But they are done now, so I am trying to catch up on those things that got left behind (don’t worry I did not neglect my main duties – we did eat, the washing did get done, the kids got to school and got helped with their homework, etc!)
I thought I would just post some pictures of Shiana’s party last Saturday. She had a craft party – actually kind of a card making party. I had made some examples and put little kits together for them to make their own, similar to mine but they could be a bit creative. Most of the kids hadn’t done anything quite like it before, not in anyway because they are underprivileged (some of them are far more wealthy than we are!!), but simply because Lae doesn’t have stores which sell that kind of stuff (nice papers, punches, stamps, etc, etc!). Thankfully, I still had some papers which I took from Canada for scrapbooking (but since then I have switched to digital scrapbooking), and then some things which have been sent to us, or I have bought in Australia. Just made me realise that we will be stocking up again on craft things next time we are in Australia, DV.
The rabbit birthday cake which Shiana requested. Thankfully a couple of months back I had seen licorice rolls in the store and bought them there and then knowing that Shiana's birthday was coming up. Sure enough I have not seen them in the store since, and they sure came in handy for this cake!!
Today was one of those frustrating (but not terrible by any means), “only-in-PNG”, days. This morning was just a beautiful morning of Bible Study and fellowship with the ladies. Although afterwards we found out that while we were having our Bible study, while we were calmly and peacefully studying the gospel, the occupants of a car were held up by men wielding guns, right outside the church (the same road as we travel to and from church every time) – this is broad daylight, and we had been on that road an hour before!! It is not for no reason that we constantly thank God for being kept safe, and that we fervently pray for our safety on the roads, and for the Lord to turn the hearts of these rascals. Just today I read in the paper (and saw a picture) of a whole gang in the highlands handing over their weapons to the police. They have become Christians and have realised the error of their ways (they have been terrorising and brutalising people travelling the roads for many years!), and have handed over their weapons. We pray that these turn-arounds are real and lasting and that many more may follow suit in this land. These kind of stories are a little unnerving, however, and sometimes I feel as if I am driving while looking over my shoulder all the time!
This afternoon started with a visit to the dentist. Actually, I went yesterday already, as a small chip had fallen off my tooth and was causing pain. The Philippino dentist who we usually visit was away. I called his office and the office girl said he was in the Philippines. When i asked her when he would be back I was told that she had no idea as he had not told her. Mmm.... that’s good for business! They referred me to another dentist (dentists are extremely rare in Lae) who happened to be a PNG national, a brother of a friend of ours.
So we ended up there. He was capable and very friendly, but he is lacking many resources ( no x-ray machine, for example), though he is trying to build up slowly, but starting a business has extra challenges here (with the cost of things). He had heard that the Philippino dentist (he knew him) had left and may not becoming back, because he had experienced a number of armed hold ups in a row in his dental clinic, and was not coping too well with the stress, understandably!
Well anyway, I had to go back to the dentist this afternoon to finish off my filling, and we decided it was about time the girls had a check-up. So I picked them up after school and off we went for our 2:45 appointment. When we arrived he was not there (he had decided to go to the store and would be back shortly). That was fine by us, we are used to that kind of thing here. He arrived about 15 minutes later, and had just gone into his room when suddenly there was a blackout. The power stayed off and I was thinking, “great, no backup generator here. Guess that means we won’t be doing this appointment this afternoon.” After waiting about 15 minutes I decided to go and ask, as I did not feel like waiting for local power to come back on, as many times it is out for hours at a time. Anyway, I found out that actually there was no town blackout, but their Easy Pay meter had run out. Many houses/businesses here have pre-paid power, and I guess no one thought to buy some more before it ran out. So we waited another half an hour (or maybe more) for that to get organised before the girls got checked - and no, they did not need any fillings - thankfully!!
And then we arrived home to find that we had no water. And of course no one bothered to tell us that it was going to be turned off, or we would have filled some buckets up with water. Andrew said it had already been off for a couple of hours, and I came home later than expected hoping to get some dinner cooked and get things done! And I couldn't even wash my hands or anything. Well actually I did quickly wash them with some drinking water (thankfully we had some of that on standby), and continued to work in the kitchen, watching as the ants inconsiderately took great advantage of my inability to clean up after myself properly (I usually keep them at bay a little by cleaning up spills and crumbs). Then for about a minute the water came on again, and I madly started rinsing dishes, hoping it would stay on, but then it went off again, and I didn't even get my sink filled with water. the next time it came on I quickly filled up every container in sight. Anyway, at about 6:30 pm it came on again and is now working fine. Apparently they were working up the road on something.
And now? The house is quiet, blissfully quiet and since the water came back I even got the dishes done so I am looking at a clean empty sink. Aah.. wonderful.