The Waiting Game

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When I walked out on Val’s little porch at the top of her back stairs yesterday afternoon I saw a thermometer. Still wearing three sweaters in the warmest part of the day, I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to look at it. I finally decided it was important information and noted, barely visible in the faded red line 20°C. I can’t work out what that is in F, but it’s a lot colder than I am used to, having lived in the most tropical of the tropics for nearly half of my life.

Looking at the mounting of the thermometer, I was amazed to see that it is from Madang and another era long gone. If you click to enlarge, you may be able to read:


Let me tell you that it’s been a long, long time since there have been any taxis in Madang. I can barely remember one or two of them when we arrived in 1981. This thermometer obviously predates that, since I don’t know how long ago you could dial a two digit number in Madang. It may have been a special sort of line:

I have not had time or energy to do much but walk around the yard and shoot a few pictures. Nevertheless, I’ll show you some.

I don’t know what kind of tree this is and Val could not find it in her garden book. Hopefully, someone will identify it and leave a comment:

The tree looked a bit forlorn and scraggly. I have to remind myself that September is spring here.

The Nasturtiums were about as red as I have ever seen:

They always remind me of water lilies which are growing out of the water.

Val tells me that this is Browallia. I wouldn’t know better. There is a yard next door that looks like Sanford and Son’s  Junkyard, or Steptoe and Son,  if you are from the UK. Here you are looking through the fence from order into chaos:

Apparently there are orange and yellow varieties. It looks to me as if this particular bush can’t make up it’s mind.

Hiding down in a corner in the late afternoon sun I found some Azalia blossoms:

The light was fading, so I didn’t hold much hope. The result isn’t bad, if you don’t mind a soft look.

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Eunie had a very rough day yesterday. I am quite concerned about her. Since her earliest appointment is not until the 2nd of September, we are playing a horrid waiting game. There is a care centre just two doors away from Val’s house. We will go up there today and get someone to come down and look at Eunie to see if there is anything that they can do for her. She does seem a bit better today.

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15 Responses to “The Waiting Game”

  1. kristy Says:

    If she were to be admitted to hospital, would she be seen a bit sooner?
    Hoping for better days for you both.

  2. Karen Says:

    I know you’re doing what you all feel is right, and I’m not sure I should put in my personal opinions on this, but I can’t help feeling strongly that Eunie should be in hospital now, and admitted, if needs be, under their A&E dept, that way she’ll be seen alot quicker and they can start getting her strength back – she will need all the strength she can muster…love you

  3. Colin Huggins Says:

    Sorry to learn that Eunice is not any better, BUT, what in hells name are you in, of all places, GYMPIE???
    I know the place very well and I doubt if being treated there in a hospital is possible. Are you waiting for a Brisbane appointment?
    Or maybe Nambour?
    If Nambour, where I had an operation in the 1980’s be warned, it was a disaster and caused untold problems for years. My doctor, a Specialist, should have been sued for his efforts. When I had decided “enough is enough” I was told by medical authorities, that I should have done so earlier – I made my move after 10 years.
    If really serious as it appears, for God’s sake get to Brisbane “pronto”. Or better still to “St. Vincents” in Sydney.
    This is quite concerning. Looking forward now to more pleasant results for Eunice.
    Take care the two of you.
    Finschhafen 63/69.

  4. Reginald Renagi Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Great pics and hope you enjoyed your trip down under. I also just had a good tour too in Qld following your adventurers through the beautiful photo shots of the trip. Hope Eunice gets a speedy recovery in no time at all and regards to you both.

    My Ex PNG Kiap/school teacer Colin (of hugybear fame) refered me to you great site. I am glad I do the occasional visit when I take time of from KJ’s PNG Attitude forum.


    Mosbi Boy

  5. Lori Witham Says:

    Praying, praying, praying! I’m so grateful for these updates.

    As for the flower, Google “Honeysuckle Tree”. It reminded me of the honeysuckle bush at the house I grew up at, where we would suck the nectar from in the summertime. But this is a tree, so I Googled Honeysuckle tree and was almost surprised when it came up with photos and a slew of pages! I don’t see any yellow photos, and I may be wrong, but… you can check it out.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Thanks for that, Colin – much appreciated information. Val’s GP visited Eunie tonight and strongly suggested that we move her to the Wesley Hospital in the morning. We are packing tonight. We have a highly respected oncologist (Dr. Paul Eliadis) waiting for us in Brisbane. Val’s GP said that her vitals are strong and she should be moved immediately by car while she’s still stable. Her mental confusion may be caused by the amount of Endone we were allowing her to take. Our intent was to stay in Gympie only during periods when Eunie did not require to be in hospital. I’ll take your warning about Nambour into consideration. If you want to give me a name of someone I should stay away from, send me an email. Thanks, mate.

  7. Carol De Vito Says:

    Eunice and you are in my prayers–I work with Hans and was so thankful that he and his family, as well as their church, had me in their prayers this year when I was diagnosed with cancer. The feelings you talk about are so like those my husband experienced at that time. You now have two new members of the Eunieque-MadDog support group.

  8. B & J Harper Says:

    Hi Eunice & Jan, We are aware of your situation and are praying for you. If you recall we’ve been dealing with a similar thing on two different occasions and as always God proved faithful. All any of us can do is to trust Him through the tough times. So sorry for you to be going through this. I, Bob, do know what you’re feeling Jan and wish you did not have to experience it at all. Please give our love to Eunice and a hug too. On a lighter note, your pictures here are lovely and bring good memories of our time in PNG.

  9. Steve Bennett Says:

    looks like a Yellow Tabebuia to me MadDog, the norm is pink and you may see them at Jacksons AP upon your return to PNG, when you and (especially) Eunie are in better health and are returning to Madang, ples bilong yupela.

  10. MadDog Says:

    Carol, I’m behind answering comments – sorry to be tardy. I just read your comment to Eunie, Hans and our friend Val. I want to tell you that its effect was stunning. Your message was both unexpected and comforting. If you feel like communicating in a less public forum, please fee free to email me. By the way, I like your email name. – Jan

  11. MadDog Says:

    Sorry to be so far behind answering comments, Lori. I will check it out.

  12. MadDog Says:

    Reginald, I got behind answering my readers’ comments. I’m trying to catch up. Hugybear has been hanging around here for quite a while and I always enjoy his comments. You can catch up with the news about Eunie’s health. – MadDog

  13. MadDog Says:

    Karen, sorry, I’m so far behind answering comments. I’m sure that you are now up to date on the situation. Much love to you and Trev.

  14. pvaldes Says:

    Hi, Jan.

    Well, in fact is not a true Browallia but a “Marmalade bush” or “Orange Browallia” (Streptosolen jamesonii) from South America. A fine evergreen, unedible and “ever flowered” shrub. from the Tomato family.

    Let’s take a look to this yellow tree …

  15. pvaldes Says:


    a “Yellow trumpet tree” or “Lapacho”, from Tabebuia genus probably. Another South-american guy, this time from Bignoniaceae family.

    Several similar species with yellow flowers. They are very generous trees and deserve a photo session when caught in its glorious flowering time