Time flies when you’re out of the bush. The last 2 weeks have been great being back with family, Oscar remembered who I was this time and he’s been Daddy’s boy ever since I got back.

The idea was to take a week off to recover from our marathon milling trip, but in the end we only took a day off. Having a toddler feels like there are no days off anyway, so why not carry on?
A change of pace is as good as a change in some ways. Sitting working with spreadsheets planning helicopter flights feels restful after logging!

We’ve taken stock of what materials we have in Kovol already, what needs to come in and we feel like we’re short on flights again! Talking with other helicopter locations over conference we realize that’s a common feeling; all our helicopter locations are constantly juggling and shuffling Kgs around to make the best use of the flights and constantly prioritizing and prioritizing.
It makes a great environment for marital disagreements when not everyone feels curtains are a ‘must have – cannot survive without them’ priority!

Catching up with awesome friends

The spread-sheeting is paying off though, we’ve got flights on the books and trips into Kovol planned through to the new year. We’re hoping our families can all move into Kovol the week before Christmas; but plans here are more like ideas – we’ll see what actually happens!
With the building materials we still need to move in we’re going to be very limited in space for bringing food, clothes and household supplies. The first month till resupply we’ll have to make do with not bringing everything we’d like to bring in.

Alongside the planning Central area conference came to Sobega. Every year all the missionaries in the Central area (the Highlands and Madang area of PNG) leave the bush and come out for conference. A team from the US came to provide childcare and Bible teaching, and each missionary team gave an update on how things are going.

It was really encouraging. The food is great, there are board game parties in the evenings, you get to hear all the news and you get to catch up with friends.
It’s awesome to hear from missionaries who are ahead of us; many of them struggled through milling and house building and they help remind us of why we’re pushing through this busy time.

We’re amazed at the work God is doing in tribes across PNG. Literacy programs producing readers, translations getting done and believers choosing to behave in radically counter cultural ways modelling love and forgiveness to their communities. It’s a real shot in the arm to keep us excited about getting into Kovol.

Rhett gives the Kovol team report

Oscar went into nursery every morning for 3 days and did great! We missed him, but it was also a relief to not be looking after him for a bit! We don’t usually get that opportunity- he’s with us all the time!
Reports from nursery are “he’s a really chilled out baby”, “he just sits there and takes it all in” and my personal favorite “He’s in a neutral mood all morning long, apart from when he’s throwing a ball and then his face is lit up with pure joy”. Sounds like our little boy 🙂

Where Oscar likes to be

The other big event is that our coworkers the Hansens have arrived back in PNG with their 2 year old and 2 month old. They happened to arrive at the airport at the same time as staff from the Indonesian embassy, so there was a special, warm welcome (for the embassy). Nice to see though!

Asaro mudmen giving a royal welcome

The Hansens have their work cut out for them playing catch up. They’re off to Madang today to start the process of buying their own building materials.
The next trip is in a week and a half or so and we’ll be working on continuing to mill and starting to build the Stanley and Stous houses. The Hansens get a little time to get things prepared before we’re ready to start on their house – but it’s still a stressful time of hitting the ground running.

And the newest Kovol team member settling in


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