Saturday, September 30, 2006

ADRA family moments


When Madison and I returned to Papua New Guinea in August, the guys at my work (the Adventist Development & Relief Agency aka ADRA) put on a welcome party for Madison. It was a lovely gesture and it's needless to say he enjoyed all the attention. The staff at ADRA just love him and every morning he is swiped from my arms when I arrive at the office.

"Bubu" (Nana) Lillie always comments on his outfit for the day and he just loves her. Aunty Kisung sings to him and Aunty Linda plays fun games. The driver or security guard on duty gets him out of his car seat when I lug his things in. In fact, until he is starving hungry or asleep, I actually don't see him until then.

In fact, I am not greeted by "hello" anymore. The first thing is: "And where is Maddy?" He is truly the star of this show! He is getting totally spoiled by them, but I know that he is happy with his ADRA family, and they love spending a little time with him!

As most of you know we return to Australia permanently in December, and so I have been quite reflective of our 3 1/2 years here and of the many friendships made. Its these sorts of things that I know I will miss.

Someone else that Maddy will miss is Agnes. She also looks out for little Maddy when he is in the office. The picture above is one of Maddy, me and Agnes cutting our 'welcome home' cake.

By the way, Agnes has been with ADRA for the past 15 months. She is truly an inspiration and one smart lady who has just been promoted - from Project Accountant to Finance & Property Manager. I know she will do a great job in her new role.

Steve and I are starting to make plans for our departure and I am even reading a self-help book called "Re-entry" which (hopefully) will help me to adjust to life back in "Western" culture. Mind you, going home for 4 months this year was a jolly good start in the re-entry process! Believe it or not, upon returning to your home after living in another culture is almost as hard as adjusting when first arriving in a strange land. Re-entry is also called reverse culture shock. So, there you have it. More on this later!