Letter 23 / 4 / 84
Easter Monday, and everyone is at a bit of a loose end. At least its better than Good Friday when no one did anything, not even food preparation, just sat quietly and ate dry damper and had a 3-hour church service - until 3pm when Jesus was buried. They treated it with all the superstition of a normal funeral. I hope no one smelt our bread cooking! It was a beautiful day after weeks of foul weather and Peter was itching to get the boat into the water!
Rough Seas and scary moment
On Saturday we finally did go out in the boat. Our screen tent was still pitched over on
It was really calm just out in front of the village here, but we found as soon as we got out of the lee of the island that the SE monsoon is definitely here - it was ROUGH! Its one thing to sit in a dinghy holding on with both hands while it hits the waves with a "bang! bang! bang!" ... Its quite another to perch on a metal seat clutching a wriggling child and trying to "grip with your legs"!
Coming back was much worse. With the direction the waves were moving we had to point into them (they were much bigger than us!) which would take us around the back of the island. Then at precisely the right psychological (or geological) moment Peter swung the boat and we whizzed along with the waves - "Unorthodox, but effective! ..." Peter was saying with a grim smile, and then ... "OH, NO!" Suddenly we were over the reef and the tide was lower than it should have been. With split second timing he spun the boat again - we were glad that we bought a reasonably powerful motor!
I think if this baby is to be born at the right time and place I'll leave boating until we return in the "doldrums" season!
"Nowa" and "God"
The "Nowa" (Noah) book is about ready to print. There was supposed to be a meeting Friday afternoon to make a decision about which name for "God" would be used, but not many people knew about the meeting. The Anglican church has been using the word "Ad" - an old language word meaning anchor or rock, also some reference to "outside" or "other". But when it came down to it, only the priest himself was in favour of it - much to his surprise. There is an older word, "Agud" meaning "the true god" - and not refering to their old gods Bomai or Malo or Waiat. It seems they always knew there was a true God but were unsure how to find him. The professing Christians here believe that is the Christian God. The Western Islanders (Saibai Island etc) use a similar word, "Awgad".
Less than two weeks to go - its time I started cleaning and packing. Not a great deal to actually pack, but an awful lot of sorting and planning to do. The S family will look after our fowls - we've been keeping them (the fowls) in their run a bit longer each day to get used to it ... still no eggs. The S family are not looking forward to 5 months without us, especially without James to play with their girls.
Alison has finally drifted off to sleep so I have a precious hour or so to rush wildly from room to room ...