A visit to Sinasuu

When the opportunity came up to travel to Malaita Island with my friend, Priscilla, I jumped at the chance. Priscilla is the National Coordinator of the Literacy Association of the Solomon Islands (LASI) and she was going with some colleagues to visit Sinasuu Village, where LASI has had a successful literacy program.

In addition to the visitors from LASI and COESI (Coalition for Education Solomon Islands), the village was preparing for the arrival of the Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners (within the British Commonwealth, this is the equivalent to the position of Ambassador) the next day. 

The successful Sinasuu Village Literacy Program was originally designed to meet the needs of illiterate adults, but kids started coming to classes as well. The nearest school is 2 kilometres (1.25 miles) away, so it was too far for young children to walk. By the time they were old enough to walk to school, they had already missed the foundational years of kindergarten and first grade, so many never went to school at all.

LASI helped the community start a preschool program. The community built a classroom from local materials and the kids were able to attend class. But the building is small and there are a lot of kids in the village. 

Australia and New Zealand agreed to help fund a permanent school building and that is why they were coming to visit the village. 

LASI and COESI agreed to help provide a curriculum for the kids that was appropriate for their age, in their own Kwaio language, that would be culturally appropriate. They were able to find funding to cover the costs of curriculum development, teaching materials and teacher training. 

As you can imagine, the village is excited to be getting a school building and program which will help educate their kids right in their own village and in their own language. 

We are pleased that LASI and COESI have asked SITAG (Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group) to write the curriculum and Tim and I are excited to take this on. Martha having seen the local situation will certainly make writing the job easier. 

We feel excited and honored to serve the people of Sinasuu and help develop a curriculum that we hope will be helpful to other communities around the country.


Savo Day Trip

A Day Trip to Savo

On May 30th, 2021, we were invited to Savo Island to attend a meeting of the Savosavo Bible Translation Committee. It was a full day and a blessing to reconnect with our Savo Friends! 

On Sunday morning, we drove west from Honiara along the Guadalcanal coast to a place where we met the fiberglass boat with outboard motor, whose driver took us across to the island. After about 30 minutes we arrived on the island – slightly damp from the fine rain that was falling, but thankful for smooth seas. 

Francis, the driver, skirted along the coast of the island hoping for a chance to see some dolphins which are often at play, but there were none to be seen. The boat continued around the island to Kaogele Village.

 Once we arrived, the boat cruised past the beach and we circled around in the sea for a while, because the village was not quite ready for our arrival. It felt a bit like a plane circling an airport waiting for clearance  to land! 

Ah, but it was all worth the wait when we finally pulled onto the beach. You can watch the video here: Welcome  to Kaogele Village

It was fun to see people whom we had met on other trips to Savo, as well as some new faces. We were served tea & coffee, donuts and ‘pudding’ – a local food made from coconut milk and cassava (not at all like American ‘pudding’).

A couple of months ago, we asked people to pray for James, the chairman of the Bible translation committee. Here he is pictured with his wife, Sarah.  James asked us to thank everyone who prayed for the boil on his leg. He is doing much better, although his leg is not entirely healed.  So please continue to pray for him.  

Lucy and her supportive parents

One person we were eager to meet was Lucy. She is from Kaogele Village and is currently attending classes at a Bible school here in Honiara. She is receiving high marks in grammar and will be taking more courses because she is interested in getting involved in Savosavo Bible translation. Lucy’s mother grows peanuts, which she sells in the market in order to pay for Lucy’s tuition.

Savo Island

Savo Island with Kaogele Village circled

There were about 70 people who came to the meeting – which was really encouraging. Unfortunately, only the east side of the island was represented. We hope there will be people from all the villages at the next meeting, scheduled for July 10-11. The topic of the next meeting be choosing the Savosavo alphabet. This will be an important first step for the Savo community.

We are excited to serve the people of Savo as they seek to translate God’s Word!

Below are some more photos from our day on Savo:




Mr. MacGyver’s Tuna Patties

Chili Tuna Patties

We have a number of cans of locally produced canned tuna with chilies. Today, Mr. MacGyver crushed up a package of Beef Biscuits, mixed in a can of chili tuna, chopped green onions, some milk powder and 2 eggs. 

