We're happy to report that we've arrived safe and sound (including all 19 checked bags, and 12 carry-ons) to Honiara, Guadalcanal! We left New York on Saturday, October 31 at 5pm. Our baggage was checked through straight to our final destination, which was such an answer to prayer. After 3 flights, with a combined air-time of 23 hours and over 30 in total travel time, we arrived in Honiara at 3:45 pm on November 2. It was Judah's 3rd birthday that day as well, so we celebrated with a chocolate chip muffin in the Brisbane airport, a lego toy gift and birthday card from his grandparents.
Once we arrived, we cleared customs easily, got our bags and waited on the curb for our friend Jerry. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us, he was in the village and could not read our last email detailing our arrival time. So we ended up waiting for over an hour, and were the last people waiting for pick-up. God provided, however, because Jerry's cousin, Rosa, works at the airport and was able to call around and talk to some men to help take us to our accommodation for the night with the Wycliffe Bible Translators.
As we had no dinner plans and were all pretty tired and hungry, our friends the Ashleys graciously cooked us spaghetti and beans and even gave us food for the next morning. Jerry's wife, Ruth, also came by bearing gifts of fruits, juices, cookies and crackers for the kids.
Since arriving on Monday, we have slowly gotten over jet-lag and gotten a bit used to being sweaty all day. We have made family excursions to the downtown to shop at the market, visit the diocesan office, eat fresh hot buns from the Honiara Hot Bread Kitchen (let me tell you: it is HOT in there!) and we even bought ourselves a smartphone... something we thought we would never do.
It turns out we may not easily be able to get access to internet on our computer in the village, so the next best thing is getting it through the phone so we can at least email and Facebook.
The children have made some friends on the Wycliffe compound and enjoy jumping on the trampoline, playing with the pets and trying our Pidgin English. One of their favorite Pidgin games consists in trying to imitate the cash collectors from the city buses. We came out after nap one day to sounds of them shouting: "Foafala S-D-A" (i.e. "Four spaces left for the bus going by the Seventh Day Adventist Church") Their favorite part of going out is cramming onto the small buses that weave in and out of traffic in Honiara!
Tomorrow night is our last night in Wycliffe housing before moving over to Jerry and Ruth's home on the other side of town while we wait for word from Malaita for our guest house to be ready.
Please keep us in our prayers as we continue to adjust, learn Pidgin English and communicate with people in the village about our arrival. May God bless each and everyone of you! Your prayers have been felt over here!
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