Category Archives: Travel

Working title: My 2nd trip to Ghana in 20 years

Introduction

Back in 1997, my wife Fiona and 7 week old baby Tane travelled to South Africa to attend and assist with two conferences: The Global Consultation on World Evangelisation (GCOWE) and the African Evangelical Alliance (AEA).  These were held in Pretoria and Johannesburg, respectively.  While on the continent, Fiona’s Uncle Ross invited me to travel with him to East and West Africa, to distribute a Church Survey Database (written in Microsoft Access 97).  Ever since then, uncle has feed me data updates about every 5 years, and I have done number crunching and sent back formatted reports.

This year, 2016, nearly 20 years after that initial visit, Uncle Ross is nearing retirement.  So, he thought it would be a good idea to disband the Ghana National Church Survey database, split it into its denominational constituent parts, and distribute these to their respective denominations.  He invited me to return to Ghana (where the national church there had run with this idea) to assist with the distribution of data, and training of their technical people.  At first, I was hesitant, because the airfares were significant, but Uncle Ross is such a frequent flyer that he assured me he could probably get my economy tickets free (he’s a platinum card holder).  In the end, I’m still not sure whether my flights were free, because uncle is supported by WEC International, and he doesn’t like to discuss his financial needs.  Instead, he relies upon the provision of the Lord.  All I know is that they were free to me.

I booked 3 weeks annual leave from my job as a Solution Architect at Spark, NZ’s largest telecommunications provider.  I got shots for Yellow Fever and Hepatitis A.  I exchanged NZ$700 for US$500 to take into the country with me.  We flew out on 1st October.  I was pumped and ready to go.  In the immortal words of Bilbo Baggins, “I’m going on an Adventure!”

The first notable blessing which came our way was, on our flight from Perth to Johannesburg (the 2nd leg of our 3-leg trip), we got an upgrade (because of Uncle’s Platinum card) from Economy Class to Row #1!  I have never flown First Class before.  It is such a blessing.  There is so much more space to stretch out my 1.81cm frame.  Also, by virtue of uncle’s status, we were granted access to the South African Voyager Club lounge.  This afforded us access to the showers and sleeper unit.  I was greatly refreshed for the final leg of our journey.

We arrived 5pm Sunday local time, which was 6am Monday NZ time, after departing Saturday 2pm.  That’s a lot of travel.  I was exhausted and collapsed early into our accommodations.

Week 1

The first week was spent in the Ghana Evangelism Committee (an organisation uncle had created and initially chaired), splitting the databases and training the in-house technical staff.  Ghana is 13 hours behind New Zealand, which means Ghana is in line with GMT.  It also means that when I wake up at 6AM on Monday, it’s already 7PM in NZ.  This makes for some limited opportunity for communication with home.  However, mobile data is relatively cheap and the Internet is a modern marvel which makes face time possible.

As expected the days are hot, but at least I’m in an air-conditioned office.  The nights are hotter, because we only have a ceiling fan to keep us cool.  Needless to say, we are up early each morning because it’s too hot to stay in bed.  It is usually about 30.5 degrees Celsius first thing in the morning.

After breakfast, there’s time for a cold shower.  Rather than an imposition, this is a blessing.  It removes the sweat from the night.

For lunch, we go to the street markets and buy either fish and (yam) chips or chicken and (yam) chips.  For dinner, we pop next door to the office, and buy from the Portuguese fast-food restaurant with Western-style food.  Here, it is called Barcello’s.  In New Zealand we would recognize it as Nando’s.  We are eating out each day, because it is cheaper than buying Western style groceries, and the facilities back at the Guest House are not conducive to cooking a meal.

Once a week, we wash our clothes in the bucket in the shower.  We use soap powder that we brought with us.  Uncle lives very frugally.  He’s worked out the best systems for maximising his return on investment.

We are usually tired by 8pm and there’s no telly here, so we end up listening to BBC World Service on our separate radios, and retiring early.

