June 13, 2014 (BJ)
Wow, I am exhausted. I feel like I just finished a half marathon! I just got back from a “camping” trip with several men from the village here. Yesterday morning we left Wusuraambya and headed down the trail for Marawaka, a little “town” which is a 6 hour hike across the mountains. Everyone from the whole area was making the trek because Marawaka is getting hydro power… which is a big deal here! The prime minister of PNG was even coming to make a speech! When we departed I felt so energized, but about an hour later after we had climbed up the first 1,000 feet of elevation change I was exhausted. Haha, I just laid down on the trail for a few minutes and all the guys were laughing at me.
We finally made it to Marawaka and then to the house we were all staying at. Yes, it was a hut. I stayed in a hut last night! That’s a first. Before I went to sleep though, we all sat around in one of their traditional round houses with a fire pit in the middle and cooked dinner. Well, the women cooked and the men sat around and “storied.” Wow, what an experience! After we stuffed ourselves with greens (mom, I gagged on every bite, it reminded me of how you used to make me eat lima beans), rice, and sweet potatoes, we all went to sleep.
This morning we got up and ate more greens and rice (mmm just what I love for breakfast! ;)), then we headed down to the celebration. There were hundreds of people gathered to see the prime minister. Also, lots of people were decked out in traditional dress—grass skirts, headdress, bows and arrows, face paint, the whole gamut! (ps-this kind of dress is not the norm anymore, most people in PNG dress in western type clothes now). After sitting and watching the traditional dancing and singing for hours, I was starting to think the prime minister wasn’t coming! So, we decided to start heading back so that we could get home before dark. And of course the prime minister came a few minutes after we left, haha. Oh well! I loved hiking with these tribal dudes—they are our brothers in Christ! I can’t wait until the day in our tribe when we can fellowship with the believers; that day is coming!
Thanks for tracking with us!