We have been in PNG for a week now. I guess it is time to reflect on our trip over. Leaving home always brings mixed emotions for me (Matt). On one hand We are leaving all of our family and friends we have had for so long. On the other we are returning to a place that we truly love and to people whom we love and who love us. It is also very stressful to go. But I think the stress lies in the business of it all. This is compounded by each additional person you throw in the mix. In the weeks before we left we got passports and visas, we packed bags to ship and to take with us, we all went to the dentist and to the doctor, we got malaria medicine, and what seems like a million other things all for 8 people.
I asked the doctor to write the prescriptions for our malaria medications for 3 months because it is so much cheaper in the US. Tiffany took the prescriptions to the pharmacy and they said it would be a couple of days before they could fill them because it was so many pills. That was understandable because there are so many of us and it was like 90 pills apiece. So I waited an extra day and went back just to be sure they had time to fill it. The pharmacy only had 2 of the prescriptions filled. They tried to get the meds from 2 different distributors and were unable to get them. They then tried to get the medication in its generic form. they were able to fill 4 more prescriptions that way but that still left us 2 prescriptions short and we were leaving in 2 days. they then called the pharmacy across the street who had enough to fill one of the two. The manager of the pharmacy then went to one of their stores in a neighboring town and got enough to fill the final prescription. this is just one example of what our final weeks were like.
Our trip was rather uneventful, no baggage lost, no missed connections, no sickness or horror stories. All of the children travel well and they were all well behaved. We had to take 2 extended layovers this time that we had not taken before and I think they helped us to adjust. The first was in LA. We were there for 2 nights. We have some friends there , the Shermans, with whom we had the chance to spend the afternoon. Our flight did not leave until 10pm the next day so we stored our bags and took a sightseeing tour around the city. We saw, Marina Del Ray, Venice Beach, Hollywood, The Sunset Strip, Mann’s Chinese Theater, the walk of Stars, the Hollywood sign, and lots more. It was a nice way to close out our time there.
Form there we went through Auckland, New Zealand on our way to Cairns, Australia. Miani was born in Cairns so it was nice to get back and see the sights. Though it is winter in Australia right now Cairns was very nice. The kids played at a splash pad and swam in the pool at the place we were staying. We also did a little bit of shopping for last minute things that we realized we would like to have. The one sad thing about our time in Australia was that while we were getting our stuff ready to put in the taxi to go to the airport we realized that we had lost our camera somewhere in Australia (hence the reason there are no pictures with this post). We moved between hotels while we were there and I think it actually got lost somewhere in that move but we were not able to track it down so we are without one.
Though the last two flights were the shortest of all they might have been the most taxing. I think Miani had had all he wanted of traveling by that point and he didn’t want to sit calmly in his seat (our laps). the people around us were very kind though and didn’t seem to mind him too much.
All in all it was a good trip and we are finally here.