Monthly Archives: April 2012

Playgroup

Last week I attended the playgroup at the Yacht Club for the first time after I accidently came upon it a few weeks ago. I was going to the Yacht Club to attend a Car Jacking course (on how to survive one not actually how to be the car jacker) and the TOTS group was on at the same time.

I really quite enjoyed going along and meeting other mother’s and more kids. Marly was the youngest there but happily played on her own until she felt a little overwhelmed by a very helpful little girl who kept pushing more and more toys towards her in case she didn’t like the last one she pushed to her 🙂 So cute!

I met a number of Mum’s who all seemed lovely and may have found myself a personal trainer so watch out for the new and improved Brooke in a few months… if I decide to pay her to kill me 😛

Overall it was just nice to get out of the compound and have some adult conversations.

This week BG seemed a little less cautious around the other kids and came home dirty, grubby and tired. It was so much fun watching her have a great time and get into everything inlcuding the paint! She crawled over the mat that had the easel on it and rubbed red paint all over her front. Part of me was thinking, ‘Oh no! Oh no! Germs! Germs! Germs!’ but hey, we all did it didn’t we? It’s these times that create great memories so she should just get in there and get dirty! 🙂

 

ANZAC Day 2012

Tomorrow we are remembering those who have fought for our nation, died for our nation and those who are currently serving our nation.

Before I met and married my husband, I had never attended a dawn service or put any time aside on this public holiday to observe the sacrifices that have been made.

Since meeting Daryl, I have now attended a service every year and each year I begin to understand, for just a moment, the courage all those men and women have demonstrated.

Unfortunately this year, due to security reasons, I cannot attend the service at Bomana War Cemetery just outside Port Moresby but I will remember…

A couple of years ago, my husband lost a friend in Afghanistan and only last year, he lost another. I’ve seen him struggle with that loss… the loss of a mate twice now. What do I say to him when he loses these mates?

I was deeply saddened today when I was told that a person I had recently befriended lost their son in Afghanistan only last year. What does one say to his parents that could comfort the deep sense of loss that they must feel?

There isn’t anything that I could say that would make any of them feel better so each year I take the time to remember them. I take the time to consider what it is that they have done for all of us. To be grateful. To show their friends and family that are left behind that it wasn’t in vain.

LEST WE FORGET

Where is your Bay-bee?

Today I spent the morning working in the Medical Clinic at the High Commission. I’ve been doing it for the past 2 weeks for 2 days a week. It’s a chance to feel like a normal adult again for 4 hours because I take my daughter up the compound hill to her surrogate Nanna, Nanna Kaye. I miss my daughter incredibly while I am gone  but realise it is only temporary as my job is only a fill in position while the other nurse takes a break.

On my way home today I dropped into the shops to grab a few items- groceries, internet recharge card and vino. All 3 items/categories listed are bought from 3 different vendors within the supermarket… go figure!

First I went to the recharge card vendor who, when I walked up to the counter greeted me with, ‘Hello! Where is your baby?’ I was thrown to say the least because I was dressed in my work clothes and, in my opinion, looked very different to when I wear my baby on my front and assume the defensive position as I shop.

The defensive position is required as I often have random hands reaching for my ‘Nice, bay-bee’ in an attempt to pinch her cheeks. My hands begin slamming karate chop-like actions left, right, and centre as I say, ‘No nice baby! Don’t touch her!’ haha! To me, I am a different person and not recognisable so you can imagine my surprise that I was recognised as the lady with the ‘Nice Bay-bee.’

Afterwards I bought my groceries and then went into the alcohol section to purchase my alcohol. Now I very rarely buy alcohol and can only remember being in the shop 2 times previously. As I am putting in my pin number to pay, the girl say, ‘Where is your bay-bee?’ At this point I am really flawed! I say back in amazement, ‘With her… her grandma.’ She replied, ‘Oh that’s nice. Is it a boy or girl?’

This brings me to my next point… the locals seem to never be able to pick if BG is a boy or girl! It doesn’t matter if I have a hair clip in her hair or even if she is clearly wearing a dress, skirt or even pink. They will still ask me. For months I couldn’t work out why and wondered… do we all look the same to them?

A few months back I was in a pharmacy where there was a little baby with its older brother and sister. They were following me around because they wanted the babies to interact with each other. Their baby was dressed in pink, wore jewellry and had beautiful big brown eyes. On all accounts it was fair to assume it was a girl… at least in my culture it would be. Obviously I was wrong and struggled to hide my brain fart when they told me his name was ‘Henry.’ No wonder why everyone is confused!

I am Delta 8-4-8

Living in PNG brings with it some changes to your everyday life- some big, some small. We are over here with Defence and so security is taken very seriously… some would say a little too seriously. My compound for example is known by other expats and locals as ‘Fort S@#t Scared’ but is also the compound that everyone (so I’m told) wants to live in. It makes me pretty popular at Parent’s Group anyhow.

We have guards at our front gate, a guard dog, a 6 foot brick wall, razor wire on top of the brick wall as well as an electric fence, our houses have steel plated doors, emergency buttons, an alarm system, a rape gate separating the top floor from the bottom (also made of steel) and an emergency escape from the top floor to outside should we have intruders. I’m still not sure how the intruder may get to the rape gate but I shut and lock it each night nevertheless 😛

When I leave the compound I am to lock all doors on the car (God bless central locking and its creator!), NEVER wind my window down (even for police), and I must carry a radio with me at all times. On that radio I AM DELTA 8-4-8 requesting a radio check… over… yes… I speak raytel or whatever it is… but I sound so cool!!! haha! Most of the time I’d like to say something random and listen to them try to make sense of it… This is DELTA 8-4-8, I’m going to Brian Bell… want me to get you something??? haha… ok it’s probably only funny to me but the locals are too polite to go off at me so it would be pretty funny listening to them politely say that I’m not supposed to get shopping requests over the radio. Small things…

Oh I forgot to mention the panic button we have installed in our car. I press it incase I get car jacked and a security car will come to me within 5 mins. Thank goodness for that cause I would hate to be left on the side of the road and the car jackers would probably take my phone so it’s always nice to know that they can take my car, money, jewellry and phone but they can’t stop me from getting home.

All jokes aside, it can get dicey over here and at those times I am grateful. We are currently experiencing added security risks with the police fighting against themselves. Opportunistic crime has increased as a result of the police being distracted and the main highway fell apart a month ago so there’s a bottle neck to get anywhere. People are reporting more car jackings (armed ones too) and attempts to get into their cars whilst they are stuck in the bottle neck. I’m glad I don’t need to leave my house everyday.

Readjusting to Australia in January next year will be interesting… I caught myself calling out ‘Doors!’ to my husband as we set off in the car we hired in Sydney during our last holiday…