So I’ve been in Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal for over 2 weeks now and I’ve decided I like it.
The weather is hot, super unpredictable and switches between rain and sun faster than Melbourne does, but I’m glad I’m not suffering through Adelaide winter right now!
It’s very dirty here and the ocean is basically a rubbish tip. Everywhere else is jungle kind of stuff with lots of lizards and butterflies and malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
I was living in a double story wooden shack/house thing, but I moved last weekend. I now live in an $8000 IKEA house from China. Underneath is the classroom for the Bible school. They built the whole thing in almost a week.
Right now my house has no water and electricity only at night when the solar panels have charged, but it does boast beautiful sunsets and a pretty view. (That’s our team leader, John.)
It’s a very long walk through the mud to the toilet or shower or to get water. I try not not to step on the cane toads or the skeleton puppies that wander around. And I swear all the ginormous, ‘friendly’, Solomon spiders on this island have banded together to create some club where they try to appear everywhere I go.
Once the Discipleship Bible School started Monday week ago I thankfully got upgraded from garden weeder to teacher.
It’s so weird that I would be a guest speaker who gets REAL coffee AND cookies.
It’s true in Australia we did take a 3 week crash course on teaching and preaching, but it didn’t seem real. Last week though, I learnt for real how to teach 3-hour-at-a-time lectures.
If anybody would like to sit down for 6 hours I could talk your ear off about the book of Exodus but you probably don’t want to do that. And I don’t really want to do the talking.
My friend Brinnah, who is Samoan, -but married to a Solomon Islander- is teaching me all the things. Just like I am teaching her how to be a total hobo and things like that the dump is a perfectly good eating ground.
I think I learnt these kind of things from my youth group. It’s good to know that the Blackwood Hills way of life is spreading across the world and that life is really just everyone teaching each other.
This week Brinnah’s taught me how to cook in a weird -but GENIUS- sawdust bush kitchen and how to make 3 packets of 2 minute noodles feed 43 people.
Also, if I happen to go hiking with you and we find a coconut, I can easily start you a fire. I don’t think even Bear Grillz can do this.
I cannot, however, get mangos down from a 15 metre high branch. YET. I’m working on it.
This is my baby Darlene.
Now I understand why all parents think their kids are the new Einstein. Darlene is definitely the smartest 2 year old ever. And the cutest.
I’m practicing being as good a mother as her (actual) mother, Hilda, is. Hilda is almost as good a mother as mine is. Love you Mumma! ❤️
Hilda’s other kid Esther, actually does look like Einstein. I hope my future kids have hair like her.
My favourite thing we’ve done -of course- is teach at youth group. We also went to the church there and I love all my new friends. I’m not sure if it’s just because we’re white, but they really seem to love the Inductive Bible Study classes we’ve given and learn a lot from them.
(The Inductive Bible Study Method is what our outreach is all about- teaching people to read the Bible in its original context and not read it or create theology through the lenses of our culture or time period or preconceived ideas.)
Hopefully my Pigeon (their language) improves because, obviously, it’s very frustrating not being able to communicate properly. But somehow it works. It’s definitely all Holy Spirit.
Last weekend I got to go to the Western Battlefield where they now have an outdoor museum-type thing. The Western Battlefield is where the Japanese actually held their camp during World War II! There were left over US and Jap planes and tanks but Sylvia, the historian (pictured below) promised me they don’t work anymore.
She is missing one battleship though -‘The Canberra’- so I promised her I would go for a scuba dive and get it for her museum. Now that I know there’s no crocodiles in the ocean, should be easy. Although I just found out that the creek of Burn’s Creek (where we’re living) is infested with the salt water crocs. Now I am so glad to be taking a ship to Malaita tonight. I’m not that sure what we’re doing there, but if I survive I will write.