In church last week Sam made a list of things he likes best about Australia. Here’s his list….
Treetops (The MAF Guest house in Cairns)
His list of favorite things about Timor…
Oliver (our next door neighbour and his buddy at school)
Ms Esther (his teacher from last year, who also attends the same church as us)
Being able to speak Tetun
Sam and I were discussing today how we are now on the downside of the mountain. His school term is more than halfway over and in a little over a month we will be on our way back to the land of Oz. Sam’s countdown is motivated partly by how many weeks he has left to earn money to buy “real Lego” when he is in Australia. My countdown is driven by my to do list that seems to be growing as i keep remembering other things i need to do before heading south.
So i fell into the whirlpool of guilt as i realised this week that i hadn’t written a blog in two months. I have written newsletters and MAF articles and updates and Hera plans and homeschool plans… but no blogs! Sorry!
Life has been busy but we have also felt like we were in limbo land awaiting the decision about whether Jason would get the new job or not. So now the decision has been made and plans can be concreted in, so it is time for the green light when to do lists can be actioned… items can be added and removed, several times each day.
Today was the day for booking in church speaking appointments! I also managed to do some online xmas shopping, don’t you love it when you have an idea and go to the online store to look around, only to find it has 50%! Another job done! I made shopping lists for his class teachers and upcoming birthdays here in Timor, forced Sam to try on winter clothes to see if they still fit, did a few emails with my MAF Timor-Leste Communications Officer hat on and answered a few emails. We have also arranged flights for Sam and i back to Victoria.
Yesterday Jason spent all day sitting in Oecusse, a part of Timor-Leste that is surrounded by Indonesian territory, while his passengers were working there. While he waited he was able to start constructing our photo book to bring home with us. I have to do lists for him to do too… when he’s not flying and doing his real job that is! But some things he is just so much better at than me!
So as of this afternoon, my to do list looks like this….
Plan Hera lessons for September – December (in English then translate to Tetun), collect resources for lessons and assemble into kits for the Timorese staff to follow.
Email families and individuals about catching up while we are home
Decide on thank you presents, order them, and collect them
Finalise the lists for thank you presents and Christmas cards
Order Christmas cards…. this week. Another thing that is 50% off at the moment.
Finish planning homeschool for Sam for Term 4. We will be in Australia for all of the term for Sam so it is time for Mummy to be teacher again.
Figure out what we will do for advent this year. Every year we try to do something for advent in December. This year we will be on the move so my usual traditions don’t really work. Time to rethink.
Pack up parts of our house. Friends will be staying in our house while we are away so they need some room to move.
I have done a stocktake of Sam’s and my clothes, so i know what we have and what we need to buy while back in Australia. Now it’s Jason’s turn. I also have a big bag of clothes that no longer fit to donate somewhere. There is nothing worse than standing in a department store in Australia, in culture shock and totally overwhelmed, trying to remember how many tshirts, bras or pairs of socks you actually own in Dili!
Stocktake the medical supplies.
Book in appointments – dentist, optometrist, doctor, physio etc
What photos do we need to print for displays?
What are we going to say? Time to write presentations! Design the Powerpoints! Print them out.
Where are we sleeping each night? Make plans for accommodation.
– Say goodbyes to friends who won’t be here in Dili when we return in January.
Design and arrange a new prayer card. Oh, yeah, oops… take a new photo for the prayer card first! Oops, get hair cuts first this time! Not like the last one! Better book that in!
And so on it goes…. and just as i am writing this i thought of something else to do add to my to do list! It keeps on growing.
So when missionaries write in their newsletter asking for prayer as they prepare to come back to Australia for furlough… these are the sorts of things they are doing! It’s huge and overwhelming and a crazy busy time, and sometimes i wish i could snap my fingers and have it all done. Because the reality is we love coming home. We love sharing about what we do here in Timor-Leste. We love visiting people who have been praying for us and supporting us. We love being back in the normality of Australia (for Jason and I anyway…. Australia is still a novelty for Sam!) But coming home does require a lot of work.
And just in case you are wondering about the time frame, aren’t we coming to Australia in November? Sam and I are heading to Australia earlier than Jason to have some extra family time during October. Jason will continue on in Dili, then head to Cairns for meetings before joining us in Melbourne at the end of October. November is visiting month! Then we are having a two week holiday / tenth anniversary trip just the three of us, before spending Christmas with our families and then heading back to Timor in early January.
Okay, time to get back to it….. See you soon…..