16 October 09
My flight from Taipei arrived in Brisbane at 9.30 on Friday morning. I cleared customs without incident, even trying out the the queue-less Smart Gate instead of talking to an immigration official. (The Smart Gate reads your passport, processes your facial features as you stare into a camera and then clears you for entry into the country. Only adults can use a Smart Gate, so we hadn’t been able to use it when travelling with Aisha earlier in the year.)
A friend collected me from the airport and brought me home before 11 am. David had primed the girls to expect me, and even Calista came up to me willingly. After spending time with the Harvey children, my girls sounded very young (which they are!), but it surprised me a bit. Calista is talking a lot but appears to randomly answer “Ya” and “No” to questions without actually meaning anything.
The girls immediately opened the presents Renée had sent, which gave David and I time to talk without interruption. We only had a couple hours to catch up before piling everyone into the car and driving south — this time to the Gold Coast airport.
At the airport, we sat around the terminal as a family, watching planes take off and land, until David’s flight was called. When David finally had to separate from us to clear customs and immigration, Aisha burst into tears. She explained, “Daddy has been with us for a long, long time.”
David will be in New Zealand for two weeks. He’ll be visiting our friends in Northland and also participating in a youth outreach program called Canoe Camp. Young people are invited to attend the event on NZ’s Labour Day long-weekend where they camp on the beach and take excursions around the coast in canoes.
We hope that as a (relatively) young man, David will influence some of these kids as he talks about the reality of walking with God and His impact in our lives. David plans to share some of his Christian music with the group and also spend a bit of time in his hire-car, exploring.
So David and I managed to change places, swapping roles as single-parents and international travelers in one day. It seemed like a good idea on paper, but now I’m not so sure. Will keep you posted.