Good news, we’ve been given flights for this week. The fuel crisis is still ongoing, and the aviation team isn’t flying at full capacity, but they are finding ways to prioritize essential flights.

We’ve got one cargo flight lined up for Wednesday, and then we’re heading in on Thursday. We’re making sure we stock up on supplies because we might need to go for a while before we get a resupply. This week, we’ve been buying, packing, weighing, and labelling supplies.

Alice and Millie, on a walk

We managed to find a babysitter so we could head to town to buy what we needed. We visited one store and filled 3 full trolleys with flour, oats, rice and all kinds of food. We had staff bring out boxes of oats from the back for us even after clearing out the shelf as we needed 21kg! Once getting it home we had to box it up, weigh it all and label it all with stickers. Oscar was an invaluable helper in putting stickers on everything ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ll find out this week if everything fits in the helicopter. We have to worry about both weight and volume and it can be hard to figure that out exactly.

We haven’t minded the extra time out in Goroka to rest and recharge. We’ve enjoyed playground time with our kids and had some time to read and reflect. We’ve recharged to the point of seeking out opportunities to be social and connect again with our PNG friends. Usually, when we come out, we just need to disconnect from people, take lots of naps, and be by ourselves a lot. It’s nice to get to the point where we’re feeling ready to share our lives with others again.

blanching carrots, a supply-buying activity

We invited a PNG family we know from nearby over for a BBQ. This family helped us finish learning to speak Tok Pisin, and they are active in teaching Bible lessons in the surrounding community. It was nice to reconnect, and the contrast between rural PNG culture and urban PNG culture is so pronounced. Our friends were able to imagine and empathize with the challenges we face living in the bush, whereas in Kovol, people think we live in the lap of luxury with no problems of any kind! Even the act of going to the store and buying a load of meat to share at a BBQ is something impossible for us to do in Kovol.
It feels nice to be able to be generous and open our home in a way that we just can’t in Kovol; we don’t have to worry so much about jealousy and perceived favouritism in this urban PNG culture.

BBQ time

Our children are all looking forward to getting back into Kovol now. Oscar is looking forward to showing off his birthday presents from his friends, and all three kids want to play in the Kovol mud. I mean, there’s mud here, but the Kovol mud is what they’re talking about!

I think this time out has been what we needed. For the last four days, I’ve been receiving daily phone calls from a guy in our neighbouring tribe asking us if we can fly vanilla out using our mission helicopter. It’s the only reason this particular guy ever calls me, so seeing the calls come in, my usual response is a deep sigh. Not so much now after having a chance to rest, and I’ve been spending time chatting with him, even though we can’t really help him out too much (again fuel crisis). The desire to reconnect with PNG life is a marked difference from how we came out for a break, so I think this time off has been a good thing for us.

Returning to Kovol means a return to wading through interviews as I try to finish off our culture file. It’s sure to be a lot of hard work, but I’m close. Finishing language study is in sight. Plans for the upcoming months are still uncertain due to the fuel issue, but it’ll be good to get back and push on.

Oscar decided to spell his teddies’ names with the Jenga blocks


Mandy · 19/03/2024 at 5:42 pm

Good to hear guys ๐Ÿ™‚ praying ๐Ÿ™‚

Wim · 19/03/2024 at 8:18 pm

Thanks! Good to read about your whereabouts. Blessings, Wim

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