Birthday Tape, Birthday Cakes, Birthday Hat, Birthday ‘Merica…

It’s my party and I’ll… do a whole bunch of crazy stuff…

It’s official! No matter what time zone you’re in, I am 26 years old. That’s right, twenty–six October 13ths ago, I was forcibly taken from my mother’s womb after she waited in the hospital for a week as her blood pressure rose and rose and rose… but I digress.

One of my friends asked me what my birthday would normally consist of in the States. Well…

–       waking up to some door décor

–       a candy/iTunes/movie package from my parents

–       a “surprise” party on the actual October 13th

–       a “real” party/dinner (Mexican!) that weekend

–       various other activities including but not limited to movies, shopping, Galveston, etc…

–       and this past year, my mom and grandmother came down to Houston from Dallas to celebrate!

(full coverage of last years extravaganza can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AlNbtCqp5I )

So, what’s a birthday like in a town with no malls, no restaurants, and no movies theaters

SUPER FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!

We shall begin at the beginning … the evening of 12 October… (sorry ‘Mericans, that’s how dates are done here)

-We watched Hook! You know, 1991, Robin Williams as Peter Pan, Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell? One of my all time favorite movies. After which…

-I came home to find myself TAPED! Here in Ukarumpa, toilet paper is way too expensive (and messy) to use to “TP” someone’s house. Instead, old, scratched, moldy, video tape is used. I was very happy.

Footage can be seen here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJwbvyWJhh4

And here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e02rJ7_Bfl8

Which leads to the morning of my actual birthday, 13 October, PNG Time…

-Breakfast with Mandy!! Who needs Starbucks when people run a coffee shop out of their house every weekend?

-Then I had worship band practice with the high school kids I mentor. They are so GOOD! They tried to sing me happy birthday, but I didn’t let them because we were running out of time and still had songs to go over.

(Some time during these events, two of my 7th grade students dropped of a cake at my house)

-Immediately following that rehearsal I had… another rehearsal! This one was for the Sunday morning service being led by the 12th Graders, in which I got to play drums. It was a good time.

-After a musically filled afternoon what could be better than… Youth Group with the 7th and 8th Graders!! We had a swell time playing a game of 3-way tug-of-war and then just chilling in the Teen Center.

– Following this, I was invited to a grand birthday dinner by friend Donna and her roommate Jessica.

I then had to leave early to go to…

– 9th and 10th Grade Youth Group!! Two of my kids surprised me with ANOTHER cake… but no knives or forks. So… I had to cut the cake with one of the candles.

We then played a rousing game of “German” Uno after I taught them the crazy rules.

Additional footage can be seen here: http://youtu.be/aXh09JcgrNA

-Then I went home and went to bed.

Which leads to… my birthday US Central Standard Time!! 14 October, PNG time…

-Played the drums at church. Woo!!

– Birthday lunch with the crew! – Mandy, Amanda, Donna, Alan, (all of the Lae Trip) and my roommate Laura.

– Rehearsal again with the band I mentor, then the youth service they were playing for that night.

-At the end of the youth service, I was lovingly told by one of my Senior girls to “GO HOME! You have to be home in thirty minutes!!” So, I was graciously escorted home and an hour later this happened:

I’m told the cow’s name is “Cowsby” and the reason I was given clothes is because we were talking earlier that day about how I came to PNG with only one suitcase and I don’t have enough variety of clothing.

And last, but certainly not least, my birthday was celebrated by friends in Texas! They went out for Mexican food in my honor and had, yet another, cake.

So, you can be the judge of the amazingness of missionary birthdays, but I ask you… when was the last time you got four cakes for…well…anything?

Peace out!

Rigsby (as I am lovingly known by my kids)

ENCOUNTER!

Hello all! It has been quite a while since the last update. Once I tell you of all the amazing things that have happened, you will understand why and be forgiving, I am sure.

But, first things first:

I love my kids.

I use the word “my” in the broadest since of the term since I only officially teach about 30 of them. But between impromptu coaching, worship leading mentoring, youth group officiating, and a little adventure called Encounter… I officially dub all of the students my kids.

They are fantastic people and have made this little adventure of mine gloriously amazing.

Moving on from sentimentality… WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN PNG?!

Well, let me give you the bulleted version:

–       a couple of more earthquakes (I still just freeze and look around. I haven’t quite graduated to getting under furniture yet)

–       The end of Term 1 (a.k.a 1st Nine Weeks)

–       a trip to Lae! – here’s some video:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_-SfqPe1Dw

–       Teacher Professional Development weekend… we played four square 🙂

–       Encounter: To be spoken of at length later

–       The start of Term 2 (a.k.a 2nd Nine Weeks)

–       Coaching Basketball… tryouts ended today and the other coaches and I will be selecting teams tomorrow.

 

So, as you can see, it was not my fault for the lack of updating, but the fullness if my calendar. But enough excuses, let’s move on to the task at hand… ENCOUNTER!

 

Ah, Encounter. “Encounter” is the title given to the high school (9th – 12th) Spiritual Retreat. Take a good ol’ fashioned summer youth camp, compact it into 4 days and place it during a school break, and you have the very essence of Encounter.

IT. WAS. AWESOME.

Getting there was a challenge as you can see…

 

In short, we drove to a bridge, unloaded everything, walked it across the bridge, and reloaded other vehicles on the other side.

Piece of cake.

The week… well four days… went by in a blur of worship sessions, games, discussion groups, excellent food, a talent night, and (semi) restful nights.

(Talent show link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB5mCq3cDQE)

Talent Show – “The Boy Band”                                              Games – “Kajabe Can Can”

The speaker came from Australia and the worship band consisted of upperclassmen members of the two worship teams that lead the youth on Sunday nights. I have heard my fair share of teen worship bands… and these guys were AMAZING. I wish I had had a group like them to play with in high school. They rocked!

Welp, that’s about all for now. I apologize for the choppiness of this post… it’s time for bed 🙂

Peace out!

Rigsby