Sunday, May 8, 2011


Preparing to go down a rock slide

Weekend. Just as good (if not better) in Papua New Guinea as anywhere else.

After my night on call Friday, I expected to spend most of my weekend sleeping. But Saturday morning, after wrapping up on the hospital ward, we joined several families from the station to visit a nearby river in the mountains. This cascaded in a certain area creating "rock slides." It took a bumpy, muddy ride in a land cruiser across a bridge literally made from fallen tree trunks, plus a slightly more treacherous hike through the jungle and up and down muddy slopes to get there. But I'm glad we decided to go. Anna was a little less excited about the entire ordeal than we were, but I managed to get her down one of the slides with only mild crying on the way down.

Saturday afternoon saw all three of us take naps. Mine stretched longest into the evening and I woke up only just in time to have dinner with the Goossens, a family living next to us on the station with 2 little girls and 1 boy. Randy manages IT for the station and Joni works in the field office as an accountant. We enjoyed spending the night there with another young family somewhat recently arrived.

Today we took in a local Nazarene service. There were 2 English worship songs, but the rest of the service took place in Pigin. Marsha McCoy wrote some translated notes for us on the sermon, though.

Back at home, we've been relaxing most of the day away. We went to see Dr. Bill's garden which boasts pineapple, mango, banana, papaya and several other more familiar crops. I took a stroll to the far end of the station to get some lemons and was nearly roped into a game of rugby with the locals. I'll likely be taking up that offer in the near future.

After bringing Esther some belated Mother's Day flowers, we sat down for a relaxed dinner and have spent the rest of our night playing in the living room, intermittently grabbing flashlights due to the frequent power cuts.

The general feeling I get from today is one of rest and relaxation. Not just for us, but for the other families living and working here at Kudjip. I feel this is how our days of rest ought to look. I suspect that the challenges of daily life here make these days particularly special for everyone on the station. Sometimes I wonder if our Sundays at home could use fewer checks at the clock or watch to make sure we're on time for church, for lunch afterward, for dinner with the family or just watching our last moments of weekend tick away. The time moves a little more slowly here, which is fantastic.

I'm still convinced the weekend just wasn't quite long enough, though.

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