Friday, October 31, 2008

Costume Trouble

For years our girls have asked to be flapper girls for Halloween. Because of the very cold California nights in October, we always told them this was an impractical costume as they would spend the evening freezing AND no one would end up seeing their costume due to the coat they would be forced to wear! Well, Guam is the PERFECT place for a flapper costume; and so this year, when the girls made this costume request again, the answer was an exuberant, "Yes!" But, how to get the costume . . . . Buying this costume was out of the question based on our budget, and so Karyn bit the bullet and declared she'd simply have to sew the costumes. Karyn and the girls excitedly entered the fabric store but, to their dismay, discovered that buying yards of fringe (as traditionally found on flapper dresses) exceeded the budget as well. Not to be discouraged, Karyn suggested some sequined fabric and the trim would be limited to the bottom of the dress. That decided, they then asked to see the patterns. To Karyn's horror, she was told there were no patterns and patterns were sold no where on the entire island! Yikes! Karyn can sew, but sewing without a pattern is an entirely different story! With the girls' soulful eyes asking what would happen now, Karyn gulped and declared they would just have to create a costume without a pattern. The first feat was trying to calculate how much fabric would be needed. Then, feeling like a pioneer or a missionary "really out in the bush," Karyn proceeded to timorously cut the needed pieces. And then, to her chagrin, she discovered that her sewing machine wouldn't sew the fine, sequined, fabric. And so, feeling like a true bush-missionary, Karyn plunged in, hand-sewing the flapper costumes. Whew! With dresses completed, she realized she would have to figure out how to find feathers for the flapper headbands. This would be an inconsequential concern in the States, with craft stores loaded with stock in nearly every town. But, finding colored-feathers on Guam probably wasn't going to happen. And so, with her pioneer spirit in gear, Karyn scavenged the toy box. To her delight, she found an Indian feather headband (from a home school unit study on American Indians), and a pink boa. She pulled out one long white Indian feather and cut it to the appropriate size and hot-glued it to a headband. She took a pink drinking straw and hot-glued a few plucked pink boa feathers to the straw to make it look like one long, full, feather. Voila! Two feathered flapper headbands, two flapper dresses, and a sigh of relief from Mom!

P.S. A fun and safe night trick-or-treating was spent with friends on Guam's navy base. EACH girl returned with nearly seven pounds of candy! Interestingly, everyone immediately knew the girls' had dressed as flapper girls except the military families in their twenties. Many of them asked, "What are you supposed to be?" And, even when told, they clearly had never heard of flapper girls!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Developing Relationships

Friday night marked the third gathering of our fellowship group. All students and staff at PIBC were placed in fellowship groups and this has created wonderful opportunities for building deeper relationships. For our third gathering, we decided to join with another fellowship
group for a night of singing, praying, eating, a devotional, and volleyball. The event was scheduled to begin at 6:30, but the staff knew this would probably mean that students would come trickling in around 7:30. A cardinal rule for missionaries is: Be flexible. I think it's easier for American's to be flexible around this issue of Micronesian time than it is for our German co-workers! By the time we actually commenced with singing, it was probably about 8:00 p.m.! Karyn gave the devotional talking about living life with no regrets. Each staff member of our fellowship group brought dessert. (Another thing about working with Micronesians: there is no such thing as too much food!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Original Winter White

We've discovered it's possible to retain pure pasty white skin in the middle of the sunny tropics. Since Karyn's mom and our son left in July, we haven't once been to the beach during daylight. Besides, this is the "really wet" season (Being a rain forest, Guam doesn't have a dry season--just wet and "really wet.") and, as you can see from the inset picture, I'm jamming trying to complete the first full-draft of my dissertation. Neither does it help when one of the cars is broken down and we find ourselves stuck at home more often than not. Indeed, we have discovered that it is possible to have all the color slowly drain from the skin, leaving one in the state of original winter-white. We attempted to supplement our vitamin D depletion on Saturday, but running this way and that with only one car prevented us. Of course, later in the day, we were greeted by typical torrential rains, the kind that soak you to the skin after running five feet to the car. Oh well, as someone once noted, it's funny how the brown-skinned natives around here try to tuck under any available shade to hide their faces from the sun, and the white folk migrate to any available sunny spot. I guess the "sunny side" of the situation is that I've had fewer distractions from dissertation-writing, a project that is due as a first-draft on November 1. More later. Right now the sun is peaking through, so I've gotta go . . . .