The past few days have been a time for reflection and reminiscing about my time here in PNG and the changes - outside, and within.
Personal growth has been immense and I hope that I have been able to teach others as much as I have learnt myself.
As I drive around at dusk, I see families gathering out the front of their homes after a hard day's work. The children come out to play in the cooler hours of the day. It is a social time now where many stories are shared. There is no hurry to go anywhere, or to do anything. Just a time to relax and reflect.
Apart from friendships made here, I think what I will miss the most is the priority that relationships have over everything else. It is more important to maintain that relationship than get that job done, or to help out where possible instead of rushing off and doing your own thing.
Sometimes I feel that Western Society as a whole is a little fast paced. Too fast to stop and enjoy the small things (which are really the big things) in life. I like that people stop to help you when you are stranded, or to pick up a heavy suitcase when it seems you can't. I like that strangers will smile and make time to kiss your baby and talk to you like a long lost friend. I will miss the focus on people, rather than the job at hand.
Talking doesn't even have to happen. Even just to sit and 'be'.
There are things that Western Society can learn from a Developing Country.
We just need to learn to find the right balance.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
It's high time I posted some recent shots of Madison and his strange sleeping habits. Mind you, most of it is too cute, and some a tad dangerous - but mostly entertaining.
We are starting to use those little seatbelts on his rocker now...
Above: Maddy in his "vintage" OshKosh (thanks to big sis Kell!); rolling over in the rocker; not scared of the dark (or making a mess on the sheets either).
On Monday, ADRA hosted its annual family day.
It was held at the Lae Botanical Gardens. The weather was hot, hot, hot! But we all had a great time enjoying volleyball, soccer and the yummy food.
It was also a time to say goodbye formally to my work colleagues which was sad. I tried hard not to cry when I said my farewell speech. I will always treasure the time I have spent working for ADRA and the many friends I have made. I will never forget it.
On a lighter note, Madison had a lovely time being passed around to all his special friends. It got so hot, we gave him a little 'waswas' under the tap and then he went "Commando" for the rest of the day! He enjoyed being a discoverer and played with our receptionist Jenny's pet puppy. We had to teach him not to pull the puppy's ears though!
I hope you enjoy the pics of the family day as much as we enjoyed attending.
Above: Bonifas with Madison and the puppy; Linda, Me, Lillie and Sandy; "Nambawan" with Maddy, Jeff, Alu and Lorraine.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
It's finally happened.
Madison has his first two teeth. They made their way through his bottom gums just last Monday and now they tap nicely on a glass when he is drinking.
They came with relatively little fuss, a lot of extra sleeping and just a few grizzles.
He is enjoying the new feel of the teeth as he is often pulling funny little faces as he discovers the foreign objects in his mouth. It is most entertaining to watch.
Maddy has also discovered that he can move - backwards. He gets himself into lots of corners and discovers he can't get out... but we are having to watch his every move now.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
This last weekend, we went to Port Moresby and visited Irupara, a coastal village about two hours from there. We had a wonderful time and had a chance to catch up with old friends Zillar and VJ, who we haven't seen for more than two years as they have been in Australia (we did a swap - they went to Adelaide - Zillar received a masters scholarship at Flinders).
Some of you may not be aware that Steve was born in Rabaul, PNG and so he has many wonderful memories here. VJ is one of his old friends and they spent much of their time during the weekend reminiscing about their childhood. It sounded like they had lots of great times together.
Madison had his first taste of Kulau (water from the young coconut) which he just loved (he drank two glasses), and he enjoyed thoroughly what village life had to offer.
We enjoyed swimming in the salty water which was cool and refreshing. We also had the opportunity to visit parents of another of Steve's old friends.
Now, we are going back to Australia, it will be the first of many goodbyes we will have to say. It was sad to leave our friends, but it is is great to know that the world is becoming a smaller place for us, and we know they aren't far away.
Above pictures: Zillar with Madison, Maddy enjoying a glass of kulau, Kym and Maddy at Irupara Village Church.