Well, semester 1 is over! It’s weird having come from Australia to know that the school year is over and it’s only June. Graduation was last Thursday and most people have fled Sentani, as they tend to do for the ‘summer’ break. It’s not really summer given that we’re in the southern hemisphere, but we’ll allow the Americans their quirks 🙂
Not that the weather ever changes here. It’s 32 every day and 23 every night, give or take 2 degrees. The humidity is still a killer, although I’m definitely more acclimatised than I was. I think my most common pastime these days is sweating…
It’s been a great semester of finding my place and getting to know new students, colleagues and friends. The first 3 months was incredibly hard and I wanted to go home pretty much every single day. Now I feel like I’m ok. It’s still a hard place to live, and there are still challenges, but I’m finding my place and feeling more at my ease. I’ve enjoyed getting to know people on more than just a surface level recently and building a life here.
I’m sad that 7 of my students (year 12s I taught) are going back to their home countries to go to university/work/take a gap year, and another couple have gone home for furlough. I’m looking forward to building more relationships and making a difference, that’s why I love teaching. That’s what I’m here for.
Some of my friends have left for good, and some are just on furlough, but this summer is going to be a little empty of company. I have to do a visa run and I was going to go to Thailand (close and cheap), but given the political situation there we’ve decided to give it a miss, so Vanuatu it is instead! However, I can’t get to Vanuatu without going through Brisbane, so I’M COMING BACK TO AUSTRALIA TO VISIT!!! I may as well pay a little extra and spend some time in Melbourne with the people I love (and freeload off my parents). I can’t wait! I didn’t realise I was going to be able to come home so soon!
It’s been eye-opening and indescribable to experience such a different way of living. The day to day reality of living in such a place has given me a practical perspective that had only ever been theoretical. I’m blessed to have had this chance.
I’m looking forward to the challenges of the next year, and beyond that, God only knows. I have also included some stunning beach photos designed to induce jealousy. There has to be a perk of living in a place like this, and there it is! I just adore the beach 🙂