Week 2

We started meeting heads of churches.  I’m so impressed with Uncle’s ability to pick up the phone, dial a Director or Moderator or Chairman to request a meeting, and getting a positive response.  By the end of this week, we had meetings with:

  • General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost
  • Personal assistant to the President and General Secretary of the Apostolic Church of Ghana
  • Moderator of the Global Evangelical Church
  • Moderator, Director Church Life and Nurture & Clerk of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana
  • Presiding Bishop and his head office staff of the Methodist Church of Ghana

With each, we have attempted to schedule a follow-up session with their IT department, in order to take possession of their data, and give them some in-depth training on its usage.  But first, it was necessary to meet with the leadership and really get them on-board with the data.  I prepared a brief 8-slide presentation, which Ross presents skilfully.  Depending on the audience, he can make the presentation last 15 minutes to 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

Uncle feels it is important to get the leadership’s buy-in first.  He also feels it necessary to trot me along for this initial meeting, and espouses my various qualifications and credentials.  He builds me up, to lend credibility to the training and to the data.  Although the data really does speak for itself.  He has some old printed reports to go along with it, but the latest stuff is only available in soft copy.

On weekend, we took the opportunity to travel up to Kumasi.  There, uncle introduced me to the Christian School (now University) he established in 1969.  Christian Service University College (CSUC) in Kumasi is a Presbyterian school.  It houses 600 students and has a campus now of 2000.  The Featured Image (above) shows uncle shaking hands with his former gatekeeper: a fierce, but gracious, Fra-Fra man.  Apparently, it is well-known that this tribe makes the best security.  Uncle told stories of having to chase of thieves in the old days, in the middle of the night.

Week 3

This is a typical example of how I conducted the in-depth training.  It was in a large board-room with projector, and 3 techies, with one laptop.  So, I plugged into the projector and demo-ed their database, while the senior guy with the laptop, mirrored my activities.  In this way, I trained them how to create their own queries on the data.  We spent half a day with them.  They fed us a lovely lunch of rice, fish & vegetables.

We ended up training the following groups:

Date Group Name Church Number of Participants
11/10/2016 Peter & Martin Ghana Evangelism Committee 2
14/10/2016 Beatrice & Richmond Global Evangelical Church 2
17/10/2016 Hulda & Vivian Ghana Evangelism Committee 2
18/10/2016 Jeremiah, Emmanuel & Manasseh Apostolic Church of Ghana 3
19/10/2016 Statistics Department Methodist Church 4
20/10/2016 Daniel & Eric Church of Pentecost 2
20/10/2016 IT Department Ghana Baptist Convention 4
20/10/2016 IT Department Hope Foundation Church 1
21/10/2016 Data Managers Presbyterian Church 8
21/10/2016 League of Non-Aligned Denominations Globeserve 3
21/10/2016 LONAD Bread Of Life Mission 1
21/10/2016 LONAD Full Stature Mission 1
21/10/2016 LONAD Restoration Church 2
21/10/2016 LONAD Community Churches 1
21/10/2016 LONAD Southern Baptists 3
Total 15 39

 

I must admit, by the time we got to the last few sessions, Uncle and I had quite an impressive repertoire worked out.  He presented the overview of the survey, what it contains and the types of statistics that they can get out of it.  Then I did a deep dive, showing them their individual church databases, the number of congregations they each had, and how to create Access queries for the very first time.  I took them right up to Grouping and Totalling.  From there, I showed them how to copy/paste into Excel and use Excel to pretty up the table, and finally to create a pie graph.  After that, I told them to expect a pay rise.  They laughed.

This was the exchange rate:

  • NZ$700 = US$500
  • US$100 = GHC$400
  • Therefore NZ$0.35 = GHC$1

In addition to meeting Peter in the office I also met, in Kumasi, Uncle Ross’s #1 Field worker.  His name is Martin Osei-Buabeng.  A mature gentleman, he’s been with uncle since the beginning and is a tireless worker.

Ghanaians are not shy of taking photos.  They were quite chuffed to be asked to be in our record of our little training programme.

Conclusion

This was a golden opportunity to use my secular skills to advance the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations, so that all pre-conditions are fulfilled, so that Christ may return, and we may all go home.

