She's here! My Mama from Sarang has arrived. I thank the Lord she is here with me. She has big a huge help and encouragement to me. She has a strong faith in God and I know she prays for me a lot. She is really becoming a 'Mama' to me and my love for her grows daily. I can't believe she came all this way to help me while Andrew is gone and she's going to stay the full three weeks. At first I was very nervous at the length of her visit because I didn't know what it would be like, but now I'm incredibly thankful. I couldn't do it without her here - I told her that if she would'nt have come I probably would be on a bus by now with W and J to come and stay with her in Sarang.
I've been finding it almost comical at the things I had to learn when I lived with them compared to the things she is learning living with me. Here are my observations:
- I had never bathed in a river and was scared to death the first time. How do you bathe in public? And how to you bathe when all those curious onlookers are watching you?
- I had to show Mama how to turn on the water for her shower. I wondered if it was the first time she'd ever showered in complete privacy.
- I had never anything over a fire other than the odd hotdog or marshmallow. While I was in Sarang I had to master cooking rice, baking bread, frying fish etc etc over a fire. It felt silly to have a 10 year old know more than me about cooking.
- Mama is scared of my stove and doesn't touch it. I do the cooking. :)
- The first time I washed clothes in the river I had NO idea what was the best way. I wanted to observe the other ladies and just copy them but unfortunately no one was washing clothes. But I did have a crowd watching me to see how I would do it.
- Mama doesn't know how to use a washing machine. She lets me wash her clothes (except her undies - she insists on washing those by hand)
- I often forgot to bring my dishes with me when I went to bathe. They bathe and wash dishes simultaneously.
- Mama loves washing my dishes, but I had to show her which soap to use and how to turn on the tap.
- When we lived in Sarang I had to get used to making just enough food as we had no way to keep it. Whatever we couldn't eat we'd give away to somebody.
- I noticed that Mama seems to forget we have a refrigerator and she tries to finish all the food at meal time. Sometimes I actually purposely make extra so that we have leftovers for the next day to eat! I'd better tell her that!!
- In Sarang they thought it was kinda strange that Andrew and I shared a bed and our boys slept separately from us.
- Our Papa stayed one night when he dropped Mama off....so here's the dilemma; who will sleep where? They did share a room which turned out to be fine, but Papa had a terrible sleep because he doesn't like to sleep on a mattress. When he comes to pick up Mama he wants to sleep on the floor. I noticed that Mama was sleeping on top of all the blankets instead of between the sheets. She had been complaining that she was itchy at night and I saw she had been using a scratchy wool blanket to cover up at night. I explained to her she needs to sleep underneath the sheets and then she'd sleep better!
- I loved the strong family ties in Sarang. I could hardly tell who's kid was who's while we were there because they are just so intermingled. Every kid has several Mamas and Papas. They really take care of each other and share what they have. It's like one big happy (most of the time) family.
- Since Mama has been here I've been very conscious that I don't even know what some of our neighbors names are. We live so close together yet so independantly of each other. It's completely opposite of the way they live. Mama feels responsible for me and has come all this way. And if she hadn't come who would've come to help me? Who would've cared for me? I have friends that would've helped, but not in the measure that she is.
I love it how God has taken two completely different people from opposite ends of the earth and put them together. The thing that is so obvious to us is that we share the same Spirit - the Spirit of God. It has united us and made a strong bond. I know we'll be lifelong friends.
An explaination of the pictures: Mama has never been to the highlands of PNG before so she wanted a picture of her and the mountains. Her, me and the boys went to watch the horses. She hopes that W & J will ride horses when they turn 7. :) In her spare time she's been working on a bilum. She is going to give it to somebody very special from Canada....