Our last breakfast with furniture for a while…

After years of training and preparation, tomorrow is finally the day we’re moving into the tribe. We’re excited, Gerdine is nervous (having never been there before) and Oscar seems to be oblivious to things.

We moved out of our home for the last year and into an NTM Guest house. Our house needs a DEEP clean (NTM policy) before we leave it and we thought it’d be less stressful to scrub the walls and ceilings without all our boxes there. A long weekend in the guest house has been pretty fun actually.

The upcoming transition is going to be massive for Oscar so it’s been nice to do a bit of training. His routine is the same, the neighbourhood is the same, but the house is different. We hope it helps him move on a little easier, but we’re sure he’ll be fine.

Our boxes packed and ready to go

It’s also our last push for packing. Moving out was really helpful for the purpose of weighing up our boxes. We’ve got a weight limit for the chopper and we’re well on course to meet it. It doesn’t look like we’ll need to leave anything behind. We have some leftover plywood that we’ve weighed and arranged to come in later; otherwise, we should have all we need for the next weeks.

Last day in Goroka also means a bit of last-minute shopping. Veggies go off quickly so we’re stocking up the day before. We’ve got a nice pineapple to enjoy in a day or two and other essentials. The way we cook and eat will have to change though and we’ll have to rely more on frozen and tinned goods that last forever.

Can I have onions for the next 6 weeks please?
Oscar helps to pick out the groceries

Finally it’s our last chance for Pizza in a while 🙂

Mmm PNG pizza (pizza with no tomato puree – they must be out :p)

A complication to the move in

We were feeling pretty set and ready, but then we received a call from the Pal team – our neighbours in Kovol. A group of Kovol guys hiked over to let the missionaries know that a 10-year-old Kovol boy got an arrow in his calf which tore most of the calf muscle out and exposed the bone. They are requesting medical assistance.

Part of what we’ve been doing these last weeks is meeting as a team to come up with a team policy for everything we can think would be useful and medical assistance was something we discussed at length.
The plan is to offer the use of the helicopter for medical emergencies IF it’s in the area already (we won’t call it in from across the country) and the patient’s family have to pay 1/4 of the expense for the detour to pick them up (we pay the rest).

Why do we ask for payment? Well, it’s not to cover our costs, we’ll still be paying 75% of the costs. There needs to be an upfront cost to prevent our offer to help being abused. It needs to cost enough to use the helicopter that we won’t be getting false requests for assistance, but low enough that a family group can pull the money together in an emergency.

The request we have fits into our criteria. It’s a life-threatening injury (with the poor sanitation and lack of medical care in the jungle), and it fits into our flight schedule as the helicopter is going back to Madang after dropping us off.

It’s never simple though. Exactly how do you define a life-threatening injury? A scratch out here can become life-threatening if you don’t look after it and it gets infected!

So now the first thing I’ll be doing when arriving in Kovol is assessing this injury and potentially getting this kid Medevaced to Madang hospital. Pray for us, it’s going to be a stressful extra thing to take on. What do we do if the family refuse to pay?
What do I do if after looking at the injury I conclude that the reports we had about the severity of the injury were exaggerated?

These things I’ll be weighing up under the blast and noise of rotor wash whilst Oscar will be crying and terrified after his helicopter ride.

Be praying for us, this is the first of many challenges to come!


Leave a Reply