This past week Dad and Mum slept in Ian and Nadia’s house (they were away with their visitors), though they still spent a lot of time with us, and had all their evening meals with us. So Mum got a break from cooking, but she made up for it with helping me with housework.
Unfortunately Julie (our house help) has still not returned. She is still at her village recuperating. But she is getting better we are told (from her family members who periodically come to Lae), something we have been praying for and are very thankful for. I am missing her here too, that’s for sure, not just for her work (though that too!) but also for her company (even though she is rather quiet, she is pleasant to have around!). I can’t get over how hard it is to keep this house looking respectable without her ... have I ever mentioned how dirty this house gets? And before you say, “yeah right my house gets filthy too,” let me tell you that our entire downstairs is covered only by white (yes, white!!) tiles - and with our children constantly running in and out of the house on bare feet through either one of two things - mud or dust- you can just imagine what the floor looks like! Okay, enough complaining, no I am not really complaining, I am just reminding myself not to take for granted the wonderful help I have when Julie is in the house. She is wonderful and I appreciate her. It sure frees up my time a bit to do other things like preparing for the literacy class or the like, and it just helps to keep me sane! And it gives her a steady income, which many people in this country lack.
Anyway, back to the goodbye thing. I thought I would just post some more pictures in memory of our wonderful time with Dad and Mum (they come from Mum's camera). They told us they enjoyed their time here, and I think I believe them. They both showed a lot of interest in the work we do here, and also in the people we minister to as well. They received a number of bilums (bags "knitted" by the ladies here). As we left today they even got to see a small part of a cultural show, and Dad and Mum even went on a photo with a group of people dressed in traditional Chimbu dress. Not a bad way to finish off their visit with us!
The older two girls were at school when we went to the airport, but Ashlyn was with us. She did not really want to give Opa and Oma big hugs as they left. Didn't really sink in, I think, that they were actually going. But as they disappeared from sight, she turned to me calling their names and then came to me for a hug saying, "But, my (I) like Opa and Oma! But, my (I)like Opa and Oma!", as if to say that she was upset that they were gone. And it was a bit sad for all of us - always a bit of an anti-climax when visitors leave - but we are thankful for the time we had with them, including the work they helped us with (Dad with a lot of "handy-man" kind of stuff, and Mum with my housework!). We pray they have a safe trip back home!
Shiana (and Jonathan pictured) went with Opa and Oma and Dad to Biwat fellowship night
Opa and Shiana with Judy (our "host" at Ukarumpa, and also a great friend from our POC training in Madang)
As per usual, Kirilee found a baby - when we visited our "old" village in Madang
At the markets - anyone want to buy some vegies??