This series of blog posts is part of the A to Z 2019 Blogging Challenge in which I will write snapshot memories of my early married life in the then Territory of Papua New Guinea.
An unexplored country
Offers opportunities for
Missionaries of all varieties
To cultivate Christianity
Carve out their own patch.
Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans
United Church, Seventh Day Adventists
Assemblies of God,
One Ways and New Tribe Missions
Swiss Evangelical Brotherhood
Highland Christian Mission and more.
Who knew there were so many?
No wonder the country is largely Christian
Underpinned by traditional beliefs and witchcraft.
On arrival I hear the stories and yarns
I meet the Catholic clergy and nuns
Men and women who have lived
Challenging lives of outreach
Living remotely on a shoestring
No “fat cats” among them.
The nun chasing an intruder
Flailing with a six cell torch,
Another who rides her horse in Chimbu
To do school inspections,
Two fingers of whisky please, said the priest
With two fingers missing from the middle of his hand.
An American priest,
A former linebacker from Notre Dame,
Carries a double bed overhead.
Ecumenical study groups
Different religions and nationalities
A gathering of respect and fellowship
Over barbecues, beer and Glayva.
Our daughter is baptised at home
By our friend the priest from Milne Bay
In retrospect, were he and we
The only Catholics present?
Mass at the high school
Mass in the cinema among the buai
Easter Mass at Ladava
Moonlight over Milne Bay
Cane toads hopping towards the Coleman lamps.
Returning years later
We are now more conspicuous
Two white faces among the brown
Curious what brings us there.
Lotu – church
rabisim – “rubbish him”, make fun of
raskol – a euphemistic name for a trouble maker, gang member etc
rausim – get rid of