Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Over the River and Through the Jungle

033One aspect of our training is to make us proficient in the main method of transportation in Papua New Guinea—walking.    There are very few roads in PNG, especially in the mountains.  Hiking on often narrow, slippery, jungle trails with logs for bridges over streams and rivers is usually the method used get from point A to point B.  So in order that we might experience this part of everyday life for the average Papua 034New Guinean, (and prepare us for our future stay in a village) our whole family participates in the weekly hikes.  Sometimes the kids hike with the us, and sometimes they hike separately with their teachers.  We’ve found they do so much better when their parents aren’t around to complain to.  <grin>

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mountaintop Experience


Like I mentioned before, Madang is on the coast of PNG so it’s HOT!  Fortunately, POC takes place on top of a nearby mountain.  The area is called Nobnob.  Besides being significantly cooler with lovely ocean breezes, we get to enjoy spectacular sunrises almost every day!  (And, yes, we are up to witness our share since breakfast is at 7:00 AM, and some of our duties begin at 6:00 AM.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dorm Life at POC

We arrived yesterday in the town of Madang—our new “home” for the next six weeks while we attend the Pacific Orientation Course (POC).  This course was designed to teach those new to PNG about the culture and the Tok Pisin language.  It’s a long story why we haven’t done this course before, but we’re finally here!

026Our living quarters consist of a 12’ x 18’ room (approximately), in a dorm with 14 other such rooms.  We share a men’s and a women’s bathroom with the other participants, and eat all our meals together in the community dining room.  I’ve learned that we’ll soon be taking turns to help prepare the food and clean up afterwards.  I’m enjoying the respite from menu planning!

Since Madang is on the coast where malaria is more prevalent, we all sleep under mosquito nets at night (see photo) to protect us from the carrier mosquitos that tend to bite from dusk to dawn.  Claire and Isaiah were a little unnerved about the tents over their beds, but soon decided they were “cozy”.  Isaiah pretended he was a caterpillar in a cocoon, so this morning we checked to see if he had turned into a butterfly.  <grin>

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Remote Rescue

New faces have joined the work here in PNG, and there have been a number of ministry changes made during our 3-year absence. One thing has not changed, however: Safe, reliable, air transportation is still vital to this country—not only for our translation teams, but also for the local people.

634596608959555280IMG_7677-K500A few weeks ago, the aviation department received a radio call from a remote village saying there was a local woman with a bad infection in her leg. She needed special medical help quickly. Could we come with one of our aircraft and get her out of the village? It took our pilots a couple of days to get into that specific airstrip because of bad weather, but they were finally able to pick her up and transport her to a location where she could receive medical treatment.

Later, Jon was told that it was a three-day walk from this woman’s village to the nearest road. Without the aid of the aircraft, it is likely the woman would never have made it to a hospital. By the time our pilot saw her, she was already too weak to sit up let alone walk on rugged jungle trails for three days. We thank God that our pilots were able to help her in time. We consider it a privilege to not only be part of bringing God’s Word to the people of PNG, but to also help meet physical needs as God allows.

*Photo by Robert Noble