Papua New Guinea has been my home for 23 days now, which means I am way past getting to blame jetlag for the things I am not quite used to yet. I have been told, however, that I do get to use the altitude as a scapegoat for a few things over the next couple more months. Here are a few things, good and bad, that are still feeling new to me.
1. I have mountains outside my window. Since the center is in a valley, I look out both directions from my flat onto hills. It is green everywhere, and I am in awe every time I step outside. The topography here is beautiful, though it leaves no doubt as to why there are so many unreached groups. There are also pine trees and palm trees growing together, which is a mystery that remains for me to research.
2. I don’t use heating or air conditioning, and I don’t miss it. In addition to the landscape, the weather is pleasant. I leave my windows open and get to wear a fleece in the mornings. It rains almost every afternoon, which for me (coming from a drought-stricken land) is a very tangible reminder of God’s provision in all of this. The open windows did lead to a funny moment at Bible study last week. There was a cricket so loud and so near (and maybe so big?) that we couldn’t hear Beth Moore on the DVD over its chirp. Then we couldn’t hear her because we were giggling so hard about it.
3. I haven’t texted in over three weeks. Communication has been one of the more difficult things so far. A fifteen hour time difference from many of those I keep up with and a lack of affordable or quick technology has meant more of a change than I was anticipating. The fact that I work and live all within 30 acres means that I do have the chance though to develop friendships with some fantastic people nearby.
4. I don’t have paper towels. While I do in fact miss paper towels, automatic washing machines and drive-thru Taco Villa in particular, in general this is indicative of the conveniences I am learning were more wants than needs. Lots of things here (like food, laundry and emailing) take more time because of what is not available, however, I have a feeling this is a lesson that I needed to learn. I found myself way too busy before coming here and have a feeling that I will come to cherish a slower rhythm of life.
Amongst all the transition, I take comfort in the glimpses of things that are beautiful and in knowing that the God who called me to all this new is the same, and is certainly worthy of some changes on my part.