We arrived at Good Shepherd Seminary about two weeks ago, on the evening of June 11, thereby ending our travels that began June 4!
We stayed with the Capuchin Franciscans in Port Moresby, the capital, June 6-11, and flew up to the Highlands with the rector on June 11. All our hosts have quite nice and gracious, especially considering that Anastasia was waking up between midnight and three a.m. our first few nights here. We have our own two-bedroom home with refrigerator and gas oven—and it was bursting with food when we first arrived, such that we’ve cooked dinner for the staff twice just to use it up! We feel relatively moved in now, though our adventures will mostly consist of being taken places by priests until I get the hang of driving manual on terrible roads.
We’ve arrived during the one month summer holiday, so the seminary is quite quiet. Only five priests, the maintenance staff, and a PNG family (the father is a Catechist) are on campus currently. On weekdays, I work on class prep and on my German and Greek in the library, Rebecca works in the bursar’s office in the morning, and Anastasia is watched by a local woman named Miriam who is teaching her tok pisin (the local common language). We’ve been driven to Mount Hagen (the local ‘big’ city) a few times—once having tea with the Archbishop—and the rector has taken us to his home village and to visit his father, who was one of the first native PNG catechists! His father had memories of the US troops being in Hagen during WWII as well as childhood memories of Europeans first arriving in PNG. Unfortunately he only spoke Tok Pisin, so our conversation with him was limited.
Tomorrow we are going to a local town, Tupa, to take part in the celebration for the opening of a new church. There will be a pig slaughter and a mass celebrated by the Archbishop. Saturday, we are going to a traditional feast thrown by some local nuns. Sadly, Rebecca’s camera broke when we were in Brisbane, so we have no pictures to post right now. The rector is letting us borrow his camera, so we’ll be able to share some pictures of the upcoming festivities.
Internet in PNG is a luxury, rather than a common resource. We have only today secured regular access for ourselves. It’s getting late here, so this short post will have to do for now, but we’ll be posting regularly now—including some more detailed posts on our travels and what we’ve seen.