Sunday, 15 March 2015

Adjusting my sails

Two big things have happened to me this week in PNG. The first was the evil cyclone couple known as Nathan and Pam.  This led to rain and very strong wind in abundance whilst the two weather systems did a lovely dance around the Coral Sea. I got wet – quite a few times. So did my car. This was more of a problem because the week earlier the back window had been smashed so I’ve been driving round with a bit of cardboard duct taped over the window. 

In the middle of the night, whilst staying at a friend’s I woke to hear the sound of torrential rain and realised the cardboard window was not going to hold. So grabbing a large piece of plastic sheeting I found in the cupboard (and the duct tape) I headed out into the weather to try and rescue my car. The concrete steps up to the car park were a spectacular sight. Water was gushing over them and pouring down like a waterfall. I got absolutely soaked holding on to the rails and trying to walk up the steps. I managed to secure the sheeting over the car but then had to make my way down the waterfall shivering with cold and with my teeth chattering for the first time ever in PNG. 

I managed to dry out and get warm but didn’t sleep much that night as the wind howled around us. The following day trying to drive to work was unbelievable. All over Port Moresby the hillsides had slid down onto the road and we were driving though roads that had effectively become rivers. There was a large section missing from one road and I was happy that my four wheel drive managed to navigate the trough left behind. I managed to park inside a multi-story but then got soaked on my walk to work. 

As I passed the bus stop there was a couple arguing loudly and getting very aggressive. Then a strong gust of wind blew my umbrella inside out, my hair all over the place and my skirt up over my head. The uproar of PNG laughter that followed made me thrilled to think that just by ‘showim as blo mi’ I had averted a fight. I am thinking of applying to the UN for funding for ‘Pants for Peace’. 

The second big thing was leaving my job. I once got told that the secret of a long life was, ‘knowing when it’s time to leave’. So I left.  There is a saying that pessimists rail at the storm, optimists expect the wind to change and realists adjust their sails. The weather this week (and some totally lovely friends) has reminded me to adjust my sails.  I had some lovely messages of support from my colleagues when I left but my favourite was that I was wished ‘fair winds and following seas.’

So here we go – watch this space and don’t worry about me.

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