Advertisements

Toastmasters Speech #4

Project 4 – How to say it

Objectives:

  1. Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly.
    1. Write for the ear
      1. Short words
      2. Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs
  1. Be specific
  2. Vivid words
  1. Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas.
    1. Incorporate rhetorical devices
      1. Simile
      2. Metaphor
  • Alliteration
  1. Triads
  1. Use words economically
  1. Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words. Use correct grammar.
    1. Watch for jargon.
    2. Say it correctly
      1. Subject/verb agreement
      2. Misplaced modifiers
  • Misused pronouns

Working Title 1: What to do in the case of an emergency.

Working Title 2: In case of emergency, break glass.

Working Title 3: Break Glass!

Honorifics Mr. Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters & Guests, greetings!
Joke I was at a work Christmas party once.   I was drinking alcohol. Some of my work mates were shocked. They sidled up to me and breathlessly enquired, “James, I didn’t think you drank alcohol?” I dead-panned my response, “It’s not that I don’t drink alcohol. It’s just that I don’t pay for alcohol.”
Link Did you know that you demonstrate your true nature when faced with a crisis situation? In my case, at that time, I used to be cheeky and cheap. I believe I’ve matured since then.
Introduction Have you ever wondered what you would do if faced with a bomb threat? I never did, until it happened to me. It happened like this.

I was visiting Indonesia in July 2001. Remember, that was just 2 months before the attack on the World Trade Centre. I was on a two-week mission, to donate a PC to a Bible College and set up their computer network. While I was living on the premises, the local Muslims phoned in a bomb threat.   I suppose that the neighbours were fairly upset about the presence of a Christian College, despite it being there for over 20 years. Not a shining example of tolerance, was it?

I realised that I had only 3 options available to me:

·         Fight

·         Flight

·         Faith

1st Point By fight, I don’t me turning on the neighbours. What I mean is reacting to the situation in my own strength: going on a hunt to find the threatened bomb. Indeed, there were staff and students doing just that: out of their rooms, looking shocked, worried and concerned.

Imagine yourself in this situation.   It would be natural, as a Christian minority in a Muslim majority country, to be absolutely overcome with fear.   It would be like Jews in Nazi Germany.

I realised that my nice, safe, little country of New Zealand had not prepared me for this level of intimidation.   Despite the pressure I felt, something else in me rejected this option.

2nd Point The second option available to me was the Flight response. I could have left the Bible College and gone to stay in a nice, safe hotel, until my actual flight home. This would have meant rejecting the hospitality of my hosts. It might even have meant leaving behind my meagre possessions (I had brought at least a suitcase of clothes).

This could have been a perfectly reasonable course of action. It is no shame to escape a helpless situation. As Demosthenes said,

“Better to retreat and marshal your forces than to waste a glorious death in sure defeat.”

I realised at this point that there was no way to know for sure whether a bomb actually existed. If it did, there was no way to know for sure where it was in the school. And finally, if it went off, there was no way to know for sure how large would be the blast.

For all these reason, I chose the 3rd option.

3rd Point I decided to have faith in God.   If I died, I died. In the apostle Paul’s inspired letter to the Philippians, he writes “To live is [gain]; To die is gain.” Living, I get to enjoy time with friends and family.   Dying, I get to enjoy eternity with my Lord.

I chose not to live in fear.

I chose not to live with fear.

I chose to live without fear.

I chose to go to bed!

I didn’t feel particularly brave doing this act. I wasn’t deliberately setting out to set an example, or be some great hero, or even to obey my Lord. I was just tired, and wanted to go to bed. My upbringing had not prepared me to deal with this situation, so I was choosing to ignore it.

In the end, it was the right decision. There was no bomb. The threat was merely meant to instil terror.

Message Subsequent to September 11, the world has changed. We are more aware that there are physical forces who despise our way of life. We are more cautious.

But my hope is this: That when faced with the decision whether to fight the situation, or fly from it or exercise faith in the face of it, that I and you would choose to exercise faith more often.

This doesn’t mean refusing to fight injustice. As John Wesley said,

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.

