Jude is grinning and dancing around the living room on his tippy toes to the happy tune of one of the many Christmas songs he has learned to love. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” I listen to the wonderful Christmas classic as I look out our window at hundreds of palm tree’s, a blazing sun, and feel the 115 degree humid heat hitting me. I could bake some Christmas cookies but I don’t really want to make my house even hotter so I just stand here and think about what this Christmas is going to be like and about all the things God has already done for us to make it a special one.
When we moved here to PNG I had packed a small shoe box of Christmas things. A small nativity scene, 100 white lights, a few snow flakes and some fake snow. If you were to look at out our apartment now you would think I had packed a huge box of decorations! Between other missionaries giving us a big Christmas tree and lending us lights (YIPPY!), me getting crafty and making decorations and the few things we brought, our sweaty little apartment is kinda like our own “winter” wonderland. 🙂 Of course Christmas is not all about decorations but it sure has helped us to feel like it is the holidays!
Because we live on a mission center with other missionaries and their kids (there is even a school here!) we have been able to benefit from the many events that go on during the Christmas season. The first I attended was a women’s cookie exchange. It was a very fun way to “kick off” the season and there were even moments throughout the evening that I forgot I was in PNG! I had a great time with all my new missionary lady friends! There was also a Christmas play put on by all the kids from the school and there have even been carolers going from house to house!
Every year the center we live on has party’s for all the PNG workers that are employed here. Tom & I employ a woman (Angelica) who helps clean our apartment and has also helped Aimee and I in our language study. Angelica is a great lady and we have grown to have a wonderful relationship with her. I view her as a great friend and help to me.
So, last week all the ladies here took part in the “Wok Meri” Christmas party. All the missionary ladies made lots of food and we had a big meal with all the workers. It was decorated for Christmas and everyone was in great moods… maybe it had to do with all the food! 🙂 After we all ate there was even a little program put on by some of the missionaries and some of the work ladies. The Christmas story was read in Tok Pisin (PNG trade language), some of the wok meris sang specials and a group of them even did a little cultural dance for us, too! I sat with Angelica and it was a great time. After the meal all the work ladies were given a large tupperware container and instructed to fill it with the left over food to take home to their families. That was really cool because the ladies were really happy to get free, very good food to take to their homes! It was awesome to see how full they got those containers! Very cool.
Now to the best part of the Wok Meri party- the GAMES! Aimee and I were asked to come up with some games for all the ladies to play together to close out our party so we took on the challenge! Normally the women would have all played volleyball together, but Aimee and I wanted to liven things up with some games the women may never have played. So, we chose to play games like: water balloon toss, egg in spoon relay race, three legged race, water balloon relay, and a donut eating contest with their eyes closed!
When Aimee and I chose the games we were a bit nervous about how the ladies might respond and really hoped we would not have to coach them to be excited to play. Well, to our delight the ladies were very enthusiastic! None of them hesitated and jumped right in to play every single game. They screamed and hollered and cheered each other on. Needless to say it was an absolute riot and I think everyone laughed harder than they had in a long time! As you can see by a few of the pictures- our sides were hurting by the end of it all! All the ladies had a great time and the party ended on a very lively note. 🙂
We are very thankful to have had such a great “first Christmas” in PNG so far. God is so good to us and has helped us enjoy this time of the year rather than be consumed by homesickness.
We hope your holiday is filled with as many blessings as ours has been! We wish you a “Amamas bilong Krismas!” —-“Happy Christmastime!”