Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

more on fungi

This gets more interesting every year.

In 2009, it looked like this.

Last year, 2010, it looked like this.

And now, 2011, it looks like this (thanks Mum for sending the photographs):



Friday, 9 December 2011

how do I find Australia

I've recently returned from a short trip to Australia. People often ask me how I find being in Australia after so many years in Vanuatu. It's a good question and one I find difficult to answer. Here are some comments.

I have so much more energy in Australia and feel, physically, so much better.

I see so much more skin that I don't know where to look. Faces and hair are so "done" I wonder where the real people have gone.

I am bewildered by choice. This is a problem not just when shopping but also when paying bills. Under the guise of "helping you better", I suspect I am just being ripped off more.

I used to really love singing in English when I went to church in Australia. Now I don't know the songs. And when I think I do know the song, it has a new tune and I don't know how it goes.

Sometimes I feel like I don't know how anything goes. It wasn't relevant this time, but on previous visits we have enrolled our children in school. My children are not in kindergarten, and it's the end of the year, but I am like a first-time kindergarten Mum in her first week of school. I don't know anything. I don't know where not to park or where to turn the car around. I don't know about canteen, about the end-of-year festivities, when the traditional (but unofficial) mufti-day is, or isn't, how to pay for anything, where to stand, where not to stand, what to give the teacher for a present... all I am thinking about is reminding the girls to keep their shoes and their T-shirts on even when they get hot.

I enjoy seeing my old friends again and to talk without fear of misunderstanding (at least, not too much). I enjoy visiting churches that support and help and care for us. I am very thankful to be able to visit my doctor for sound medical advice.

I love to see my Mum and Dad, my brother and my sister and her family. I miss my other brother who is in Africa. I enjoyed catching up with extended family and especially all my nowallgrownup cousins.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

on breast-feeding

Here's a post I wrote a few weeks after Lachlan was born.  Breastfeeding him continued to be painful (though not as intense as first and not for the same reasons) for about nine months.  It's been better since then.

Best for mother, best for baby. Breast-feeding is a wonderful bonding experience between a mother and her newborn, cultivating a close, loving, harmonious relationship. There are numerous benefits to the health of baby and mother, not to mention the health of the planet and the hip-pocket. In fact these days, to bottle-feed is to be a social pariah.

If I could go through labour again not to have to breast-feed for the first week, I would.

Breast-feeding my fourth child in his first week, especially his first day, was the most painful experience I have ever had, and that includes labour, without drugs. If there were 50 good reasons to have a fifth child, the memory of this week alone would be sufficient to stop me.

After-birth pains. After my second child (when they were a surprise to me) someone told be they got worse with every child. I didn't believe them. At that time every feed would leave me in tears... it couldn't get worse. But it did.

And why did no-one prepare me for this? Why does no one in the post-natal wards seem to take it seriously or offer helpful suggestions in terms of pain relief? Pandeine Fort? Are you kidding?

Saturday, 3 December 2011

ministry workers boost knowledge

Published in the Daily Post, 5th November, 2011, here is the edited (and translated) version of the article I sent to the Daily Post. You can find the original version, in Bislama, here.

Selling uranium to India

Should we do this?

What do you think?

a world newspaper for children

If you are keen for your children to learn and understand what is happening around the world today, here is a great resource:

newsademic

If you subscribe, they send a printable newspaper called "newsademic". It is easy to read and provides enough background information to understand the issues surrounding current events.

We enjoy reading it ourselves and our nine year old enjoys it. It has also led to us doing research together on the internet to find out more.

I highly recommend it.