This doesn’t mean ignoring every threat.

It does mean, weighing my options and trying to determine, what would Jesus do?

Conclusion I entitled today’s speech “Break Glass”. This was a reference to those fire switches besides the doors at public venues which state, “In case of emergency, break glass.” This is so that you can get to the switch and activate it. This is so that you can sound the alarm, and alert people to a serious situation. This is so that they may flee the fire.

But the glass is there for a reason.   It is there to protect the switch against being used casually or accidently. Because there are people who just want to watch the world run around in circles in a panic. It amuses them.

You and I have the opportunity to be that glass. In a world without faith, that only has the fight or flight response left, we get to show them a third way. We get to intercede on their behalf. We get to determine what’s a real fire and what’s an imagined fire.

Summary In summary, the lesson I want you to take away from my experience with the bomb threat is this simple: in order to determine whether a perceived threat is real or imagined, you have to read the BIBLE:

·         Beginners’s

·         Instructions

·         Before

·         Leaving

·         Earth

Thank you, Mr. Toastmaster.

What I learned on my holiday

Bishop Pompellier’s Printing Press

Bishop Pompellier's Printing Press at Russell.
Bishop Pompellier’s Printing Press at Russell.
# Expression Original Meaning Current Meaning
1 Skiving Off Cutting off the rough parts of the leather, using a skive blade. The easiest step in the process. Doing less work than all the others.
2 A dab hand Dabbing the print type with ink using a daub made of a wooden cone in dog’s skin. Dog’s skin was used as it is the least porous leather. Someone who is expert at their chosen field of endeavour.
3 Upper case and lower case Capital letters were separated from their lower case equivalents and sorted into individual compartments, for easy selection. Still in use today.
4 Mind your p’s and q’s When you disassemble the type from the press into their individual compartments, you made sure not to mix up these two particular letters because they look so similar, especially since they are reversed. If you were sloppy and got this wrong, this was considered a breach of etiquette. Mind your manners – or get it right.
5 Cut to the chase The hole which is cut into the protective layer (known as the chase) into which the paper is placed, which lines up with where the letters are placed. Cut through all the dross and get to the meat of the story.
6 Coin a phrase Originally a French word “quoin” which were the small wedges of wood which were used to jam in and lodge all the other straight pieces of wood, which were the margins around the text. To invent and/or repeat a distinctly unique combination of words.
7 First impressions The first time a stencil is used, the first imprint of ink on paper, which is carefully scrutinised to ensure for quality. The first image of somebody, especially in a new situation, especially to evaluate them for suitability.
8 Keep at bay This printing press couldn’t afford to coat the outer edges of their books with gold in order to preserve the paper from attacks by insects, so they used Bay leaves instead. To keep something separated from something else.
9 Turn over a new leaf Take the bay leaf out of the book and put it into a new part of the book, so as to spread its scent around. To improve one’s outlook and/or behaviour.
Hamish Skivving Off
Hamish Skivving Off

Indonesia Mission Trip July 2001

I found these old hand-written notes of mine in a big tidy-up.  I thought I’d share them before I disposed of them.

Tues 17 July 2001

06:00 Woke up in Jakarta.  Watched “Rocky 2” on TV.
08:00 Had breakfast @ hotel
09:30 Were picked up from hotel by “Alex”
11:45 Flight from Jakarta to Solo.
Had Sate lunch in car & bought monitor for US$125.
Sam paid for everything, even the postage from the hotel.
16:00 Arrived @ the School.
Immediately, Augusta, James and me set up the new PC.  The hub’s going to be tricky.  Will deal to it later.

Must help Augusta with library tomorrow first, before he leaves on Friday.

18:00 Dinner with the Family, consisted of rice, fish, water cress, some Chile sauces, brown sugar cakes, iced tea, red bean buns, oranges & a rice soup.  Delicious!  Dinner is served promptly at 6pm.

Sam treats his servants very well, compared to South Africa, I told him.  Sam posed me a very tricky question: Alex wanted to give him a 22-carat gold right with Topaz.  Same wanted to know what I thought!  I asked him what he would like me to think.  In the end, he accepted, but told Alex bluntly that Sam is probably going to give it away.

