Earlier this year, NHM divided the hospital employees into teams. The purpose of the teams was to encourage a sense of community among the staff. Sister Sylvia and I were put in charge of Team D(+), which includes the nurses and community health workers and cleaners on our ward, Sister Alfreda from pharmacy, and Chaplain Lucy.
We try to have some sort of team event every few months. Back in July I hosted a movie night. We watched "Gifted Hands." Everyone was totally inspired by Ben Carson's story, a black American who grew up in a life of poverty and became one of the leading neurosurgeons in the world.
Well, it was time to have another get-together. Sister Sylvia and I started planning some weeks back. She consulted the other D-ward staff and they decided to have a team dinner. Somewhere along the way, our "get together" turned into a mumu. D-ward really enjoys a good party, so I have renamed it "Party-ward."
Last Saturday, the ladies gathered together to make the preparations. Veggies were chopped, cooking bananas and kaukau peeled, chickens plucked and stuffed. Everything was piled together in a dug-out pit; hot stones were used to cook the food.
Around 7PM, Team D gathered together under the hauswin or "wind house" (PNG style gazebo). We ate by the light of candles, firelight, and a torch until the batteries ran out. Wow... what a meal! We topped it off with pineapple upsidedown cake, which was my contribution to the feast. I also introduced my friends to an American tradition--toasting marshmallows over the fire. That was definitely a hit! Following dinner, Sister Sylvia and Sister Pata said their thank yous and made a presentation to Mr. Albert. Our one male nurse on D-ward had recently gotten married. His co-workders had collected money to buy a cooking pot for a wedding present. He was so surprised! The evening concluded with a time of worship and devotional by Pastor Philip.
It was such a fun time to be together with my co-workers. It has been really neat to see how they have grown together over this last year. We have worked and played, laughed and cried together. D-ward has not only become a team, but a special kind of family... serving together to share the love of God with the mamas and babies entrusted to our care.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
~ John 13:34-35