World War II Finds

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Jul 092016

Last weekend while visiting a craft market, a man was selling World War II relics. It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything like this being sold, but this man had quite a few items. There was a canteen, two mess trays and assorted bottles.

We think this is a Japanese helmet:

And a dog tag. I’m not sure this is complete – so it might be one that was thrown away:

This knife appears to be WW I vintage. It would be interesting to know how it got here!

And a US helmet?

And this little treasure is one we couldn’t resist buying. It appears to be the fuel tank ID plate from a Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat fighter plane.

And for a friend, we purchased this WW II Coke bottle from 1944. Both green bottles and clear ones like this can be found here. Through an internet search we discovered that the clear bottles were bottled for the US military. I wonder who downed this Coke?

World War II artifacts are protected by the Solomon Islands Government and we will need to get a permit to take the bottle and fuel tank ID tag out of the country.

 Posted by at 3:08 pm

Christmas 2015 News

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Dec 152015

Christmas is fast approaching and we are grateful for the chance to be with our girls this year.

A pdf of our latest newsletter can be downloaded by clicking on the following link: Matzke Messenger – December 2015

Please let us know if you have any trouble reading the file.

Merry Christmas!

Tim and Martha

 Posted by at 9:01 pm

A Visit and an Anniversary

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May 142015
 Posted by at 12:18 am
Mar 142015

Tim was able to get a local SIM card and call me this afternoon. It was good to get more of the story.

On Friday night:
Tim and our colleagues didn’t get much sleep as they were awake working on sweeping water out of the three story cement block apartment building which is owned by our organization. A 2×4 flew through the window of an unoccupied bedroom causing lots of water to blow into the room.

The rain and winds caused rain water to push water through the frames of sliding glass windows and doors. He said there was water on the floor all night that they worked on sweeping out of the building.

One of the unoccupied buildings owned by the group there lost its roof.

The airport terminal building suffered some roof damage and broken windows. An Australian military plane was able to land today with relief supplies and assessment team. Before commercial flights are able to come in again, the airport tarmac and electronic controls will need to be checked.

Tim is doing fine. I asked him if he thought it was the scariest thing he ever lived through and he said – ‘no’. They never feared for their lives and he thought being close to a tornado would be scarier. The one thing he noted was that the wind was so strong and it went on and on and on making for a long night.

The next step is waiting for the airport to reopen and a flight from Vanuatu to the Solomon Islands. The next scheduled flight is on Wednesday – if they are flying by that time.

Tim promises pictures and more stories when he gets home and can post them. They are still without internet.

Thanks again for your prayers.

 Posted by at 11:18 pm

A short phone call

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Mar 142015

This morning I called Solomon Airlines to ask if Tim’s flight would be coming in from Vanuatu. I was surprised when they said it was due in around 1 pm.

A while later I received a phone call from Tim. He is fine and he was letting me know that the airport in Port Vila (Vanuatu) is not open so he won’t be coming today. At this point we have no idea how soon he will be able to get home.

I’ve seen tweets about Australia and New Zealand sending it aid today, so maybe military flights will start to get into the country.

While we wait, I am thankful Tim is ok and trust that he will be here sometime this week.

 Posted by at 6:34 pm
Mar 132015

This week, Tim started his journey back to the Solomon Islands with a stop in Vanuatu – the country to the southeast of the Solomon Islands for a meeting. When he booked his tickets, he had a choice of a half a day in Port Vila, the capital city, or five days. Since he wasn’t sure the half day was going to be enough, he opted for the five days. He is scheduled to return to the Solomons tomorrow afternoon.

However, a powerful storm, Cyclone Pam, has been working its way across the Pacific. Earlier this week we were watching it as it was in Solomon Islands waters, but it mostly dumped a lot of rain and strong winds. It did cause damage in the far east of the country on the islands of Tikopia and Anuta.

“Pam” continued it’s path to the southeast and yesterday hit Vanuatu. On Friday night, it came through Port Vila. I was actually on a Skype chat on Friday evening with Tim until the power/communications system went down. Tim warned me that it was likely we would lose communication when the power grid either was taken off line for safety reasons or the storm brought it down, so I wasn’t too surprised.

You can google or tweet ‘Cyclone Pam Vanuatu’ and see that it has caused serious damage to the country. There are deaths reported in some areas and lots of damage.

Tim is staying in a cement block building owned my our organization. In preparation for the oncoming storm, the windows were taped to help prevent breaking windows and flying glass.

I haven’t received any updates from Tim but he warned me last night that it might be likely that I wouldn’t get any updates until he arrives back here in the Solomon due to the power and communication lines being down for several days.

Of course I would be happy to hear from Tim, but I am assuming that he is fine since he was in a strong building. My heart goes out to the people of Vanuatu, many of whom, live in houses made of materials which would be very vulnerable to the winds and rains.

We’ll see if Tim gets in tomorrow as planned. I’ve read that countries in the region are standing by to fly in relief supplies so assume reopening the airport will be a high priority. But of course weather will play a part in when the airlines start flying again.

I’ve been looking online for more information and photos and videos are starting to be uploaded. I’ll post a link to a video of a drive through Port Vila this morning (Saturday).

Thank you for your prayers and concerns for Tim and please pray for the people of Vanuatu who will be affected by devastation of this record-breaking storm for sometime.

 Posted by at 8:58 pm