Friday, 27 February 2009

Happy birthday friend

Dear Cam,

Today is your b-day.  It has been your birthday in PNG for about 18 hours now, but your birthday in Indiana for just two hours.  And you are probably sleeping now because it is the middle of the night.  Funny to think about wishing you a happy day from the other side of the world.  If you were here, I would sing you the infinite verse (well, really 5 verse or so I think) Kudjip birthday song!  If I were there, I would give you a call to say hello.  I am planning to send you a card in the mail, but you won't receive it for another month or so.  Sorry in advance for being so belated.  I need to plan ahead for these things.

You have been in my thoughts lately.  I remember the last trip I made through Indiana.  I so enjoyed my visit with you and Bryan and the kids.  You pulled out one of your favorite books, "Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance," and gave it to me as a gift.  Quite a big book, but I was bound and determined to carry it in my suitcase to PNG.

And it has already been proven to be useful.  You see, I have a lovely blackberry patch out back that is producing loads of blackberries.  I have never had a blackberry patch before.  I had no idea how to nurture one (PNG does do a pretty good job without me) or preserve blackberries for times when there are none (though I may discover that growing season is year round and there is no reason to store up).  I pulled out "Basic Country Skills" and what do you know... it has a chapter all about blackberries!  There are many others that will prove useful as well:  home improvement, composting, gardening, preserving fruits and veggies.  Who knows, but someday I might even use the information on how to pluck a chicken.  I think I'll skip the section on how to butcher a pig.  I'll leave that the to Papua New Guineans, as they already have plenty of experience there.  Too bad there isn't a chapter on what to do with three trees worth of lemons!

So today I celebrate you from the other side of the world.  I celebrate your special day.  I celebrate our friendship.

hugs from PNG,
~ steph


Camela (Hill) Schmitz is a long time friend.  One of those friends that you always pick up just where you left of.  She grew up on a dairy farm in Eastern Ohio.  We both attended MVNU and were students together in the Biology department.  While my career path took me toward doctoring people, Cam followed her life-long dream of becoming a veterinarian.  We roomed together during our first two years of medical/vet school... we studied together, laughed together, watched scary movies together, and raised Dog the cat together.  Looking back, our years in Columbus were some of the best of the best years of my life.  Cam married her vet-school sweetheart.  She and her husband Bryan now live in Economy, Indiana where they have a small farm and own their own practice.  And of course, they have two very adorable kiddos, Avery and Isaac.  Love ya, Cam!

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday from me to Camela!!! Hope your day is wonderful!!!