Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kwaj Challenges

Sometimes people wonder if there are challenges to living on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There are some unique things to this place and so I thought I would share some of those in this post. It is important to remember that in our challenges are opportunities to reflect on life and to learn about ourselves and God. Also our joy comes from Christ and not from having a lack of challenges. Here are a few challenges in no particular order.

1. The Grocery Store.
Our fresh produce comes in on a plane once a week on Tuesdays. Therefore Tuesday afternoon is the day to shop at the store since if you go Wednesday the selection is not that great and well you can't go Thursday because the store isn't open Thursdays. Yes, that is right our grocery store isn't open 24/7 and well it isn't open 10-6 either. It is only open about 30 hours a week. It is the only grocery store on the island so if you want an item and it isn't there you aren't getting it. Since we have been here they have been out of milk, cheese and chicken. Currently they are out of ginger and poppy seeds. Sometimes our family mails food items to us.

2. Mail.
Our mail comes twice a week on the plane. Once a month we get a special mail delivery. If the plane is delayed or something happens we don't get mail or produce etc.. Mail comes Tuesday and Thursday mornings which means it is available late Tuesday or Thursday but definitely on Wednesday and Fridays. We all have PO Boxes so if you get a package you must pick it up at the package window which is open probably 20 hours a week at best. Most mail takes at least 2 weeks and sometimes up to 6 weeks to get here. There is no instant gratification for online shopping. We online shop for most items since our store has very little to choose from.

3. Budget Cuts
We all work for the government in some capacity and we all know the government is trying to cut back spending. This means a remote place like ours is a good place to cut. That means layoffs for us and reduced hours at places like the grocery store. Layoffs mean people have to move back to the States jobless and possibly homeless depending on whether they sold their house when they moved here. It is scary for people and we are expecting more layoffs throughout the summer and into the fall. For example the elementary music teacher was cut and the elementary PE teacher moved and wasn't replaced so the school has less staff this year. Everyone will be expected to get the same work done with less people and resources. That's a tough go here.

4. Dial up Internet
Yes, our homes have dial up Internet, 52k. Enough said on that.

5. Missing people
We miss our people back in Washington. We are having a great adventure and learning so much and hopefully serving faithfully but we still miss our people. We love you.

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