We had every intention of getting up early this morning, saying goodbye, and rushing to the dock to catch the boat back to Lae. However, when we called to check on the status of the boat, we found out that it was broken. Then we prepared ourselves to stay another day. Then we found out that the boat was fixed, and would come later, so we arrived back in Lae very late. It’s good to be back where electricity actually works, where water doesn't need filtering, and where food is a little more surprising. Not that I minded having three coconuts, two pineapples, and fifteen bananas every day, for a snack.
Tuesday was a very busy day for us. We had three programs, and Josh finally came with us after a lot of much-needed rest from his malaria, which seems to be getting much better. We had to get up early so we could catch our ride fromSattleberg back to Heldsbach to freshen up and pick up Josh. The first place we went was Simbang. It is the site where the first German missionaries came ashore in the late 1800’s. We did a program in the memorial “hall” that was decked out in names and dates and very colorful paint. After the program, we had a “light” refreshment (we’re beginning to realize that when they say “light” they mean we each get a coconut, a pineapple, a bunch of bananas, and usually some rice or sweet potatoes too). After we stuffed ourselves, we packed up our gear into some tiny canoes and paddled across the bay to Butaweng, where
is (Josh’s favorite place). When we arrived, we had another “light” refreshment, this time of juice and cookies, lots of juice and cookies. That was amazing. The we did our program, and had a full-blown meal or chicken and rice and juice and kaukau. After that program, we went swimming in the waterfall near the hospital; it has become our favorite place to refresh ourselves. After heading back to the mission station at Heldsbach, we ate dinner and prepared for our last program of the day. The station wanted us to do a special program for them, so we sang some kids songs, and did a skit, and had a great time with the people. Afterwards, we lined up and the kids presented us with gifts (a common Braun Hospital PNG practice). I got some necklaces and some basket things. It was really cool, but kinda sad knowing this was our last night with the kids.
This morning, before we left for real, we made one last trek down the mountain to a primary school. The students did a little singsing for us, and then we did a miniature program for them. We sang a few songs, did our skit, and then shook their hands. After that, we had another ‘light” refreshment of one whole watermelon, and two coconuts. Then we went back to Heldsbach, loaded up, and knocked off for Buki, where the boat was waiting for us. The boat ride was about three hours long, but it was fun to see the flying fish again, and ride along the
PNG shoreline once again. I talked to a guy named Simon from for about and hour or so about Mt. Hagen and America PNG. Then he gave me a Bilum bag and asked for my address because he wanted to send me a Bilum with my name on it along with a handmade PNG cap. Pretty cool stuff, all because I talked with him for a while.
Life is good, God is great!