When i was a kid i had a favourite book called “Happiness is a warm puppy”. I still have it, packed away in a box of special things stored somewhere in Victoria, or perhaps NSW. The pages were filled with Charlie Brown characters showing what happiness meant for them. I’m sure ice cream, friends and toys all made the list. I realised today that over the last week i have been thinking a lot about happiness and making my own list of things that make me happy living here in Timor. And my musings have led to a blog as i realised many of my happy moments are a little crazy and different to what you might expect.
Happiness is finding a longed for item in the supermarket! Yes if you had been in Lita supermarket last Wednesday you might have seen me doing a happy dance upon finding Aussie Black and Gold cordial on the shelf. We have tried asian cordials and have not generally enjoyed the experience and we do get sick of drinking water ALL OF THE TIME, remember we are in the tropics so it’s not unusual for Kim to drink 2-3 litres every day. That’s a lot of water! Those same happy dances have been seen lately for cream cheese, Gravox, Tim Tams (which i didn’t buy… it was a choice between the Tim Tams and the cordial!), Salada crackers and cream.
Happiness is Sam bringing home an award from school for being caring to a new student.
Happiness is a friend to share life and ministry with.
Happiness is a Skype call with family.
Happiness is Sam reading “Hop on Pop” to his Daddy over breakfast on Father’s Day.
Happiness is seeing strange and unusual things by the side of the road in Dili. A monkey, overloaded motorbikes carrying every plastic item imaginable, boys carrying a pig, or a man on a motorbike trying to hold a 3 metre piece of metal and a child as he rode home.
Happiness is loud music when you are doing house jobs. Today it was John Farnham!
Happiness is homework completed for the first time.
Happiness is watching a usually child who is often agitated and unable to join the group, sit peacefully, cuddling and caring for a baby doll.
Happiness is seeing a mother of two boys that attend Hera, write her son’s name on his work for the first time.
Happiness is the look of joy and pride on a face for receiving a sticker for completed work.
Happiness is air conditioning.
Happiness is tried and true recipes that work in Melbourne, Arnhem Land and now Dili.
Happiness is finding dinosaur themed items in the shops on the day you go shopping for your son’s dinosaur party. Especially since you have been looking for months and have never seen such things previously.
Happiness is being understood when you attempt to speak the language of your neighbours.
Happiness is seeing Jason getting to learn another language at last, and loving it.
Happiness is realising sometimes it is best to say no.
Happiness is watching the hens and baby chicks in your yard, on the front porch and even on our car and motorbike. They are so much fun to watch. The other day a baby chick had found a dead gecko somewhere and it was racing away from the others to enjoy its lunch. The rest of the family were in hot pursuit though.
Happiness is seeing a Timorese work colleague return to work after a several month break.
Happiness is Sam in the yard surrounded by his Timorese friends, and other neighbourhood kids all playing trucks in the dirt.
Happiness is Sam bursting into our room declaring, “Happy father’s Day dad! I love you!” a day too early.
Happiness is pay day. Each months we have some money put into our bank account and another amount is given to us in cash. We have returned to a cash lifestyle here in Timor, so managing your cash supplies for a whole month can be tricky, especially when birthdays are involved. We can get extra money from the ATM but with a $5 fee each time you take money out, you need to be careful about it. So we are always excited for pay day!
Happiness is a good play dough recipe. Thanks Adele and Ian’s Mum for the recommendation! It is being used often.
Happiness is a perfectly ripe banana.
Happiness is swimming laps for exercise.
Happiness is date nights with Jason of Scrabble and a movie, even when i lose! A tradition we started in Numbulwar.
Happiness is a sunset on the beach.
Happiness is good morning kiss from a fifteen month old Timorese little girl named Gabriella.
Happiness is finding something you had lost, like $40 worth of mobile phone and internet credit you had bought to put into the care packages.
Happiness is a dead mosquito!
Happiness is a well organised store room.
Happiness is when a story you wrote about MAF in Timor gets used in a publication overseas.
Happiness is making a list of “when we’re on holidays we can eat” foods, like dairy, berries, homemade butter chicken and pesto. Mmmmmmmmm.