1/ Because I've been home on "Maternity Leave" since April, I haven't had a lot to report for myself. I tried to get back into the office in July, but because of Matt's job changing from part-time in the office (we were trading off, so I was home when he working, he was home when I was working) to the DTS I wasn't able to get to the office. We're [still] a one-car family, so when Matt went to the port for DTS on the ship it was the opposite direction to the office. I also needed a babysitter, and to this day only Matt and my mom have watched Naomi, and survived. Some girls from the DTS watched both of them, and apparently she screamed for 3 hours straight both times. Oceana's fine with just about anyone. But Naomi is exhausting, so I sort of gave up trying to get to the office. This will hopefully change when we move up to Oropi and are very close to the office (perhaps in the same building).
I've been doing a bit from home, namely this. The ship tour I've mentioned a few times has a blog, which Jada [our Media Liason who has been on the ship] writes, and I edit and post, link newspaper articles, and upload photos. It's not much, but it's what I've been doing.
I had a list of people to call for ship tour, and would you believe the Monday/Tuesday I was supposed to make those calls I was laid up sick with the flu. Wednesday I was recovering, Thursday I was packing for our trip, and Friday we were travelling. I felt like it was Murphy's Law! Ak! Thank goodness someone else was able to take on the list.
2/ Stretch & Grow. I'd love to share more about it. In fact, I think I will take my camera next week at the Christmas party and share some pictures of these beautiful girls. ;)
18 months ago I went along to help out, and it was me and two other girls. The two girls had been there for a while, both with a toddler. Since May 2009 when I started coming, our group has grown like crazy!!! Each week Belinda - who runs it - text messages about 25 girls. We normally have about 10, which sounds small. No way! The room we have designated for our use has seats for 10. But then there's me, Belinda, and another organiser, Jo. And most everyone already has a child, some several children, and the rest have burgeoning bellies! It get so crowded, crazy, and LOUD! The kids range in age from newborn - 5/6. Obviously a few kids - maybe 2 or 3 - are already in school. But we've had to create a nursery/daycare group for 1 hour, because the noise level of our toddlers is so bad you can't hear anything!
We bring in people to discuss subjects with the girls - who range in age from about 17 to 25. Over time it has become a Mom's-In-Crisis/Young-Mothers group because we usually get girls about 17+. The subjects discusses have ranged all over the place - but have included budgeting, parenting, grocery shopping, menu planning, cleaning, active play/health for children, how to bake bread, how to make baby food, and early childhood development.
It's not an in-your-face Christian place, though the girls know we are Christians, and what our priorities are. But over time, we've been able to become their friends. We love them, love their children, care about their problems, and try to help them however we can. And they know we love them. :)
3/ If you haven't had a look at our website before, have a look now. It's still being tweaked, but I like it. :)