Tuesday, March 24, 2009

watched in life, new life, school life, social life

Sometimes I feel Ashlyn’s frustrations. It really hit me again on Monday. We went shopping, to three different stores, and constantly wherever we went Ashlyn was touched and talked to. Her cheeks were touched, her hair was tussled, she was called “naispela bebi” (nice baby) over and over again, and everywhere we went she was greeted with “moning, Ashlyn” (they all know her name!). I am trying to teach her to be polite and say good morning back, but it is so hard as she really sometimes just gets annoyed with the constant attention. On Monday, as we shopped, she suddenly sighed loudly and looked up at me, “why does everyone want to look at me and touch my hair?” she asked. So I spent time explaining to her (as I have many times before), that she is white skin and has blonde hair, and so looks different to all the other people around her, so that is why they like to look at her and touch her. And I tell her that all the white people think the PNG babies are cute, etc, etc. Now, the attention given to us is not threatening or horrible at all – the people are just being curious and loving and friendly as well. They mean us no harm, on the contrary they want nothing more than to be our friends. As an adult we understand all these things, but as a child it is different. That being said, even as an adult I sometimes find myself wanting to yell loudly, “can everyone just stop staring at me!!!” Mostly, though, I am thankful that there are so many friendly people around me wherever I go...

And then to the new life - last night a member of our church, Alo, was blessed with the birth of a healthy daughter!!! You may remember (or not) some 5 or so months ago me writing about her parents telling us she was pregnant (outside of marriage) and the decision of the family for her not to pursue a marriage with the father of the child as he was not a Christian and was known for getting drunk fairly often. It has been wonderful to see how her family, and the church community, have rallied around her. It is also wonderful that the Lord has now given her a child and that she has a loving family around to help her raise this child. They were so thankful that all was well and called us bright and early this morning (6:30) to say the baby was born (they had already called us the day before to tell us she was in labour). I picked them up from the hospital this afternoon and brought them to their home, thus getting the privilege of holding a brand new baby!! Ashlyn came with me and was enthralled. As we drove up to their house the rest of Alo’s family all came running out excitedly to see the baby for the first time (they all stayed home from school for the homecoming!!). That baby is going to have many wonderful people to love her to bits!! Here are some pictures of her gorgeous baby!
Alo and her daughter

Ashlyn and Leanne (the baby's Aunty) look on in wonder

And in school life...recently Shiana and her whole class got to go on two excursions in two consecutive weeks. The first one Andrew attended - to the fire station - but he left the camera sitting on the bench at home!! The second I attended - to the local hospital - but I gave Shiana the camera to take the pictures.....hence the best shot is the one below!! They visited the Physiotherapy department and the Women and Child support centre and had a great time (they got to push eachother around in wheel chairs!)

...and then in social life... Shiana has another new friend at school (pictured below). She is the daughter of the school's new principal. They are from NZ originally but have spent the last few years in the UAE in the Middle East. Shiana's friend and her brother came to play for the day last Saturday (Shiana played at her house on Friday afternoon) and their parents came over as well at dinner time so we could all enjoy eachother's company...

This little girl pictured below lives in our compound and is a major part of Ashlyn's social life. Her mother is from PNG and her adoptive father is from Australia orginally. Would you believe that her name (I am not sure if it is her official name, but it is the name the call her all the time!!) is Blondie!! How far from blonde can you get? Anyway little Blondie is quite at home in our house and will wander in periodically looking for Ashlyn, always ready to play. She is a sweetie, though, and always politely calls "bye" and leaves when I tell her it it time for her to go!

And I thought I would just add this phot of Shiana, because it pictures her nicely.... smiley, happy and often a bit dishevelled looking due to her busy playing or crazy antics.


Steph said...

Just wanted to pop a "hi" over your way to let you know that we're still reading, following along ... and learning lots :) It never seizes to amaze me how different things are and the different way of thinking and doing things. It's great that you are able to take the time to share some of this with us and help us to better understand the work that it takes on the mission field.

We continue to pray for the work that you do and pray that you receive the strength needed, especially during this time while Ian and Nadia are gone and so much more falls on your shoulders.

HH said...

Lovely update Nat, thanks for sharing and taking the time. The pictures are all lovely and the new little baby is sure to bring some love. Hope your family is all well :)