This year was not my first Christmas away from home and having been away before did not make it any easier to celebrate away from family. I really enjoyed getting to talk to my mom’s side of the family who gathered the weekend before at my Grandmother’s house. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family who supports and encourages me each in their own way.
My Christmas in Ukarumpa was spent house-hopping. It was great to be able to be a part of other family’s celebrations. Christmas Eve was spent with a couple families- we each provided some of the meal (I made my mom’s lemon meringue pie!), enjoyed each other’s company and watched the boys open their many Christmas gifts. I loved seeing their joy as they tore open the packages and thanked their family back home via video recorder. After everything was open we listened to the pouring rain and I helped them put together some of their new with-assembly-required toys. After the boys had gone to bed, the group of adults stayed up late playing yatzee and other dice games. The next morning I woke up early and made my way to another family’s home for breakfast and gift opening. Once again it was great to see the excitement on their kids faces as they opened gifts from relatives face away. This family even had a stocking for me which was very special. After the church service we returned to their house for a bit of relaxing and cat-naps before lunch which included real turkey (hey it’s hard to come by here). In the afternoon I returned home and baked rolls for the evening meal. There is no Pillsbury here so I did the rolls myself without the dough-boy’s help. And after yet another little nap I made my way to the neighbor’s house. Three little kids ran around playing house while the adults visited and played word games. The food was once again fabulous and I figured the rolls were a success because the two little girls kept swiping more off the counter when their parent’s weren’t looking. After a round of dishes I headed home and slept very well.
The McEvoy family had a nice Christmas as well. Debbie’s father was here celebrating with them while her mother is in the states with her sister who just had a baby. Below is a great picture of the McEvoys together on the slide outside of their Ukarumpa home. Steve and Debbie have three boys Isaac, Caleb and Nate, and a little girl named Kaitlyn. I am looking forward to getting to know their family more as we work closely here at Ukarumpa and in the village. Despite the excitement of Christmas we have all been working hard in preparation for our next village stay. Although it is my first time going to Kapawa, I am confident in Steve and Debbie’s knowledge and love for the Migabac people. Steve has been working with the Migabac for over 10 years. Debbie grew up in PNG and met Steve when she came back to visit her parents. All 8 of us (including the dog Nutmeg) will fly to Kapawa on the 30th of December and stay for a little over three weeks. This time will be my opportunity to culture and language learn before I have any set literacy or language work. Please be praying for relationships, both with the McEvoy family and the people in Kapawa.