20:50 Spent some time on-line, but couldn’t get web browsing to work.  I’m writing give myself something to do, to stay awake.

Wed 18 July 2001

A good day’s work.  Spent the morning with Augusta down @ the library, installing my library database & customising it for their use: adding a Students & Lecturer module so that borrowers can be viewed, selected by combo-box.

Each day is a culinary delight.  Authentic Indonesian cuisine 3x a day.  They are filling me up, no problems.

Sam tried to have me on about snake meat today, but Carol can’t lie.

Thu 19 July 2001

On the reverse of this sheet is the address of Paula Tyas in Solo.  Apparently it’s a main road, and easy to find.  Will go to visit her soon.

Got the server connected, but had to move it back into the main office space, out of Carol’s office.  Now her PC won’t connect, although it is making the hub light come on.  All other PCs are now sharing a server data folder & each other’s printers.

Actually managed to surf on-line tonight, and successfully connected to my emails.  Still can’t download though, which is a real blow, given the financial constraints of the telephone call.

Had problems sleeping last night, in that a mosquito got into my room.  Eventually ended up with a pillow over my head.

Finished reading a good book, I Talked with Spirits.  Am still reading Your Work Matters to God.

Managed to have a hot shower tonight.  It really is very pleasant here & very cheap to live.  If I could work here, I would live like a king.  Sam & Carol have already asked if I’m interested in Kalimantan.  I’ve said I’d like to see a job description.  I even offered to write one from Carol’s spoken word.

Got my 1st roll of film back & into a folder.  Wrote captions, too.

Friday 20 July 2001

Bought several things from Solo:

Description

Rp

NZ$

Pepsi Cola can

2,375

0.50

2 outfits for the boys (1xshirt, trousers & sandals each)

240,400

50.00

Matrix CD

39,000

9.00

2 x Babylon 5 CD

88,000

20.00

MS Visio (for home)

36,000

8.00

MS Office (for the STTT)

54,000

12.00

Dune CD

58,000

13.00

20m RJ45 LAN cable

108,000

24.00

Muppet

110,000

24.50

Fixed the cable: was a fleck of dust on one of the pins on the head of the cable.  James re-strung it for me.

Missed morning prayers again (05:30).  Went to eventing prayers instead.  Dragged James along as my interpreter (19:00 – 21:00).

No time to email this evening: Watched Part 1 (of 4) of Dune instead.

I’ve got Rp.333,000 left of my original Rp.1,200,000.  Am tossing up whether to buy VCD player vs. DVD player vs. VCD+MPEG3.

Trained:

  • Christine how to Mail Merge (Advanced)
  • Yehezkiel how to load Lotus & save as Excel.
  • Suhendar how to log in successfully to new LAN.
  • Carol how to view message size in Outlook.
  • Sam how to switch between laptop & external monitor.
  • Augusta (yesterday, he’s gone today) how to fix laptop stuck key.
  • James how to ping the server.

Augusta: nick-name is Utha.

Saturday 21 July 2001

Have just got back to my room to discover it’s sprung a leak.  This unseasonably wet weather has broken through my ceiling.  The time is 22:30, too late to bother the Family, so I’ll just make do with the spare bed.  The reason I’m so late to bed, is because I’ve been enjoying my Babylon 5: In the Beginning VCD.

This afternoon, spent the whole afternoon at the house of James, watching the rest of Dune on his large screen TV.  I prefer the solitude and control of a PC, myself.

Spent the morning with Carol, helping her to create her first ever Job Description, for the position of a Computer Trainer in Kalimantan.  She will use the template for more vacancies, too.  We soon realised that the position does not allow for a family to live there.  Pity, another opportunity bites the dust.  Lord, I have faith You have the perfect marriage of my skills, gifts & abilities with more opportunities like this one, here @ the School.

Amen.  I’m not disappointed.  A bit relieved, really.  I can continue focussing on Mana (Information Systems Limited – my own company) for another year.

