On Wednesday, 25 August 2021, Shama was out of Managed Isolation and Quarantine after spending two weeks there. I wasn’t going to document the event in this blog at first, but changed my mind.

Welcoming a new bride into our home is special. But New Zealand is in lock down at Alert-Level 4. As Shama was going to stay in the home of my nephew Naveen and his family, Naveen’s wife Cynthia was going to go and get her. She had the authorisation to do so.

Authorisation to pick her up from MIQ

Shama would be part of their bubble, which meant that we, including Tim, were not going to be able to spend time with her in person. We asked Cynthia to drive past our homes so that we could greet her albeit from a safe distance. It helps that we all live quite close to each other.

Naveen and Cynthia were wondering what they could do to give Shama something of a traditional welcome. They had a jasmine variety flowering in the garden. This variety is known as Pichipu in Tamil and has an amazing fragrance. Women and girls in south India string and wear these flowers in their hair. Thanks to YouTube, Cynthia was able to teach herself to string the flowers together for Shama’s hair.

Jasmine in bloom

The following pictures with their captions tell the rest of the story, starting with meeting up with Cynthia outside MIQ, and then pausing briefly by the homes of fiancé Tim’s immediate family, before reaching ‘home’ to live out the duration of Level-4 in her new bubble.

Flowers becoming of a bride
This is the sight that met us when we came out.
The board said ‘Hi Senior Dhinakars. ‘
That’s us outside.
Lydia, Benny, and Micah greeted her near their home.
Kia Ora Shama!
Tim and Shama meet face to face (kind of)
Tim and Prisy were both working from home and came out to wave.

And then she was home, much to the delight of the children.

How much we have been given for which we are thankful to the Lord! We are also indebted to Naveen and Cynthia for their hospitality and love.

We do not yet know when the wedding can happen, but we leave the matter in the hands of the One who knows everything.