Posted by: joan49 | January 3, 2014

Catching Up

Below is a belated post from Karen about most of 2012. The Vacation Bible School videos were done the summer of 2013. Karen was just in Oregon for the Christmas season to see her family for the first family Christmas in about 8 years. We’ll get caught up eventually but continue to check on the blog and keep Karen in your thoughts and prayers.

Hi Everyone,

Wow, I’m so behind it’s hard to know where to start now…well, how about where I left off…

Ok, so, the last time I wrote a group of Sri Lankan refugees got stranded in Sikakap when their boat ran out of fuel and they literally washed ashore.  I was busy for 2 months trying to help them  cope with the language barriers and integrate into the local community while waiting for immigration to come deal with them from the mainland.  Well, to sum it up: their experiences in Sikakap DID include a small group of them managing to escape in the middle of the night; then the rest of them becoming model citizens (as they made up for upsetting  the authorities when some of them escaped) by volunteering their labor at the police station, local Catholic church, local mosque, and government office building; a drunken brawl which led to me being called down to the local police station in the middle night, which also undid a lot of their efforts toward becoming model citizens; finally bonding and being accepted by the townspeople; then being unexpectedly arrested by the immigration department right before another escape attempt; and then sent to a refugee camp in Sumatra, escaping (again) from there; and then somehow managing to get to Australia after all – only begins to mention some of their adventures.  Suffice it to say that’s the short version of what happened, and thankfully for most of them – unlike for most refugees around the world – their story had a relatively happy ending. 

Flores Island Village

Flores Island Village

Natural Habitat of Komodo Dragons

Natural Habitat of Komodo Dragons

Komodo Dragon Up Close

Komodo Dragon Up Close

                                              Then Christmas and the New Year of 2013 were ushered in with 2 months of no electricity (ergo no internet), so I couldn’t tell you about all this in more detail, or tell you about my vacation to Yogyakarta, Flores Island, Komodo Island, and the famous volcano Mt. Bromo,

Mt. Bromo

Mt. Bromo

then I knew I was coming back to the states for a visit so it seemed easier to wait anyway…Then my whirlwind visit to the states was WONDERFUL, but FAST, and I learned about all kinds of cool technology that was guaranteed to make my communication abilities easier when I came back to Mentawai (and thus more easily able to update this blog and Facebook, etc.), NONE OF WHICH actually work here, or so I found out upon returning, because apparently the cell phone signal here is not strong enough to support anything outside of, well, let’s face it, we can’t even telephone each other here on the island, so… 

That brings me up to the present.  CFK, one of the NGOs I work with here, just had a 3-day retreat for some team building and relaxation, so we got to become Superheroes and build homemade costumes and go on missions to save the world, or in our case, win some chocolate candy.  It was great fun and a great time of renewal – now I am back in Mentawai and am able to post this only with the help of a generator to boost the internet signal, and with the help of my good friend, media specialist extraordinaire, and my own personal real life superhero, otherwise known by the alias Joan49… 

By the way, it was SO GREAT to see so many of you while I was in the states!!!!! For those I didn’t see due to the ridiculous and highly unfair rate at which time speeded up the few weeks I was back, know you will be first on my list for next time…

Now it’s time to go make soup with the deer meat I bought from one of my neighbors who killed the deer in the jungle this morning…

Peace and cheers,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: