Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Zensens visit Bonaire

George and Joan Zensen, accompanied by their youngest offspring and two of their numerous grand- offspring, have been exploring their old stomping grounds here on Bonaire for the last couple weeks.

I won't name names here on the big bad Internet, 'cause family tree type relationships are still used all too often for identity verification purposes. Wouldn't want to assist any would be identity thieves.

You can click the picture to see it bigger.Posted by Hello

We had a fun pizza feed and astronomy session with them.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Happy Easter

For some people Maundy Thursday kicks off the Easter weekend. I've always wondered what that ment, but learned a little about it today from the Slice of Infinity daily devotional email from the Ravi Zacarias ministry.

Here's an excerpt; Today we observe Maundy Thursday. We remember both Jesus's intentional act of love in washing his disciples' feet and his mandate ("Maundy" is the Middle English for "mandate") to "love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34).

Sandra was at one of the supermarkets yesterday and noticed that they were closed on Good Friday and on Easter Monday, but open on Easter Sunday!

On Sunday, we'll be having a sunrise service on Seroe Largu and an international breakfast at the church before the regular morning service. All of our food fests here have an international "flavor" due to the cross section of nationalities and cultures represented.

Most years, I get in a number of long road bike rides over the Easter weekend, because there aren't many cars on the roads. But the tradewinds have been "nuking" here the last couple days. That makes bike riding pretty difficult. A 25 to 30 mph. wind can pretty much stop you dead in your tracks when you swing into it on your bike. I've been riding my mtn. bike in the hills north of us the last few days. The hills block the wind some and my speeds are pretty low anyway.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Awana Grand Prix

After two Saturday car construction workshops, we held the Awana Grand Prix this past Saturday. Lots of kids and parents came and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time.

More pix of the cars, kids, and race action are on my club photo site. The link will take you to the thumbnails page. Clicking on a thumbnail will get you a bigger picture. Clicking on the bigger picture will get you the full 800x600 image.
Photos from the workshops are at the top of the page, followed by photos from the Grand Prix.

We sang some of the kids favorite songs at the start of the meeting. You can click on these pictures to see them bigger.

Sandra's elephant and my Toblerone bar car can be seen in this shot of the leaders' cars. Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Spring has Sprung - New Life in more ways than one

According to Sky and Telescope dot com, Spring arrived at 7:33 am. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday! Does it feel like spring where you live? We can sure tell here on Bonaire.

The heavy rains have stopped, the tradewinds are blowing, and the sun is getting noticeably hotter. I guess those massless photons really do have momentum. One can almost feel the pressure when one steps from the shade into the direct Bonaire sun. Actually, that's not how it really works, but it is what pops into my mind when I step out into the sun without my official missionary pith helmet.

The seasonal changes also mean that there is some dust in the air, so the night sky is not the deep inky black that we've enjoyed for the last few months. But it is still fun to go out after dark and check out the stars, planets, satellites, etc. We saw a mind boggling "fizzy" meteor a week or so ago.

I just came across a letter that was written to one of our cooperating broadcasters, from a fellow stargazer living in a Persian Gulf state. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Darkness can take many forms, as can new life in the Spring.

One night a while ago when I was looking into the heavens and praying to God, my heart was enlightened when I heard your radio program that talked about the true love of God. This was the exact thing that my spirit was searching for. I did not even know that was what I longed for.

For 24 years I was living in darkness and I wasted my life in anger and hatred. Emotionally I was depressed, so when I heard you message about love I could not believe it. Your program showed me that my cold empty heart needs Jesus. Why has no one told me about Jesus before? Now I say, "Dear Jesus, you are my precious one. Without you I am dying. Living Jesus Christ, I know I am a sinner and that you paid the sacrifice to pay for my sin. I accept you as my savior. Please come into my heart now and reveal your truth to me, oh Jesus."

After hearing your program, I went all over to find some christian literature but could not find any. I only found anti-christian literature. Finally I received a page from the Holy Bible from somebody and it brought me much joy. Now my only source of teaching is your program. I need your help. Please guide me and tell me how I can become a Christian and a servant for Jesus Christ. I pray that God will give you strength so you can continue to share the Gospel with us. My depression is gone. Jesus has healed me.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Kralendijk Waterfront

I shot this picture of beautiful downtown Kralendijk last week, when we flew to Curacao for some medical testing. Click on the picture to see it bigger. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bonaire Visitors

The Hixons were visiting here on Bonaire recently. It was good to see them and they had a great time tracking down all their friends here. But I didn't have my camera around at the right time, so there are no pix for the blog. grrr Posted by Hello

Janet Ludlam also came for a visit. She exercised good timing and was able to enjoy a food and fun night at the church. Here we see Sue Felix and Janet digging in.

