11 January, 2009

Loooooooong time, no see

Wow, it has been a while, hasn't it? I think things are finally starting to settle down a bit for us. When I last posted, we were getting ready to leave Melbourne, where we had been living for 10 weeks around the birth of our son, Levi. There were a number of things that we wanted/needed to do before we left there and so my poor blog got shuffled into an electronic corner and left to gather electric dust for a time.

When we left Melbourne, we still didn't have a PNG visa for Levi, (not for lack of effort on our part, but our timing wasn't so good--first we had to get Levi's official Australia birth certificate, then we had to take him to the Embassy to be sighted by a representative of the US government as part of the US passport application process, then we had to wait for a passport to arrive in the mail, then we had to send that off for a visa stamp, etc., etc. By the time we had a passport for him, many government offices were closing for Christmas & New Year's.

So, we sat around at our mission guesthouse in Cairns, (tropical north Queensland), and waited. Our planned return to PNG ont he 19th of December came and went and we had no word or hint concerning the status of Levi's visa. We changed our return date to the next available flight, (9th of January), and continued waiting. We knew that the visa office was closed until the 5th of January, and honestly I wasn't sure that there would be enough time to get the details sorted out by our 9 January flight, so reluctantly we started thinking about extending our stay in Cairns by another 10 days. This was especially "headacheful" as it meant that we were going to have to extend our Australian visas, (which were due to expire on the 9th) and that was going to cost us $240 each.

And then a strange thing happened. Suddenly, on the 2nd of January, we recieved Levi's completed PNG visa. This was really a mystery to us, as the postmark clearly indicated that the visa had been sent out after Christmas from a visa office that we knew was closed.

Never ones to look a gift visa in the mouth, we excitedly finished up the various things we wanted/needed to do in Cairns and finally flew back to Ukarumpa on yesterday, the 9th of January, (the day before my birthday, I might add!)

Now some of you clever ones are probably wondering why I didn't write to my blog while I was sitting around with all that extra time in Cairns. Good question! The reason is because we had to pay $2/hour for internet access there (regardless of the amount downloaded/uploaded). Sure, that's not the world's greatest excuse, but for some reason when I am on line and am aware of a clock slowly, inexorably ticking down the seconds in the background I find it hard to concentrate on my blog. Too much pressure.

Anyway, we're back home now! Phew!