We have been back in our regular schedule for nearly a month now. We are mostly done with our house and the work that is left will be saved for weekend projects. Esther, Simon and Rachel have been enjoying their homeschooling experience. They recently went out to the mission school near Goroka and were tested for basic skills using a standard test from the U.S. We were pleased that both Esther and Simon were both well above average for their grade when compared to other students in the U.S. That was an encouragement to us that we are not giving our children a sub-standard education. Shari (their teacher) felt like she was the one being tested and that she passed too.
On a typical day we head out to the village around 8 am or so and spend about 2 hours visiting with the people and practicing our language skills. Then we return and Shari and the kids start school. I go to my little office and usually spend an hour with a language helper preparing and checking my language materials. Then the rest of the day I spend doing memorization, doing homemade taped language drills and so on. Shari usually finishes school around 4 pm at which time she spends around an hour or more in language study before starting dinner. After dinner we sometimes entertain visitors from the village in our home. We sit around our wood stove and talk while drinking Milo (like hot chocolate) and tea.
Although we try to stick to a schedule there are times when we set aside the routine for something special. Last week a man named Misek invited me on a hike to our big waterfall. There is a waterfall way up on the cliffs at the top of the mountain behind our house that I had never seen up close. We have been looking at this waterfall since we first moved here but I had never been there. Hiking can be quite difficult in this steep high-altitude rainforest but it only took 3 1/2 hours to get there. Along the way I saw secluded pandanus nut smoke houses, bird-hunting blinds and traps, A young mens’ initiation-teaching area and the harvesting of wild bush palm hearts. Not to mention all the little things my guide pointed out along the way. It was a culturally rich experience. My guide Misek does not yet know his Savior but as I watched him drink from a mountain stream I thought to myself how wonderful it will be when he has the chance to hear the Gospel and drink of the Living Water, Jesus Christ. Thank you for your part in reaching the Simbari with the Good News.
David & Shari Ogg