Sunday 22 July 2001

Nice, slow start to the day.  Went to church @ 11:00am at the home of a Southern Baptist Missionary couple.  Of course, it was in Indonesian, but James again interpreted for me.  His boy Christopher is disruptive.  Glad my boys aren’t that bad.  This couple, the Masons, are shortly returning State-side on furlough.  Met their replacements: a 30-year veteran missionary in Indonesia, who has never gone native, apparently.

After lunch, I got a ride into Solo and got dropped off at YAKKUM Central Office.  (I had previously visited the Surakarta Office.)  Met Paula Tyas.  She took me to her village.  She took me to her village.  She showed me around (and I suspect showed me off).  I gave Rp.100,000 to their church.  I didn’t buy a Rp.200,000 chair!  The 1-hour trip took 2 hours to return, because their van is not as powerful as Sam’s.  But, we sang many Christian & non-Christian tunes to while away our time.

Upon my return, I discovered that someone had phoned in a bomb threat!  That was interesting, but we just carried on.  I’m glad my family are not here.

I watched Babylon 5: A Call to Arms on VCD.  I’ve never seen this one before!  I’m so happy to have it.

Good night, my love (22:07 Indonesian, 3:07am NZT).

Monday 23 July 2001

Straight after breakfast, drove back into Solo for a spot of shopping.  (First of all, got up for prayers @ 5:30am.)  Bought external modem so that can now move e-Vectra into Carol’s office, and she doesn’t lose her emails.  Picked up 20m cable for Sam’s office.  Will wire that up somehow tomorrow.  Have asked for the price of a PCMCIA LAN card for Sam’s laptop.

Went back to Mata Hari for more VCA’s, but couldn’t see anything I liked.  Think I cought a cold from the car’s air conditioning, blowing down on my forehead.  Tried to have a sleep after lunch.  Managed to sleep in the car on the way back to School.

Watched my Matrix VCD.  Nothing much else left to do.  Everything’s in place.  Sill no-one around the office for me to help.  Gotta remember to wear trousers around the office, to help maintain the professional image.

I just took a good look at myself in the mirror, and I’m getting fatter, not thinner, being here.  No exercise.  Not good.  Will fast tomorrow.

Bought post-cards in town.  Came home and wrote one for each member of my family.

Bought a CD with Exchange Server 2000, but unfortunately, it requires Windows 2000 Server, which it didn’t come with.  So, I cannot enable internal email and auto-dialup and automatic internet email forwarding and proxy server to enable all PCs (including Sams laptop) to browse the web through Carol’s new external V.90, 56kb modem.  I was looking forward to doing all that, but perhaps it is not meant to be.  After all, the “Amazing Networking” CD on cost Rp17,500 (NZ$4.00!).

Tues 24 July 2001

Skipped prayers & breakfast.  Helped Carol with various, small computer-related problems.  Started new database for Suhendar Ong, to receipt Students fees.  Over-sought (over-saw?) installation of new cable from the hub to Sam’s office.  Went to Solo.  Bought MS Windows 2000 Server.  Bought more VCD’s.

Came back.  Watched Star Gate.

Emailed Russell, Steve & Fiona.

Paula rang again.  Will try to see her again.  Thursday @ 10:00am @ YAKKUM Office.

Fasted lunch.  I’m still fat.

Wed 25 Jul

Sam went away.  7 hours East.  Ministry.  I was sad to see him go.

Email from my wife cheered me up.

Completed data entry & 1 report for Suhendar’s DB.  Will need to train him on it tomorrow, and adjust the report for the pre-printed line-form paper, when it arrives.

Visited Ambon Children’s Refuge.  Met Jimmy.  He told me his testimony.  Very powerful.  Watched his sister get murdered.  Jesus prevented him from attempting to take revenge.

Watched:

  • “SG” with Carol.
  • “Analyze This” by myself in the office.
  • “Unbreakable” until mid-night

I have decided that since I have finished all my pre-set work, I am therefore on holiday.

Thu 26 Jul

Work up late for breakfast (not to mention, prayers @ 5:30).

