Knitting for Babies

Knitting for Babies (and other non-Emma things)
Greetings Everyone, and warm hugs to you in 2016!
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flowers given to me on the 1 year anniversary of Grandpa’s death

When I left PNG at the end of December 2015, the land was staggering from the dry weight of a severe drought that caused many problems including major food shortages and outbreaks of typhoid. MAF flew hundreds of tons of food relief, and in some areas they are still finding it tough to scrape around for enough food to feed families…

The drought was severe, and the extra dust caused problems like eye/lung irritations, and diseased or bug-ridden crops, as well as just making housecleaning more of a chore than normal. So I was surprised and pleased when I arrived back in Hagen to find the mountains wrapped in a heavy cloak of rain. However, after 10 days straight, I got rather tired of continual rain! I had not seen the sun or even a glimpse of blue skies since I left NZ, and I was starting to long for a colour other than grey. I literally broke out in a huge smile when, on Saturday morning, I opened the curtains to see the flowers shaking their heads out in the glorious golden sunshine. Ahhh, weather, how fickle art thou…
Due to the lack of sun, our MAF housing solar panels couldn’t really heat water effectively, and so cold showers were the norm. That wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so cold at the moment! (A reminder that Hagen sits at an elevation of around 5,500 feet!). The power has been quite bad lately as well, and the voltage is too low, even with IPS units, to give the boosters enough kick to heat water with electricity. The internet and cellphone networks are having tantrums right now, and sometimes I can’t connect to even get a message! Makes me grateful for those things that I so often take for granted.

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Landslides caused by heavy rain on parched ground

In the colder first few weeks back, I enjoyed cuddling a kitten on the couch, and sharing a hot water bottle and a blanket between us while I read and he purred πŸ˜‰ IJ is about three times the size he was when I left, though he’s still only 5 months and has a way to go before he’s full sized – he has long legs and rather large ears. A ginger Yoda. He got into all sorts of mischief while I was away, including killing several toilet rolls, wandering happily through a neighbor’s house uninvited, and breaking two of the glass louver window panes in my kitchen! He has become quite skilled at catching both flies and cockroaches, and this is a skill I am happy to encourage πŸ˜‰
Speaking of bugs, I am in the midst of trying various home remedies to get rid of roaches. There are quite a few bugs in this house (possibly because it is on the ground level), and it’s most disconcerting to open the cutlery drawer and spot a shiny brown cockroach scuttling away over the knives! Yuk!! I am going to see how the baking soda/sugar mix works, but I may have to ask someone to supply me with some ofΒ this… And while we’re on my favourite topic (!), I should mention how glad I am to be alive after a giant moth attacked me TWICE in the space of 5 minutes! Number one feared creature lol… Followed by a cockroach crawling right over my hand as I sit here and type!! Argh!! If anyone wants to sympathize with these buggy trials, feel free to shiver along with me πŸ˜‰
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Christmas parcel from the Duxfields!

One particularly nice surprise, was to come back to several parcels and letters waiting for me. The Ross family from my home church sent a box full of yoghurt mixes and Eco soaps – perfect!! I find both of those so handy, and while one is very expensive to buy here, the other can’t even be found! Thank you Margot and co πŸ™‚ I also received a Christmas package (which had been held up in the mail) from the Duxfield family, who are basically my family πŸ™‚ They sent me a mix of practical and fun gifts, including pink cupcake papers, emery boards, stationery, pretty serviettes, and some lollies πŸ˜‰ yum! As well as these, I had several letters, including one from my dear Nonna. Peia Ifopo (my young Kiwi pen pal!) sent me an awesome letter from Wellington, and June Borlase (a lovely woman in her 90s) sent me a reminder of her love and prayers. All around, I arrived to find much love and care waiting for me, and I was truly blessed.

(A few people have asked me what they can send, so I will try to compile a little suggestion list. Stay tuned…)
Finally, I suppose I should elucidate on the “knitting for babies” comment πŸ˜‰ Really, it’s one of those funny-in-hindsight moments that I should submit to a Readers’ Digest magazine or something.
It’s just that, when I arrived in at work this morning, I was surprised to find my keyboard elevated by a hefty item underneath it.
“How exciting!” I thought. “Someone has left a surprise package on my desk!” I lifted the keyboard to find a book chuckling up at me: “The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits”.
“But I don’t have a baby.” I blurted out intelligently, just as our chief pilot walked into the office. He stared in some confusion, as I helpfully continued, “And I can’t even knit!”
Turns out someone had been using the photocopier beside my desk last night and, needing to leave on the last MAF bus home, they had hurriedly stashed the book under my keyboard for retrieval first thing in the morning. It just so happened that I arrived early and found the book first!!

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the puzzling book

Oh well. I’m just relieved that no-one was asking me to knit something, as I’ve never been successful when it comes to threading knitting needles… πŸ˜‰
Until next week!
Emma
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