Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello--from the future!

I like taking advantage of the International Date Line when I can—like now, for instance, when I’m in 2012, and many of you are still sitting in the past…. Good ole 2011. Don’t worry. You’ll catch up sometime. From what I can tell, January 1, 2012 promises to be a good laundry day. Now, that’s an auspicious start to a new year, if there was one!

Ukarumpa scenery outside my window :)
A year ago, I don’t think I anticipated shouting in the new year wearing flipflops under the shadow of banana leaves and illuminated by a splendid array of sparklers, floating fire lanterns, and quite a remarkable show of spinning, spitting, flaming steel wool on coat hangers—the Ukarumpa version of fireworks :)

Nope, that wasn’t quite what I had pictured. This was certainly better :)

A year ago, I was still working as a receptionist at the counseling clinic, putting hundreds of miles on my car as I traveled around blizzarding Minnesota to speak to churches and groups(whose bright idea was it to do find partners during a season when your eyelashes freeze solid?), and was attempting to guess at packing for PNG while I prepared for summer linguistics school.

Now, I’m living in Ukarumpa, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea with several other marvelous ladies, and chat in Tok Pisin as I search for the week’s vegetables at our local market, shoulders slightly peeling from a bit too much tropical sun!

One thing hasn’t changed…I’m still packing, but now it’s for the next part of my assignment: on January 14, I will travel back down to Madang to serve on staff for the January POC course!
Back to Madang--and sunsets like this!

You weren’t expecting that, were you?

So, six months after I entered the country, I will be stepping from student to staff and teaching Tok Pisin and the various academic portions to a whole new set of incoming personnel! It wasn’t what I expected or planned, but severe staffing needs and my flexibility as a new person without a long-term assignment allowed me able to step in and help out for the next couple of months. In addition, I’ll be able to conduct a revision of portions of the course in order to make sure it continues to meet the current needs of orientation for work in the South Pacific. Who would have thought it? I certainly didn’t—but here I am, and the Lord continues to do amazing and marvelous things!

Can you imagine what will happen next year?