Saturday, April 29, 2006

Multicultural Dinner

While the company was decidedly multicultural--Indian, Korean, Swiss, British, American who grew up in the Philippines--the dinner was decidedly American--grilled burgers and chicken, homemade potato salad and slaw, followed by peanutbutter cookies. It was just a tad too cold to eat outside, but it tasted like a picnic.

Gary will be helping to lead a workshop next for the next two weeks for these and other folks using software for managing vernacular dictionaries and cultural data.

Friday, April 28, 2006

50 Years

(I stole this photo from the website below.)

This week SIL has been celebrating 50 years of service in Papua New Guinea. It has been many years since I've been to PNG, but I'm happy to see the celebrations anyway.

In 1976 Gary and I did "Jungle Camp" (boot camp) near Madang before we moved to the Solomon Islands. We had only been married a few months by then. When I think back on it, we had a pretty stressful first year of marriage. I always tell newlyweds the first year is the worst!

We went back to PNG in 1987 with three kids in tow--that turned out to be a miserable trip for me because all three kids had the chicken pox during that trip--one after the other. I may as well have stayed home since the kids and I were banished to our house nearly the entire time we were there.

In the photo above the musicians are playing lengths of bamboo pipes with a rubber flipflop. It makes a cool "Pacific sound."

Humans Use Tools

"The guy who invented the socket wrench was a genius."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


(That silly titmouse has quit banging its head into the glass door, but is still outside mournfully crying for something or someone.)

We spent the day shopping for stuff for Rachel's apartment, which turned out to be mostly window shopping because we couldn't make our minds up. We are trying to find a table, a toaster oven, and a refrigerator, and not spend too much money doing so. She's not going to be happy to hear that I just discovered that I have to buy a new washer, giving me reason to spend less on the stuff for her place. (Unfortunately, she doesn't get her first paycheck until September.) In the words of my late grandmother, "She has champagne taste on a beer budget." We'll keep looking in the missionary barrel too, to see what we can get for free.

Speaking of free, Rachel is going to the Maverick's playoff game tonight for free, so I hope the Mavs win!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Were You There When I Made the World?

If you get fed up with the doldrums of your life, as I recently have, the Lord's poetry of rhetorical questions in Job 38-39 can furnish a bit of perspective. (copied from, TEV)
1 Then out of the storm the Lord spoke to Job. 2 Who are you to question my wisdom with your ignorant, empty words? 3 Now stand up straight and answer the questions I ask you.

4 Were you there when I made the world? If you know so much, tell me about it. 5 Who decided how large it would be? Who stretched the measuring line over it? Do you know all the answers? 6 What holds up the pillars that support the earth? Who laid the cornerstone of the world? 7 In the dawn of that day the stars sang together, and the heavenly beings shouted for joy. 8 Who closed the gates to hold back the sea when it burst from the womb of the earth? 9 It was I who covered the sea with clouds and wrapped it in darkness. 10 I marked a boundary for the sea and kept it behind bolted gates. 11 I told it, "So far and no farther! Here your powerful waves must stop."

12 Job, have you ever in all your life commanded a day to dawn? 13 Have you ordered the dawn to seize the earth and shake the wicked from their hiding places? 14 Daylight makes the hills and valleys stand out like the folds of a garment, clear as the imprint of a seal on clay. 15 The light of day is too bright for the wicked and restrains them from doing violence. 16 Have you been to the springs in the depths of the sea? Have you walked on the floor of the ocean? 17 Has anyone ever shown you the gates that guard the dark world of the dead? 18 Have you any idea how big the world is? Answer me if you know. 19 Do you know where the light comes from or what the source of darkness is? 20 Can you show them how far to go, or send them back again? 21 I am sure you can, because you're so old and were there when the world was made! 22 Have you ever visited the storerooms, where I keep the snow and the hail? 23 I keep them ready for times of trouble, for days of battle and war. 24 Have you been to the place where the sun comes up, or the place from which the east wind blows?

25 Who dug a channel for the pouring rain and cleared the way for the thunderstorm? 26 Who makes rain fall where no one lives? 27 Who waters the dry and thirsty land, so that grass springs up? 28 Does either the rain or the dew have a father? 29 Who is the mother of the ice and the frost, 30 which turn the waters to stone and freeze the face of the sea? 31 Can you tie the Pleiades together or loosen the bonds that hold Orion? 32 Can you guide the stars season by season and direct the Big and the Little Dipper? 33 Do you know the laws that govern the skies, and can you make them apply to the earth? 34 Can you shout orders to the clouds and make them drench you with rain? 35 And if you command the lightning to flash, will it come to you and say, "At your service"? 36 Who tells the ibis when the Nile will flood, or who tells the rooster that rain will fall? 37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds and tilt them over to pour out the rain, 38 rain that hardens the dust into lumps? 39 Do you find food for lions to eat, and satisfy hungry young lions 40 when they hide in their caves, or lie in wait in their dens? 41 Who is it that feeds the ravens when they wander about hungry, when their young cry to me for food?

1 Do you know when mountain goats are born? Have you watched wild deer give birth? 2 Do you know how long they carry their young? Do you know the time for their birth? 3 Do you know when they will crouch down and bring their young into the world? 4 In the wilds their young grow strong; they go away and don't come back. 5 Who gave the wild donkeys their freedom? Who turned them loose and let them roam? 6 I gave them the desert to be their home, and let them live on the salt plains. 7 They keep far away from the noisy cities, and no one can tame them and make them work. 8 The mountains are the pastures where they feed, where they search for anything green to eat. 9 Will a wild ox work for you? Is he willing to spend the night in your stable? 10 Can you hold one with a rope and make him plow? Or make him pull a harrow in your fields? 11 Can you rely on his great strength and expect him to do your heavy work? 12 Do you expect him to bring in your harvest and gather the grain from your threshing place?

13 How fast the wings of an ostrich beat! But no ostrich can fly like a stork. 14 The ostrich leaves her eggs on the ground for the heat in the soil to warm them. 15 She is unaware that a foot may crush them or a wild animal break them. 16 She acts as if the eggs were not hers, and is unconcerned that her efforts were wasted. 17 It was I who made her foolish and did not give her wisdom. 18 But when she begins to run, she can laugh at any horse and rider.

19 Was it you, Job, who made horses so strong and gave them their flowing manes? 20 Did you make them leap like locusts and frighten people with their snorting? 21 They eagerly paw the ground in the valley; they rush into battle with all their strength. 22 They do not know the meaning of fear, and no sword can turn them back. 23 The weapons which their riders carry rattle and flash in the sun. 24 Trembling with excitement, the horses race ahead; when the trumpet blows, they can't stand still. 25 At each blast of the trumpet they snort; they can smell a battle before they get near, and they hear the officers shouting commands.

26 Does a hawk learn from you how to fly when it spreads its wings toward the south? 27 Does an eagle wait for your command to build its nest high in the mountains? 28 It makes its home on the highest rocks and makes the sharp peaks its fortress. 29 From there it watches near and far for something to kill and eat. 30 Around dead bodies the eagles gather, and the young eagles drink the blood.