He made the mixture into patties and fried them on the raclette. We enjoyed the patties along with fruit smoothies. It made for another healthy and delicious meal from our limited pantry.


Mr. MacGyver Makes Egg Salad

In our last grocery order, we asked for some more eggs. Looking for an alternative to making omelettes on the raclette, we have experimented with making hard boiled eggs.

Before our arrival, our colleagues brought down a French press so we could make coffee in the room. Fortunately, they sent down a very nice stainless steel insulated press and it turns out, it’s pretty useful for other things besides coffee.

Tim boils water in our electric kettle and pours them over eggs he has placed in the bottom of the French press. He leaves the eggs in the hot water for about 15 minutes and they are hard boiled. In addition to eating hard boiled eggs, we have also made egg salad using guacamole instead of mayonnaise. Today we have good supply of green onions as well, so they were added. The egg salad spread on a cracker makes a very tasty lunch!


Mr. MacGyver Creates an Omelette!



Mr. & Mrs. MacGyver Become Trained

The table in the hallway where we collect meals and other items left for us

The table in the hallway where we collect meals and other items left for us

Mr. & Mrs. MacGyver Become Trained

When we first settled into our hotel room and quarantine, we weren’t sure how things worked. Soon we learned that if there was a knock at the door, we should grab our masks and  open the door. A masked staff member would stand at a distance and pass on information. 

Sometimes, the staff knocked at the door to let us know that we had a meal in a small styrofoam box on the table at the end of the hallway. So, we would walk down to the table, find the package with our room number and return to the room.  Very soon, the staff did not even stop to talk to us.  The just knocked on the door to let us know that something was on the table for us.

The table on which things are left for us, stands in a doorway to an outside patio area. The table normally blocks the opening to keep people from entering/exiting the corridor. 

When the staff arrive to deliver the food, they often move the table a bit, in order for them to come into the corridor and knock on doors. When they slide the table, its metal legs scrape against the tile floor with a screeching noise. 

It didn’t take us long to learn that when we heard the table moving, shortly afterward, there would be a knock on the door. 

By the end of the first week, we had learned that when we heard the scrape of the table, we should put on our mask and peek down the corridor to see if we were getting a meal. 

It was then that Tim realized we had been trained! Just like Pavlov’s dog – we hear the noise and go looking for food. Wow. It’s scary how easily we were trained!


Mrs. MacGyver Craves a Fruit Smoothie

Mr. & Mrs. MacGyver in Quarantine


Mrs. MacGyver Craves a Fruit Smoothie

Background: A fresh tropical fruit smoothie is a wonderful treat in the tropics and Mrs. MacGyver has been craving one!

The Problem: No blender

The Solution:

Our colleagues sent papaya and bananas to us. We peeled and cut up the fruit and placed it in a ziplock bag. Then we placed the bag in the freezer section of our small refrigerator overnight. 

The next day, we thawed the bag a little, smashed the icy fruit and scooped some into a tumbler. We added a little apple juice, stirred it in and we had a yummy fruit smoothie. 


Mrs. MacGyver Makes a Dustpan

Mr. & Mrs. MacGvyer in Quarantine 

Mrs. MacGvyer makes a Dustpan

Background: Because we are in quarantine and no one can enter our hotel room, we are not getting room service of any kind. 

Problem: Our floor was getting gritty and needed sweeping, but we didn’t have a broom. Several times we requested a broom and finally a broom, mop and bucket were delivered to our door. I was happy to sweep the floor, but alas, no dustpan was included in the delivery.

Solution: Mrs. MacGvyver took an empty cardboard cracker box, made some folds, a couple of cuts (with Tim’s trusty Leatherman) and formed a dustpan. We don’t have any tape (real MacGvyers would travel with duct tape!), but there were a few pieces of masking tape on our wall from posters that must have hung there at one point. The new dustpan works great!


Mr. MacGyver fixes the AC