Friday, January 29, 2010

Night-time adventures and some catch-up

Although this is not such an unusual night-time adventure for us...we thought we would share it with you this time. The first picture below is of our Cat and kitten (the kitten was born while we were in Cairns). They were the first element in our night-time adventure story. Let me explain. You see, when it rains in Lae, it rains. It does not drip, it pours and pours. Last night was one of those nights. And unfortunately for us, our house is downstream from a 1 1/2m deep drain which allows the torrential rain waters to go through our compound and out toward the ocean. However, because the drain needs a metal gate on the fenceline to prevent intruders coming into the compound, and because when it rains everyone uphill from our compound thinks it's a great time to get rid of all sorts of waste, from rubbish to banana branches, to big logs, the drain often blocks right outside our house, and then you can imagine the result. At about 11pm last night the rains started and our sleep ended. When it rains heavily it is hard to sleep as we are constantly looking out our bedroom window and down onto the drain to see if it about to block. The poor compound's gardener spends rainy evenings in the drain trying to keep it unblocked, but often the sheer force of the water and amount of rubbish is just too much for him to handle. As it was last night. At about midnight as we were trying to dose off between worrying about the rain, I suddenly looked out the window and saw that the moment had happened. The drain had blocked and the waters were beginning their descent upon our house. Suddenly I remembered the kitten. I knew the Mother cat would be able to climb to safety on a chair in our car-port, but not so the kitten. I flew down the stairs with Andrew in hot pursuit (he was coming to help block up the front door to try and prevent the dirty waters from coming into the house), fumbled for the keys (you have to get through security doors as well in this place), scrambled outside madly calling for the kitten. I found her cowered behind a plant, dragged her inside, turned to go back for the Mother cat who was wailing loudly. But it was too late. The waters had hit our car-port and we had to block up the door before the water rose to the height of our house. So poor old Rainbow was left wailing on a chair. Thankfully, soon after, the rains slowed right down, and though the flood waters remained for another half an hour they came only to about an inch under our front door. So Andrew could go outside and rescue Rainbow. Here she is cleaning her wet fur, as the kitten looks on:

While he was outside Andrew decided to walk through the waters and get some pictures! Below is our front car-port/veranda area..

The picture below shows how the grassed area next to our house is looking more like a river!

After a big clean-up we were thankful to be back in our comfortable bed. It pays to count your blessings through life's frustrations. We have done that a number of times the last week. We arrived back in Lae to no phone line, no Internet, the banks were closed and only one eftpos machine in one supermarket was working - thankfully so or we would have had trouble getting food and cash. PNG's telecommunication's supplier had a major problem in one of its major towers, which meant that banks were closed for 4 days, and that Internet services, and some telephone services, were down for a week! Our Internet connection was restored yesterday....thankfully!

SO we have been counting our blessings: A safe trip back to Lae with no delays, joy in meeting our brothers and sisters in Christ here again, food, shelter, clothes and also a 40th birthday celebration for Andrew. Here are some pictures from that day:

The kids always have the most fun!

...and of course insisted we had to sing Happy Birthday...

...and our girls decided we should make Dad a number 40 cake!

The girls began school again on Wednesday and Ashlyn had her first day of preschool yesterday. She will be going 3 days a week. We are getting back in routines and are thankful, happy and well - God is good!

Friday, January 15, 2010

some photos to share

Just some photos today...nothing profound, nothing extraordinary or the like....just us being blessed with a wonderful holiday, relaxing and enjoying the company of family (yes, my parents have joined us here in Cairns for a bit over a week!) and friends and the wonders of God's amazing handiwork here in Cairns (the latter which is extraordinary, profound and a whole lot more yet!). Now for the photos:

Just a family shot somewhere in Port Douglas, where we spent a few nights before the New Year.

Kirilee and Shiana enjoying the beautiful surroundings on one of our short hikes

New Year's Eve at Matt and Claire's place. Kirilee and Shiana enjoyed the company of Tanya and Melissa Terpstra.

Shiana and Ashlyn enjoying a park in Karunda - we spent a few hours there with Dad and Mum

Ashlyn and me - taking a walk to the Barron Falls

The other night we headed down to the forshore in Cairns with Dad and Mum - Dad and Shiana tried out these Bungee trampolines - Shiana had a ball!

We headed out for some fishing with Matt Plug, Matt Byl and Shakira, some of the Terpstras and Gilbert, Lucinda and their kids...didn't catch fish, but enjoyed the surroundings at Palm Cove.

Ashlyn complied by posing for me!

Shiana caught the only fish of the night - this tiny cat fish

Yesterday we headed to the Crystal Cascades for a look - Ashlyn was much happier on Dad's shoulders!

And last night we got to share a BBQ at the lagoon with the church community here. It was held partly in honour of Andrew and Ian's birthdays (which are both coming up soon!) Ian and Nadia are in Cairns at the moment as well for a week. We travel back together to Lae next Tuesday, DV.

Playing with friends at the lagoon!

And finishing off with a couple of photos of the bats which fly about in large numbers each evening at about 7pm at the Cairns foreshore.
That's all from us today....till next time!