Friday, July 8, 2011

Fifth Update

It is hard to believe I only have one update left after this.   It has been such a full, busy week that I can barely remember all that happened.  
One highlight was visiting the Ob/GYN ward at the Mount Hagen hospital.  We went and sang, and then prayed with the different women. On one side of the room- there are ladies dying of cancer and Aids.  One had just given birth 2 weeks before, and she could not even sit up.  Maria that I prayed with had a huge tumor in her abdomen and she knew she didn’t have long to live.  On the other side of the room were several ladies about to give birth, or that had just given birth.  It is so sobering to see life and death in one room like that.  I was able to understand and speak a lot more Pidgin, so that was a blessing.  A lady from the church had brought in soap and toilet paper to give out, as most of these supplies are not provided.  When you go to the hospital, you bring your own mattress, food, and supplies.  Pretty much the only thing provided is primitive care, and not a stitch of privacy!
On Saturday, the Gades made dinner for us and we played Scattergories.  That was a lot of fun.  I also took the Gades’ family pictures, and I really enjoyed that.  They turned out really nice.  As soon as I finish writing this, I will be finishing them up.  I have also had various other photography assignments this week- for the Missionary Home I did portraits of all the workers, and took pictures of the facility for the website.  For the Institute I am working on getting head shots of some of the teachers, and then had a “Creative assignment” from Brad. 
This week was also our July 4th trip to Pangia.  We left Sunday after church.  I was not feeling well, so the trip was pretty crazy!! Over 3 hours of muddy roads, huge potholes, and constant bumps.  It made me really appreciate more of what the bush missionaries go through to get supplies.  We felt like a mix between popcorn and milkshakes by the time we arrived at the beautiful station! 
We had amazing food on our get-away- chicken enchiladas, quiche, homemade donuts, tons of fruit, hamburgers, all the “picnic salads” on the 4th, amazing desserts, a roast made in a Dutch oven, and lots more!  J We played softball while we were there, and that was really fun.  Pangia is very, very foggy and rainy.  We had to stop the game for rain delays.  Clothing will mold before it dries, and it is hard to stay dry.  You learn to accept dirty feet, and you learn how to clean your feet in mud puddles!
We had devotions on July 4th praising the Lord for our freedom, and remembering how do don’t deserve to be Americans.  It is so easy to take things for granted in our country, but spending time in this third-world country makes you remember what He has given us.  One of the things most of us miss the most is convenience- like a pizza, or fast-food. 
We played various games all day long, and I got to chat with Kirsten Wells for a few hours on Tuesday.  She has made a beautiful photo book commemorating their time on deputation that was a lot of fun to look through.  It is neat to have missionaries describe deputation as a good experience.  I stayed every night at the Wells’ house.  They have a lovely place.  They like to collect wild animals- they now have a tree kangaroo, 2 crocodiles, a vulture parrot, and a cockatoo. 
All in all, we had a wonderful trip. Wednesday we were late for the morning service (which is supposed to be at 6:30AM…yes….AM, as in morning!!  Instead of going in late, we walked to the house-sick (hospital) and while we were there we watched a boil being removed from a lady’s finger.  The hospital was SO primitive and dirty, with garbage, dried blood, syringes, and filth everywhere.  I can’t imagine going there to get well.  After the men fixed a flat tire, we headed back to Hagen and hit those “fun” roads again.  The vehicles here are amazing- what they can get through and how they don’t fall apart.  On the way back we stopped 2 beautiful places to get out and look around. We also got to feel like real “natives” as the only restroom provided on our journey was the tall grasses, and leaves for toilet paper. J
When we came to church on Wednesday night, we were met with the sad news that while we were all gone, the Wells’ dog had been stolen, killed, and eaten.  I feel so bad for the kids, especially Torrey was very close to their 8 month old dog, and this is the 2nd dog they have lost.  L On Sunday we are attending a “compensation” which is their tribal way to solve problems.  If someone gets injured, has a crime done, or any other various reasons, there is a court-like “hearing” and then whoever is determined to be in the wrong has to compensate the other tribe.  
We all have been coming down with colds from playing softball in the cold and rain, so the last few days we have been dropping one-by-one!   And it didn’t help all the late nights we had, too. 
On Friday we were headed out to the station and Brandon and I were talking about me driving for some strange reason.  Anyway, no sooner had we finished our conversation when the 10-seater stopped working.  I got my chance to drive much sooner that I desired- I steered all the way back home while Brandon and a few nationals pushed.  Keren prayed that the car doctor would be able to fix it cheap- Praise the Lord Mr. Fair was in town (a missionary, and a plane mechanic) anyway him and Brandon had it fixed in no time and it only cost 4 kina!  Friday evening we had national friends over- we had meatloaf and mashed potatoes and played Monopoly Deal with them.  They speak English very well, but there is still so much we do that is totally foreign to them.  It was fun to have them over.
Anyway, that brings me up to today.  Not much new today, just a dreary, rainy day and everyone is sick, so not a whole lot going on.  I leave a week from today, which leaves me with mixed emotions.

1 comment:

  1. Your writings make it all sound so real! I can relate to the mixed emotions! I am so sad for all of you having to part from each other; hard to be happy for me that you will be home in little more than a week. Told Yoda, "hello" for you. I love you much, mom