Plotinus in the Jungle

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Annie’s Car


Most children in Papua New Guinea have very few toys.  I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a national child carrying a doll.  They have balls, marbles, sticks, and string.  They are also much better at creating their own toys.  Annie’s friend Cornelia (6th grade) once tied broken plastic bags together to form a makeshift rope and then tied them together between two trees and used them as a jungle gym/jump rope.  Children will also cut a circular disk out of the sole of broken sandal and play a combination hockey/baseball game in which one child rolls the puck to another who whacks it with a stick.  And they make “cars” by attaching bottle caps to the end of long sticks with a nail.  Here is Annie with a car that her friend Elijah (3rd grade) made her:IMG_0278IMG_0279Annie often refers to this as her PMV (People Moving Vehicle).  PMV’s are 16 to 24 passage vans or even trucks with benches in the bed that are the main form (normally the only form) of transportation in Papua New Guinea.  We can ride back and forth from the Seminary to Banz for under 2 kina (=less than a dollar, 10 km round trip).  In very remote areas, land rover PMVs are the only transportation.  I once heard the bishop tell a priest that the land rover PMV was the best and safest way for him to get to a church two mountain ranges away.  Annie enjoys riding the PMV (some passengers invariably know who she is) and eagerly looks forward to paying the fare collector.

At the Seminary, Annie will often drive me or Rebecca to our respective office using her PMV.  We walk behind her as she pushes her car and then she walks back to our house by herself.  Our house is basically visible from our offices, in case you imagine Annie strolling through a college campus . . .


Finally, we apologize for being tardy with our blog entries.  Our Internet is so slow that at times it can take a whole afternoon just to upload a few pictures.  We’ll try to do shorter posts more frequently.  Please pray for us as the time for the birth of Zimmerbabe II arrives.  Rebecca is due April 21!



  1. Al Rapp says:

    Thanks for your e-mail, enjoy hearing from you. I am wondering if it’s safe for Annie to walk home by her self in case somebody is waiting by the road side to kin nape her, sorry I feel this way. Yes, it would be nice to talk to you sometime when Sue is here we will make that arrangement. Pop Pop _finally _got hearing aids, hope he wears them. This was a long time coming. Spring is on the way in the high 60’s yesterday, most of the snow has melted. I will keep in touch, hope Annie gets her birthday gift, Sue will send it to Pittsburgh, sorry she hasn’t gotten her valentine. Is there anything we can send CC for baby? Let us know soon. Love you, Grammy


  2. Bethany says:

    Love the car – very clever! Definitely will be praying for you all as the baby’s due date comes =)



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