After a false start, delayed travel and a flying trip from Port Moresby to Brisbane on Sunday, the Oea family finally got to see trailblazing son Hewago strut his stuff for Gold Coast for the very first time.
For Paul, Hewago's dad, brother Ado and sister Miriam, it was not only their first time at an AFL game, but their first time travelling away from Papua New Guinea.
After being unable to make the trip in 2022 for his debut against Collingwood due to COVID restrictions, finally the Oeas got to see 'Ace' play in the flesh.
And then, following a delay through customs at Brisbane Airport and the 80km drive to Heritage Bank Stadium, they made it only to see the second half of the 67-point win over Hawthorn.
That didn't dampen Oea's spirits though, as the 21-year-old beamed with pride after his family was invited into the SUNS' victory song. https://twitter.com/GoldCoastSUNS/status/1672900989526089738
"All the boys got around them, and we sang together. To be honest, words cannot describe it," Oea said.
"Without them I wouldn't be here playing footy. They do a lot for me, so to bring them here is pretty special."
Oea was the first player to learn the game in PNG and play in the AFL. https://www.afl.com.au/news/794713/ace-in-the-hole-png-trailblazer-hewago-ace-oea-hoping-to-inspire-a-new-generation
His family made headlines during his debut against the Magpies last year, with their wild celebrations for Oea's first goal capturing the imagination of the footy-watching public.
Now they'll stay with him for a week and watch the speedy wing/half-forward play the same opponent on Saturday afternoon.
"I'm going to host them, look after them, show them around the Gold Coast and bring them to the footy club and watch me train and see how we prepare for next weekend," he said.
"Life back home is pretty different.
"I can't wait to show them how I live here."