I was going to help Christine with some computer questions she had, but instead I took the opportunity to catch a ride into Solo, with Betty & Nocke.  They went to pay the rent on the 3 children’s homes.  I went to see Paula Tyas for the last time at YAKKUM.  She said we couldn’t go to see Rusdiyanto because the situation over in Kartasura was too dangerous for her.

So, I helped a few people with a few computer problems.  I really could make a huge profit and live like a king in this country with my training, skills & knowledge.  Lord, what is your plan for me?

Had lunch, visited another Ambon Children’s home, then back to the School.  Another lunch awaited me.  James was back (he had gone with Sam, but wasn’t needed, so got sent back).

I wrote some more for Suhendar’s DB.  Had a shower.  Had dinner, this time with Carol (first time together at a meal today, unusual).  After dinner, I watched some VCDs with James:

  • Enemy of the State (review)
  • The Waterboy (view)

Fri 27 July

Woke @ 6:30am.  Missed prayer meeting, but in time for breakfast this time.  Worked a little bit in the office.  Decided didn’t have enough time to complete Suhendar’s database.  James came and took me to the gardens next door.  Paid Rp2,000 each (US$0.20 = NZ$0.50).  it was worth about that much.  Not much to see nor do.  It’s a picnic spot, with some really grotty chldren’s swings and stuff.  They were emptying the pool, which looked unhygienic anyway.

Went back to my room to read.  Some more Bible.  Nearly finished my textbook, too.  Will finish it tonight.  Had lunch.  After lunch, had a nap.  Woke up at 3pm.  Jimmy was here to take me to the waterfall, as arranged 2 days ago.  The walk down took me past a line of trees, from which monkeys were freely roaming onto human habitats.  I didn’t realise, it cost Jimmy Rp3,000 x 4 people.  He wouldn’t let me pay him back.  He said he wanted to bless me.  The four people were me, Jimmy, Wawan (the bus driver from yesterday) and Sam (Nocke’s youngest son).  It was a big trek back up the stairs after my swim.

Helped Carol with some more computer, then it was dinner time.  I said grace.  “Puji Tuhan, Terimah kesih okuna mekanan.  Amen.”

After dinner, James came around one last time, to watch “The X-Men” on VCD.  He had a special limited edition.  Extra scenes.  Glad I’ve seen it.  Glad I didn’t go to the movies.  Wrote & sent email.

Good night.

Ages 20 to 40

Year 1988
Age 20
Sport Karate
Address The Terrace, Wellington
Education Victoria University, BCA year 2
Religion Zen Buddhist
Employment Housing Corporation, Accounting Bursar
Comment At home for holidays with university buddy Henri from Lebanon.
Year 1989
Age 21
Sport Karate
Address The Terrace & McAlpine Avenue, Wellington
Education Victoria University, BCA year 3
Religion Zen Buddhist
Employment Housing Corporation, Accounting Bursar
Comment Met Fiona for the first time. 
img-601195743-0003 Year 1990
Age 22
Sport Fencing
Address Matai Road, Hataitai, Wellington
Education Victoria University, BCA Makeup Year
Employment Housing Corporation, Systems Administrator
Religion Zen Buddhist
Comment Black and White Party
Year 1991
Age 23
Sport Parachute Jump
Address Rolleston Street, Mount Cook, Wellington
Education Wairarapa Parachute Club
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Zen Buddhist
Comment I look like my brother John in this shot!
Year 1992
Age 24
Sport None
Address Thurleigh Grove, Karori, Wellington
Education Onslow College, School Certificate Maori
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Baptist
Comment With Fiona’s little friend Tony at Johnsonville McDonald’s.
Year 1993
Age 25
Sport Skiing
Address Thurleigh Grove, Karori, Wellington
Education Bible College of NZ, Certificate of Biblical Studies
Dean Sherman of YWAM, Relating Between the Sexes
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment Snow Warrior!
Year 1994
Age 26
Sport None
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education Elim Cross Cultural Ministry Training, Perspectives A
OAC Ministries, Operation Jerusalem
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment

Got married!  Honeymoon in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia. 
Visited Hong Kong and China in November.

