Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bride price

The kids got a day off of school recently as we all got to join an outing to a neighboring village. In Molbog culture when two people are going to get married the bride and groom’s families have to meet and decide on a bride price, when the wedding will be, and where it will be.  The groom’s family pays for all the food and prepares all the food for this event.  The groom’s family is from the village we live in and so we were invited to go along.  A large boat called a launch was used to get everyone to the other village for this event.

 So we got up at 5:30 in the morning and hiked for about an hour to where the launch was docked, waited for about an hour or so for all the people to arrive, then everyone loaded up on the launch.  Getting to the launch was an adventure...we walked out about 200 feet on a dock, but about halfway down the dock there was a 20 foot gap where the dock was missing. No railing, just a narrow plank to walk across! It made me slightly afraid of heights!  Oh well, the worst is I would have fallen in the water and swam to shore in the warm water!  To get on the boat we slid/walked down a board while those below watched or laughed!!  The board was at about a 45 degree angle and put you on the edge of the boat!  We were all now safely on board!  We rode for about 20 minutes.  We estimate there were probably 60-70 people on the boat!  
 When we arrived we went to the meeting place, called a ranggar, and they served a snack.  The men talk, the women talk, and the kids talk, each kind of in their own area.  Dennis and Steve had the opportunity to talk to the men of the village about planting rubber trees in their area.  They want to use the rubber trees as an opportunity for an outreach...giving trees and sharing the gospel!  This was a perfect chance to share since a lot of the men from the area were in attendance! 

The kids played quiet games inside with their friends for awhile, and then they ventured out to the beach...a beautiful white sand beach!  Some other kids joined them and played games in the sand.  The noonday sun was soon getting too warm so the kids wandered back inside to wait for lunch.  Jeanie and I sat and listened as the families discussed the bride price...two cows, two goats, 20 chickens, a carabao, a bundle of cigarettes, a bundle of matches, and a stack of pesos!  The wedding is to be in a month and a half.  It was all agreed upon calmly and without fighting!

Lunch was soon served...goat and rice!  At these events the men prepare and cook the meat.  A goat is slaughtered and the hair is singed off before it is cut up and then the meat is cooked.  The women prepare the vegetables and cook the rice.  Once the rice is cooked it is wrapped into individual servings in banana leaves.    Everyone sits on the floor where the food is served.  We are each given a glass of water which is first used for washing your right hand as that is the hand you eat with.  There isn’t any silverware so you scoop up the rice with your hand and wash when you are done!  We all tend to fumble around with food in our fingers and make a bigger mess than anyone else!  Oh well!

After the women cleaned up from the meal everyone loaded up on the launch and headed back home.  It was very warm and sunny by then so we all got a little sunburned while on the water.  Then we hiked for the hour back home again.  We were all very tired by the end of the day and headed to bed at a very early hour, but we all agreed it was a lot of fun!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

S'mores at the beach...

S'mores at the beach until after sunset....beautiful!
Tyler and Adams floating their boats in the ocean
Kids having fun in the water at sunset!
A fun evening with Uncle Dennis and Aunt Jeanie around the fire with sticky fingers!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Life around our house...

Tyler's stove in his fort
Tyler's fort...he switched from spruce to bamboo and coconut leaves
Kailee's fort...the kids built a "village"
The side and back of our house
Steve clearing trees and shrubs from the new garden area
Alyssum and Adams working hard helping Dad
Ethan and Tyler using an A-frame level to terrace the garden
Garden area with newly built bamboo fence
Generator house

Friday, February 11, 2011


written by Ethan...
As we hike through the jungle, looking out for snakes and spider webs, I am reminded of the Planet Earth films of the jungle. It is almost exactly like it! The huge ferns, giant trees, tangled underbrush, and the wet look to it.

I have been up here many times, but for Adams, Alyssum, and Kailee, it is only their third time. We came up here to have a small picnic and just to show them what it is like up here. The first place we stop at has a small slide in the rocks where the younger kids like to play.

We hung out there while the kids played in the river. On the way up we found a huge spider web. We had seen it there before, but it had made a web to cross the trail. The trail is not exactly a manicured trail, as carabao and loggers go up and down the mountain on it. It has trenches all through it from the heavy rains that have occurred recently. When we reach the next crossing, we eat our lunch before we head up the trail to the big water fall. On the way up to the water fall, some of us stopped at the water tank, Dad and Uncle Dennis had installed, to look at it to see where it was. It had filled up to the overflowing mark, so we knew that it was working just fine. As we continued up the trail, which had steepened immensely, we hurried to see who could see the falls first. The water level hade gone down considerably, way less than right after a heavy rain. The rest of the way down was a lot faster than the way up, slipping and sliding and jumping made it lots of fun for us, though not exactly for Mom and Dad!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

All God's Creatures Great and Small

Can you find the lizard in the picture?  Amazing camouflage!
Millipede anyone?  And the tropics grows them BIG!
Centipede found cruising through our house!  Such big BUGS!
For some reason I don't mind finding a moose in my garden, but finding one of these millipedes is a little frightening!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kailee's Birthday

Kailee turned 10 in January!!  She was so excited to finally be a double digit!!  I remember turning 10 and finally being a double digit...what a big deal it was for me!  Hard to believe she is 10 already!  She enjoyed pizza and chocolate/peanut butter cake, and presents from family and friends back home as well as from family here.  She had a fun day and certainly enjoys growing up!!