1. We have decided to come home to have baby Tough! I can't tell you how excited I am - JOHN LEWIS BABY DEPARTMENT here I come!!! Obviously, we are also very keen to see the family and in the end we just could not imagine being anywhere else. (Home, that is. Not John Lewis).
2. Duncan has finally been given his Papua New Guinean pilot's licence. After many long months of waiting, he can now officially begin his training. To say he is delighted would be an understatement. Now the hard work really begins! Yesterday the helicopter took people to the village for a New Testament dedication celebration and today (Saturday) they are doing a medical evacuation. If you are the praying sort, please pray for Duncan's training and the energy to do it well and safely. Thank you!
3. We have moved into our own house here at Ukarumpa! It's BRIGHT turquoise and we have banana trees. VERY exciting. It is normal practice to buy a house here, as there is only limited rentable accommodation and it costs a tiny fraction of what it does to own a home in the UK, so it's a good move all round.
It has been a very busy time with Duncan flying all over the country and me finishing up the school year. We have had all the things that you would expect to go with the end of term: balls (or banquet as it is called here), plenty of music concerts, sports' day, examinations, reports, goodbye parties and this week there is Awards' Night on Monday and Senior Graduation on Tuesday! After school ends there will be a mass exodus of people 'going finish' (that's what we call it when you are going home for good) and going on furlough (when you leave for a year and then return), as well as people coming back and newbies. Cue lots of goodbyes, comings and goings, joy and a few tears. It is all part of life here, but you can almost feel the community bracing itself for the emotion of it all. At the school there is a farewell assembly which is affectionately known as the 'wailing wall'. It is organised by the students and is a time to cry with all those who are leaving. That's what they do - have a good cry for a few hours, or days...It's not very British. But it's very PNG and I think it's so healthy - let it all out, grieve and say goodbye well.
We also had a bank holiday recently. In PNG you get the day off to celebrate the Queen's birthday! Hurrah for the Queen! A VERY kind friend sent us a hamper and we thought there would be no better way to consume it, than with other Brits on Her Majesty's big day. We enjoyed real tea and other goodies from the hamper, as well as lots of home baking from us all here. Someone brought some Union Jack bunting and we wore red,white and blue. It's funny how you get all patriotic when you are not at home. Everyone was so excited about the hamper - it is very unusual for something like that to clear customs. We were so shocked that I actually emailed the company's customer relations department to commend them!
|Yum, Yum. I made a Victoria sponge, banana cake and a chocolate cake, as well as a tray of cucumber sandwiches made with my own bread. Watch out Nigella...|
|Our turquoise house decorated with bunting and tea on the verandah. We had 30 guests in all and it was a very happy afternoon. All thanks to our friend Jack and the Queen!|