You can click on the picture to get a better look at that yummy egg roll on Janet's plate.

Awana Update

We had our second Awana Grand Prix car building workshop last Saturday. Many of the cars were at that all important, "get as close to 5 oz. as possible" stage. The races and judging are this coming Saturday.Posted by Hello

You can click on the picture to see it bigger.
We drilled lots of holes and glued in lots of lead weights. I learned that glue-gun glue stays hot for a long time when one uses it to fill up a hole in a model car.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Antenna Testing

The tower painting is finished for now. We're thankful for perfect painting weather and for the safe completion of the first tower and part of a second one.

On Friday, we ran the transmitter at low power and took signal strength readings in a big circle around the antenna array. I would find our pre-determined test locations with a GPS receiver and Rich, Jon, and Bob took readings. Another Rich was inside with the transmitter and switched the antenna from North, to South, to Non-Directional; at each test spot. We took readings every five degrees around the circle.

Here is our intrepid crew out in the field. You can click on the picture to see the guys bigger.
This spot was under water a couple months ago!

We had to snake our way through some brush to find the test spots, but fortunately, it was the non-thorny variety. We've gotten pretty scratched up on earlier ventures into the wilds of Bonaire. Posted by Hello

Monday, March 07, 2005

AWANA Grand Prix

It's Awana Grand Prix season again here on Bonaire. It is a three week event, with model car building workshops for two saturdays and then the actual races on the third saturday.

We had the first car construction workshop with the kids on Saturday.

The kids are cute and have a great time designing and working on their cars. Posted by Hello

We had some parents come with their kids this year, which is a nice change. More parents will join us on race day.

I've posted lots more pictures on my club photo site. You can click the pictures here as well as the ones on club photo to see them bigger.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Bonaire Electricity Update

The WEB power plant by our house has a bunch of new generators to fill in for the ones that burned up on Feb. 7. You can see them in the containers in the foreground.

According to the Bonaire Reporter, each of the units can generate a megawatt. Four of the units are running now, and we can hear them quite clearly from our house. But the are running smoothly and are nowhere near as obnoxious as the big old ones the burned up.

There should be enough power now, to meet Bonaire's peak demand, so hopefully scheduled power outages will be a thing of the past. These rented generators, from, will be used until the main power plant can be repaired.

The Bonaire Reporter also reported that one of the burned diesels has been written off as a total loss by the insurance company, but that the second one should be usable after extensive repairs. Posted by Hello

We certainly enjoyed the peace and quiet while the plant was out of operation, but appreciate the hard work that WEB has done to restore full power to the island.

I have set up our TV room / home theater with a third-octave sound analyzer (one of the perks of being a recording engineer) and there used to be a HUGE peak of ambient noise from the power plant at 45 to 50 hz. It actually caused the cement walls to vibrate in one of our rooms, where some sort of resonance was set up. It also pretty much drowned out the subwoofer unless we turned it waaaaay up, which hurt our ears.

These new generators produce background noise centered at about 90 hz and "only" 18 dB above the sound level for the rest of the spectrum. That is still a lot of bass energy, but it is a big improvement, and we are hearing the soudtrack of movies as never before. We just watched The Hunt for Red October, which has lots of low frequency "ambiance" inside the subs etc.

Brazil Monitoring Trip

A TWR team with members from the US, Europe and South America is in the Amazon region of Brazil right now. They'll be traveling around and checking the signal strength of our broadcasts.

They are especially interested in the signal in the north west corner of the Amazon area, because that is were the Ticuna tribal group is located. We hope to begin broadcasting to them soon.

We'll be transmitting test broadcasts between midnight and 3 am, in addition to our regularly scheduled broadcasts from 6 pm to midnight and from 3 am to 8:15 am. The first test is tonight and they will continue until Thursday morning.

Please remember this test and the soon to be sleep deprived team in your prayers.
Thank you.

New Improved Comments Feature

Blogger has recently improved the way the comments feature works. So if you've tried to leave a comment on my blog in the past, and found it to be too much hassel, it might be better now.