Sunday, 29 May 2011

Bush walk

Getting off the mission station can be a bit of a challenge.  There are call schedules and safety concerns to consider.  It is often more trouble than it is worth.  But the longer you are here, the smaller this place feels.  I call it "bush fever."  Sometimes you just need to get away.

Last Saturday, Pamela and I had the most wonderful opportunity to do just that.  Monica is Pamela's colleague and student in x-ray.  Her home village is not far from the station.  She invited Pamela to go for a walk, to see her place and visit with the family.  And I got to tag along!

About 9:00 AM we met up with Monica and her "brother" Michael.  Michael is actually some sort of cousin to Monica.  In this tribal society, your cousin is your brother, and your aunt's friend's sister-in-law is your second mother.  One big happy family!  

We walked down through the cow banis, past the Hyrdo Church, through sweet potato and banana gardens to what the missionaries call "Suicide Rocks."  It is called this because once upon a time there was a cliff from where you could dive into the river--if you were crazy enough.  We learned that the tok ples name is "Kugar" which means "rock house."  I think I prefer the tok ples name.  A flood in the last year has changed the scene quite a bit; the large rocks have fallen down into the river.  The rushing water is still quite a site to behold.

We followed along and through and across the river, to a bend where I had never before ventured.  One of Monica's other cousins was there with his family.  Mother was washing clothes along the edge of the water.  The children were catching small fish in the stream.  What a beautiful picture.

Our trek continued through coffee groves and an orange plantation.  Michael led us up the trail of "Ai Pas Mountain" or "close your eyes mountain."  Apparently there are some rather precarious drops that do make you want to close your eyes.  Although I'm not sure why, because that would only increase your chance of falling off the cliff.  The hills were blanketed with the purple May grass.

We arrived in Monica's village just before noon.  Koloming is a small collection of bush houses, probably no more than 10.  Monica's mother was called from the garden.  She arrived with a bag of freshly picked peanuts, sugar fruits, and oranges for us to take home.  We sat on the ground and storied with brothers' families and cousins and uncles and other curious folks.  Pamela had made some banana bread as a gift to share with the family.  The loaves were sliced and pieces passed around for everyone to taste.  It didn't last long!

We concluded our visit with a round of hand shakes and headed down the path to Kudjip.  It really was a lovely outing--just what the doctor ordered to treat her case of "bush fever."

"And this is love:  that we walk in obedience to his commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love."
~ 2 John 1:6

1 comment:

  1. I love the pics of the river!! And hearing about walking through so many food fields... How neat!