Tuesday, February 27, 2007
To say it was emotional was an understatement.
We said goodbye (but not forever) to our friends and colleagues in Papua New Guinea.
Yes. We cried
Yes. It was emotionally draining.
Yes. I didn't want to go.
But go, we did. We flew to Port Moresby and then spent the evening with Zillar and her sister and tambu. It was special and memorable. Especially Z holding Maddy after a late night naked swim in the Gateway Hotel pool after eating pizza and salad.
We have so many special memories of PNG and our friends there, I know we will go back again. It is also necessary so then Madison can see his friends again and know how loved he was in his first six months. As they say in PNG, he is 'mange PNG' or as my husband says: "Made in PNG".
Pics: ADRA staff with Madison, Zillar holding Madison after a pool swim.
After Christmas, Madison and I flew up to Sydney for the 'Re-entry' program. That is the program for those who have returned home after living overseas (usually a developing country) for a period of time.
I confess to feeling tired and a little numb by this stage, and it all seemed like a lot of effort.
But I am so glad I went. It was a chance to reflect on the last four years - the highs, the lows, the unimportants... It was also fascinating to hear the other stories that weren't mine. Some were really positive, others were negative.
Madison was a darling and his big sister Leah was there to look after him too. We had fun with him and she was his official stylist on the 're-entry' tour (see pic).
I do confess to feeling a little more ready to start my life back in Australia and feel really positive about our time in PNG. The guys at Mission Institute did a really great job of looking after us and putting together and really relevant program.
A highlight for me was the last night as there was a re-dedication program and agape feast complete with a cross for prayer requests that we nailed to the tree. Both Leah and I were touched by the program and were in tears by the end. Leah had just lost a friend in a car crash that week and was still reeling from the shock and tragedy. It was a really special moment for me to share this with Leah and something I will remember always.
Madison's first Christmas was a blast. He was totally spoilt and got the biggest presents of all.
I am sure he won't remember it, but we will forever. It was very special as his first gift was from a PNG Santa! And when we arrived in Australia, it was the coldest Christmas Day in history (actually a white Christmas in some parts of Victoria). Oh, and Maddy was 7 months old on Christmas Day. That's important!
Pics above: Maddy with Esther's Son; me and Mad; enjoying his gift from Grandad and Nanny Buttery; Santa hat with Aunty Daisy; big wagon from Uncle Wayne and Aunty Glenda.