Completely isolated from the pandemonium, chaos, and hectic nature of the holiday season, Christmas in Tembagapura gave us the opportunity to focus on the little things. We played Frisbee with our neighbors in the hot morning sun, had a few games of Sequence after brunch, and spent the afternoon dodging rainstorms to relax in Christmas hammocks strung across the river that runs behind our house. After the sun fell and settled behind the mountains, we bid farewell to another memorable Christmas by setting off a small, but very impressive display of Timikan fireworks. It couldn’t get any simpler than that.
Bob Hope once said, “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness.” His words take on an even greater meaning in a small, isolated jungle town in the middle of the Papuan rainforest. We are grateful for the happiness that we found from a simple Christmas in Tembagapura!
Annual Rose Family Trivia
Strangest Travel Companion
While traveling through the Sydney Airport last Christmas, we bumped into a real-life Fairy Godmother. Covered from head-to-toe in sequins, jewels, glitter, baubles, beads, and bells, she caught the attention of everyone around her, including airport security.
We have had some pretty scary taxi rides during our travels, but nothing that compares to our first taxi ride in Makassar. The driver had no regard or concern for our safety as he sped down streets, weaved in and out of traffic, and drove within an inch of vehicles in front of us (including a gas freighter). By the time we arrived at the hotel, we were overwhelmed with relief and a strange kind of happiness.
A UFO in the Balinese night sky briefly startled us. When we first spotted it, it looked like it was moments away from landing in the hotel’s swimming pool. However, it didn’t take long for us to realize that it was a lighted crane in a construction zone on the other side of the wall.
Most Disliked Food Item
No matter how it’s prepared, we are hopelessly sick and tired of chicken.
Most Appreciated Food Item
One of Chris’s colleagues from Phoenix brought in a few dozen packages of Kool-Aid for the girls during his last visit to jobsite. It’s surprising how much joy and contentment a pitcher of ice-cold tropical punch flavored Kool-Aid can bring to the face of two girls and their friends.
Wildest Flight Plan
Our flight route from Doha, Qatar, to Venice, Italy, took us over the full south to north length of Iran.
Best Lesson Learned
Don’t tempt the vacation gods! During our trip to Europe, we missed cold weather, heavy rains, flooding, and a cruise ship fire, all by a single day. Every time we averted disaster, Chris would say, “The vacation gods love us!” Even in Bali, when we were stuck for three days, he continued to say, “The vacation gods love us!” After that, the vacation gods stopped smiling and sent us to Makassar!
The gift of love.
The gift of peace.
The gift of happiness.
May all of these be yours at Christmas!