Year 1995
Age 27
Sport None
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education ECCMT, Perspectives Part B
Married For Life
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment Wedded bliss!
Year 1996
Age 28
Sport None
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education

Elim Ministry Training, Internship. 
Microsoft Certified Professional, Access 2.0

Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment The wedding of our good friends John & Rebecca Kapa.
Year 1997
Age 29
Sport Dodging Bullets
Address Dr Vander Merwe Ave, Montana Park, Pretoria, South Africa
Education Elim Ministry Training, Missionary
Employment African Network Evangelism Task, Missionary
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment Birth of Tane Ratapu Hippolite.
Year 1998
Age 30
Sport None
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education Microsoft Certified Professional, Windows 95
Parents Inc, Parenting Toolbox 1
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment Home from mission.
Year 1999
Age 31
Sport None
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education Microsoft Certified Professional, VB 5.0 & Access 95
Brian Tamaki of Lake City Church, Spiritual Warfare
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment Birth of Hamish Kirk Hippolite.
Year 2000
Age 32
Sport Playing with the kids.
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education Microsoft Certified Professional, Solution Architect
Parents Inc, Parenting Toolbox 2
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment At Botanical Gardens, in September?!?!?
Year 2001
Age 33
Sport Biking
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education Microsoft Certified Professional, VB 6.0 & SQL 7.0
John Walton of AOG, Penetration Evangelism
Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment

Birth of Aimee Joyce Hippolite.
Mission to Indonesia to deliver/setup a fast PC at a Bible College.

Year 2002
Age 34
Sport Biking
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education

Microsoft Certified Professional, Windows 2000 & SQL DBA
Jeannie Knott of Elim Church, The Power of One

Employment Systems Consultant, Mana Information Systems Limited
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment Family man!
Year 2003
Age 35
Sport Biking
Address Glenwood Grove, Woodridge, Wellington
Education Microsoft Certified Trainer
Employment EFTPOS NZ, Database Analyst/Programmer
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment I was at the world premiere of LOTR:ROTK.  I had a full beard and was dressed as a centurion for our company Christmas party.
Year 2004
Age 36
Sport Biking
Address Maracas Crescent, Grenada Village, Wellington
Education NZ Fire Service, Fire Extinguisher & Evacuation
Employment EFTPOS NZ, Database Analyst/Programmer
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment Te Whanau Hippolite
Year 2005
Age 37
Sport Bike Pencarrow (18km)
Address Maracas Crescent, Grenada Village, Wellington
Education Microsoft Certified Professional, VB.NET (Windows)
Employment Telecom NZ, Senior Developer
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment At home with Hamish.
Year 2006
Age 38
Sport None
Address Maracas Crescent, Grenada Village, Wellington
Education Wellington Free Ambulance, First Aid
Microsoft Certified Professional, VB.NET (Web)
Employment Telecom NZ, Senior Developer
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment At Russell’s 50th birthday party.
Year 2007
Age 39
Sport None
Address Maracas Crescent, Grenada Village, Wellington
Education Microsoft Certified Professional, .NET Framework 2.0
Elim Church, Ancient Paths 1
Employment Telecom NZ, Senior Developer
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment With our very good friends the Cowans and the Foleys.
Year 2008
Age 40
Sport Bike the Bays (32km)
Address Maracas Crescent, Grenada Village, Wellington
Education

Parents Inc, Parenting Toolbox 3
Microsoft Certified Professional, SQL 2005
Elim Church, Ancient Paths 2

Employment Telecom NZ, Senior Developer
Religion Christian – Pentecostal
Comment Must be an even-numbered year.  No moustache.

Christchurch Holiday in January

In January, we all went to Christchurch for a holiday.  Here are Hamish and Aimee at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum.

AirForce1AirForce2

Here are Aimee and Fiona out and about.

Fiona1

Here are our cousins Kathryn and Lucas.

Kathryn3Lucas3

Nana and Pops came up from Otautau for a visit.

Pops

Here is Tane, clowning around with Dad’s cellphone.

Tane