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  • Writer's pictureHannah

Stranded in Penang- Part 9

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

Six days after Gideon's birthday is Emily's birthday, (it's the same every year). I spent an hour and half in Toys Are Us finding her a present, and came out with a doll's crib, which is going to be fun to pack into a suitcase. She did quite like it, especially the mobile attached to it but I think she's actually played more with Gideon's lego, since.

On the Sunday preceding Emily's birthday, we met quite a few fellow 'crisis migrants' during a church meeting. Many of them had been holidaying in Malaysia or Thailand for Chinese New Year and couldn't go back to China because of Covid-19 restrictions. One American family hosted a time of prayer and were keen to meet up in the days that followed, so they joined us for some of Emily's birthday shenanigans in Penang's youth park with outdoor pools and fountains. Mike had work video conferences in the morning but had time to give her the bumps in the pool and Gideon and Emily and their three year old had fun splashing about and then searching for 'treasure' (sweets) in the park before the monkeys found them. In the evening we were joined for a Pizza Hut dinner by a Malaysian family who are due to relocate to Shanghai soon.

The commemoration of turning five one week ago seems to have opened up something of a Pandora's box in Emily's sense of curiosity. On numerous occasions throughout the day, I can expect to be asked quite a lot of open-ended questions that I struggle to answer, such as: "what makes the air con cool?" "How do you make an aeroplane?" "How big is Jesus' house?" "How is lightening made?" "Are there crocodiles in England?" "Who was the first baby?" "How long did God take to create the world?" "Why do we see the moon in the day?" "Why do mosquitoes like my blood?" " Will you die before Daddy or will Daddy die first?" "Is the sun orange or yellow and is it just fire?" Hmmm. The recurring topics have been mainly those that are surrounded by her fears, such as the prevalence and danger of crocodiles, viruses, death, stormy weather and questions pertaining to volcanoes and lava, this last one is the most prominent thread. It may have it's origins in the fact that lava features in Frozen 2 at some point. She is perpetually checking in with me as to lava's potential to be harmful, how it compares to the sun in terms of heat and how far away we are at any given moment from a volcano. She does also ask a lot about God, Jesus and death and almost burst into tears today as she hugged me and implored; "I don't want to be 10 when you die and miss you". On a lighter, note she asked me whether God was better at creating than the people who do the five minute crafts that they watch on youtube at school, (back in the day when school was a thing).

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