Sorry we’ve been a little quiet in the blogosphere lately… It is unusual for us and we have no real excuse. I have sat down several times to write and think to myself what have we done? What am I contemplating and learning? And each time I have written an introductory paragraph… mostly filled with apology, and then I get stuck….
So I’ve been pondering why the lack of enthusiasm to write and reflect and I think it simply that we are finding our rhythm of life here on Elcho Island, and that takes time. And in comparison to when we first moved to Numbulwar, nothing seems as stark and different, as much of life remains the same, it is just being done in a new place. So what have we been up too …
Well, Jason is working very hard. He has been pushing the limits of his duty time most weeks which means lots of early mornings, late nights and lots of happy customers. This week he has been manning the base at Millingimbi, while the pilot there has been on holidays. That should have meant that he was away from home for four nights, but we were excited that due to several flights from there to here, he has been able to be at home on three out of the four evenings. He has flown to Darwin for the first time this week, a return trip that takes most of the day. Most of the time though he has been off to Maningrida, South Goulburn Island, Howard Island, Ramingining and more airstrips. (Yes you may have to Google most of those places!)
Sam, the extrovert of the family, is in his element here. He is enjoying a very active social life and is loving his playdates with other kids his age several times each week. The sandpit in the back yard is a big hit and several times each day he goes outside just to check on Dora our dog. We bought him a pedal bike (two wheeler with training wheels) recently and he is loving the freedom of riding that to the shop or post office, while Mum tries to keep up speed walking behind. Just before we arrived here concrete footpaths were made along the main road, which prevents him having to ride on the road. He has been helping Mum in the garden and one of his seeds finally sprouted and has five leaves on it – he is VERY excited about it.
Ever heard the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas”? Well we are thinking that saying applies to Galiwinku too, especially when you are used to living in Numbulwar! There are so many more people here than Numbulwar. The population is two or three times the size of what we are used to. The clinic is so much larger. Playgroup is bigger, church attendance is larger, more people walk past our house each day, and there are so many more kids to play with. Last Friday we had a mums and kids get together of some of the non indigenous or ‘balanda’ Mums here in Galiwinku. (It was at Melody Keating’s house for those CGCC people who know her. Small world hey?) Instead of being the only non indigenous Mum with a toddler in the town, like I was in Numbulwar, I am now one of a very big group. There were 9 mums and 11 kids spending time together on this occasion over morning tea and toys… and that’s not even all of them, I have heard of or met at least another four mums who weren’t there. How encouraging, and perhaps a little daunting, to have so many potential friends gathered in one place.
The other thing that’s bigger here is the actual MAF team itself. We are now a team of three pilots, three wives, two young men, three little men and two dogs. With a team this size it takes time to get to know each other well and find our grooves in working together. We are having great fun getting to know each other better with trips to the beach, meals together and movie nights. Prayer times, fishing trips and even an evening of foot spas for the ladies have all helped speed up this process too. We are enjoying this new group of people to serve God with.
Nature continues to confront us. Our banana branch broke off so our nice bunch of bananas are no more. Our veggie garden has some seedlings sprouting, including some tomato plants. Cane toads have invaded our back yard, and are frequently found in Sam’s sandpit. Maggots have been found on several occasions crawling along the grout of our tiles, they appear out of the door jams somehow. We discovered the presence of an olive python last week as it flopped off our roof onto the fuse box. We are hoping it will keep the rodents away and remain outside the house at all times.
So sorry for the delay in writing, hopefully it won’t take a month until we blog again…