wings broke. Amen.

Emma: But I can't use my best handwriting all the time because then it won't be special anymore!

Jerome (after learning about personification): So then, what is animalfication?

Me: Emma, you don't like pickles!?!?
Emma: It's because I'm a sensitive young lady.

Lexi's Prayer: 
"Lord, help the rats in the Dooley's attic to get stuck and die."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jilinga Church Opening

Jordan and I were recently invited to attend a church opening in Jilinga, PNG.  
The new church has a great was built right in the middle of an area where people were know to fight, do drugs, and make a very strong homemade alcohol.  Now the area is completely different and people have been changed by God's amazing transforming power!
Before the service, everyone was busy preparing a feast!  My favorite part of this picture is the man in the back holding up raw pig parts!  Love it!

Just a few more pieces of pig to throw on there...then this mumu is ready to start cookin!

Jordan the Giant!

This was the tent that was set up for the service.  Since there is no road that goes up to the top of this large hill.  The entire tent had to be carried up my hand.

The girl next to me, in the lime green and black top, was also named Rachel!

My buddy, Lucas Kumi Nolly...or I like to refer to him as LUUUUUUU-KAS!!

All the people standing in white were getting baptized that day!

Isn't this little boy adorable!  Look at that teeny tie!!

We always appreciate a well built bridge!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

First Annual Kudjip Auction

This is the first ever auction that took place outside of Maintenance.  There were exciting things like towels, dishes, pots pans, blankets...AND there were boring things like roofing iron, pieces of plywood, and old gutters.  

Grace was in charge of the money.  When the sun got too hot, she sat under this box.  I think we are going to buy her an umbrella for Christmas!  

Jordan, the muscle behind this operation!

Baru (the man in the red hat) was the auctioneer.  He did a great job.  When he got the final bid he would bang the tire hub with a steel hammer and yell SOLD...very exciting!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rasta Meri!

Ever since I watched the version of Cinderella with Brandi in it, I've wanted to have a million tiny braids in my hair.  I wasn't sure it was even possible with my type of hair, until one day, Flora (my friend I work with in Maintenance) told me it would be easy to add extension to my hair in the form of small braids.  That's when the adventure began...
It took HOURS!!  I'm not sure how many but we had to break it up over several days.  Flora told me about half way through that I had a lot more hair than she thought I did!  I have a lot of hair...who knew?  While there were several times that my bum was screaming "I can't sit on this wood floor any longer!!", we actually had a great time of fellowship.  I learned a lot about what it's like to be a single woman in this country.  Some days, Flora would bring her cousin, who is a teacher at the school down the road.  It was interesting for us to compare notes on our teaching experiences.
Finally, she finished and I wore it proudly for a little over a month, even though I knew it looked ridiculous.  I'm glad I had the opportunity and I love how Flora and my friendship has grown, but I'll never do that to my hair again!  Loved it, but never again!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hospital Kiddos!

Here are some pics of adorable kids who have been admitted into the hospital: