Plotinus in the Jungle

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Home for the Holidays

We were able to travel to the US for Thanksgiving. We jammed the days full of seeing friends and family in various places around the country, starting with Rebecca’s family.

Tabitha meets her great-grandma

Tabitha, in her warm bear suit from Grandma, poses with Grandpa and Great-Grandma

Then we journeyed south to spent time with Brandon’s family as well.

Tabitha and her great-grandfather PopPop

Tabitha and her great-grandfather PopPop

Uncle Scott models his highlands hat

Tabitha enjoys Zimmerxmas with Nonna and Uncle Scott

Not only did we visit grandparents, we also saw godparents:

Couch chez Carl

Annie’s godfather, left; Tabby’s godparents, right

Not pictured: Nate, taking the photo

Annie’s godmother, left; Brandon’s godson, center wearing blue; picture taken at the highest point in MO

And of course, we gave presentations on our life and work in PNG.

Annie and her cousin picked out the christmas tree!

Brandon finds an attentive audience in Grammy and Nonna

Eventually, thankful for all the people we love, but tired of living out of our suitcases, we journeyed back to PNG.

and visit John Chambers!

We had some time to walk around New York the day before our flight

Guess the airport in the comments!

When you can only crawl backwards you get trapped under furniture

Pro Tip: The bassinet seat is fantastic. I just wish they weren’t limited to long haul flights and that there was one on every airplane.

but seriously the bassinette seat is awesome

Sleeping so cozily, and I have my hands free to eat whatever random snack is served in the middle of the night

Last leg of the journey- short hop from the capital to the highlands

Last leg of the journey- short hop from the capital to the highlands

We returned in time to celebrate Christmas in PNG for the first time. The focus in our community was really on the church services and the Christian meaning of the holiday. (However, we didn’t really feel like we had done Advent that penitently; it had been filled with visiting and feasting, which normally belongs to Christmas!) We celebrated Christmas Eve in Banz, the next parish over:

yes, he knew that Jews do not keep pigs; it was a metaphor

The homily included the line “the shepherds were the lowest in their society, like someone without any pigs!”

here they are singing a manly deep chant

The liturgical team for the evening was the men’s group, wearing white dress shirts, black ties, and feather headdresses

we copied the mother in front of us

It was a 7 o’clock service, not a midnight mass, but that was still past some people’s bedtimes

We went to our home parish in Fatima the next morning, before having Christmas dinner with our friends at Christian Leaders’ Training College.

She is still singing Angels we Have Heard On High

Anastasia watches the dancing very carefully, so she can replicate it at home in the kitchen

naispela bilas!

It was a bright and joyous occasion, as you can tell from the pennants

On new year’s eve we ate chinese food and played boardgames, late enough that we could hear the bells ringing, people shouting, and fireworks going off in different parts of the valley. However, none of the watches were synchronized, so bells and cries came from different areas several minutes apart!

Our holidays were merry, blessed, and bright! We hope yours were as well.

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