Last Wednesday, August 12th, was a big day. Combined into one large event, held at the Seleka Community Hall, was the PNGC 2009 Awards Ceremony and a community farewell function for Jessica and I. We could not have asked for a better day to mark the beginning of our final days in Seleka. Despite a mountain of preparation, last minute details and communication across a number of different organizations in Seleka and the surrounding area, the event not only went smoothly, but was truly a celebration of all the achievements this community has had over the past two years.
Our morning started at 5:30am, when a local tailor named Adam and his assistant stopped by to fit Jessica for her traditional dress. Seleka Higher Primary school had organized this dress as a gift for her. She had been measured only once and when she donned her new wardrobe for the first time, it fit perfectly. Adam is a truly exceptional tailor. He found out that I did not have a traditional shirt to wear for the ceremony, took a glance at me and said 'I know your size'. Unexpectedly, a couple hours later I was met by Mma Motshegwa and presented with a brand new, excellently fit, traditional shirt to match Jessica's dress. Truly incredible and a wonderful gift.
This celebration for us was such a grand event and so special for us. It was difficult knowing that this truly marks the end of our service. We are now in the closing days and weeks of our time in Seleka. Other than organizing our supplies and passing them all on to people to use here, we need to pack our bags and head to Pretoria. Each moment we have left is being spent with friends and colleagues. Many cups of tea and coffee, lots of laughs, reminiscing about an incredible two years together and dreading the inevitable last goodbye.