* by guest story-teller Steve Doenges a.k.a. Dad [with occasional commentary from Steph]
December 23, 2010
The gals were able to push off to work around 8-ish (even with the adjustment of doubling the number of occupants in their home)--Steph to the Hospital and Becky to the Melanesia Field Office. (Dr. Becky Morsch is the director of Community Based Health Care for the Melanesia and South Pacific fields. she and Steph share a 3 bedroom house on the station.) They joined us for chicken salad sandwiches at the lunch break.
During the day, Mom and Dad worked on getting over jet lag and tinkered with the magic of our new MagicJack device. A few calls to the U.S. with repeated delays of 20 seconds and the need of stating "over" when finishing a thought made us abandon the plan of using it instead of Skype. (However, MagicJack is still very useful in sending a voicemail to Steph from U.S. cell phones w/o cost.)
Christmas presents were wrapped and placed under the tree. Mom also made her now "world famous" hot fudge for missionary Christmas gifts. Knowing that the work bench is the most important space for dads, Dad worked on straightening up his new found territory. [And he did a great job--it is so nice in there!] It is located in the shed that could be entered by going through Steph's bedroom (abandoned in lieu of Mom and Dad's appearance) then through the laundry/freezer room. There is also an outside entrance including one for the family rat which Dad met after dark a few evenings later. [The rat is now disposed of, thanks to Brutus who caught him running through the back yard.]
We were invited to join the traditional missionary Christmas Eve Eve party at the Myers house. The group filled the living room and kitchen as Christmas snacks disappeared. Even though not feeling well, Mom was a trooper and agreed to stay through two games of a Jeopardy and Hollywood Squares mix. It was the Christmas Trees against the Stars. (Mom felt like a star :). It was a very enjoyable evening and a great place to meet a whole gang of missionaries:
- Andy (doctor) and Judy (manager of the store room) Bennett
- Scott (doctor) and Gail (nurse) Dooley and children
- Jeff (field communication coordinator) and Susan (doctor) Myers and children
- Bill (doctor) and Marsha (field office manager) McCoy
- Michael (construction and such at Bible College) and Diane (MK elementary school teacher) Chapman
- Jordan (maintenance) and Rachel (MK high school teacher) Thompson--2 year volunteers
- Steph (doctor)
- Becky (CBHC)
- Harmon (Field Strategy Coordinator for Melanesia/South Pacific) and Cindy Schmelzenbach--not here while we were
- Erin Meiers (doctor)--also not here during Christmas
Peter and Jenny Isaac and children (PNGers) arrived home for Christmas break in serving as district superintendent of Vanuatu Islands. [The Isaacs are missionaries to Vanuatu. The have come back to PNG for their furlough/home assignment.]
A resident named Stephen was also here for almost a month from John Peter Smith Hospital, where Steph did her residency. He was a great help to Steph in covering additional shifts so that she could be with us upon our arrival at the regional airport of Mt. Hagen, capital of the Western Highlands Province.
Also, but not at the party, is Dave and Rosie Kerr and children who live at the Bible college. Rosie is a doctor that comes twice a week to work at the hospital. She is the daughter of San Dunn (of NNU).
Dr. Steve (surgeon) and Linda Ellerding came after Christmas to volunteer for a month.