Aug 30, 2015

rain

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write to you. Life has been moving so quickly the last couple of weeks. I have really struggled with fitting everything in during the day, and unfortunately blogging took a major hit. Time seems to work differently here. In many ways we live very simply and don’t have a whole lot to fill up our days. However, those simple things that we do have to do take up more time here and so fill up our days. Softball season is over, so I should have more time in my day since I’m not coaching right now.
Team pictures after the provincial softball tournament this weekend. I'm so proud of my girls!
Josh and I have been busy with language classes; we’re now in the 5th of 7 weeks before it moves to more self-study. We’ve had many outings to several of the surrounding villages, and have been working really hard to build relationships with nationals in the area through “stori” (fellowship), “kaikai” (sharing a meal), and learning the crafts of the area (bilum weaving, firemaking, etc). It really makes a difference when we pour our lives into the lives of others. When what is important to them becomes important to us, the “us and them” mentality starts to disappear and you realize that we’re all in this together. Harmony is a big part of PNG culture, and since this is my country now, too, it’s important to be wanbel (in harmony) with my national neighbors.
These are the girls in our language class. Nina (in blue) is one of the teachers, and this was her birthday. We hung decorations and made cookies and cake to celebrate. Josh and one other guy are also in our class, along with Nina's husband Brooks, and Aute our national language helper.
Right now there is a terrible drought, which is having a widespread affect on the entire country. The people live by subsistence farming, and without rain nothing grows; and if nothing grows then they don’t eat. The ground is dry and cracked, the grass is brown, gardens are withering, and the rivers are lower than ever. Throughout the country people are burning wide areas of land in an attempt to make clouds so that it will rain, but it still doesn’t rain. By night the mountain ridges glow; and by day black scorch marks have replaced the usually lush landscape. Please pray for rain to come heal this land and feed our national neighbors.
The land is burnt constantly. There is always smoke in the air, which makes cleaning and breathing difficult. There have been a lot of colds and smoke allergies flaring up lately apart from the hardships that come with major droughts in subsistence cultures.

I’ve got a couple of other posts in the works. Some about cooking here and what all that involves, and one about the hardest thing I’ve experienced so far. Life here in the Land of the Unexpected is never boring, and I’m so excited to share it with you!

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