We are now between outreaches and have two weeks of cleaning, organising and restocking the ship for the next outreach. We are ported in Milne Bay in Alotau and are now back down to around 50 volunteers aboard as a lot of people finished up after outreach in Oro Province.

With reduced numbers and a lot of cleaning, cooking and restocking to be done it has been all hands-on deck to get the ship in order for the next outreach. Ben has been hard at work in the Galley preparing meals, buying and restocking food supplies and cleaning. Angela has been helping out in housekeeping in the mornings which has involved cleaning the ship top to bottom and cleaning and remaking rooms for the next volunteers and in the afternoons helping out in Galley with the baking, cooking and cleaning.

Last Thursday night we had a celebration dinner for two members of YWAM one who had served 5 years and the other 10 years. It was great to be able to honour them for their time and commitment to carrying out Gods work.

We were honoured over the weekend to be able to see the celebrations that were taking place in Alotau that were remembering 76 years since the battle of Milne Bay, 50 years anniversary of Alotau town and Independence Day. There were many different parades, dances and ceremonies that went on over the weekend. A lot of PNG flags, balloons and people dressed up. Sunday morning they had a dawn service to commemorate the battle of Milne Bay. It was an early morning, as it was supposed to be starting at 5:30am but kicked off around 6:15ish which was not too much of a wait in PNG time. It was a really nice ceremony that included the last post, honouring of the fallen soldiers and both the Papua New Guinea and Australian National Anthems.

Aside from that we have been enjoying fresh mangos and bananas from the market and lots of freshly cooked meals and desserts. Ben and I worked on preparing some of the meals for everyone together which was good fun and for the most part not too stressful!

The rest of this week will no doubt be busy again and Ben is going to be busy with some building projects at the YWAM base at Alotau. The base was founded early last year on land donated to YWAM by the PNG government. Being still early in its establishment it has many needs and it has plans to start construction of a University campus in the new year.