Plotinus in the Jungle

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A new year at Good Shepherd

Our school year began the first week of February with a weeklong retreat for the seminarians given by Fr. Christian Sieland. The next week started off with our opening Mass and handover/takeover ceremony from our outgoing rector Fr. Clement to our new rector Fr. Paul Sundu.

Fr. Paul is wearing a blue shirt with a single stripe, the second man left of Brandon

Fr. Paul is wearing a blue shirt with a single stripe, the second man left of Brandon

We have 12 residential students this year: 8 in the third year and 4 in the second year. They hail from Mendi, Wabag, Mt. Hagen, Kundiawa and Madang dioceses – four highlands dioceses and one diocese from the north coast.

Unfortunately, the second week of February also saw the start of the apparently now biannual road block.

the sign says "land owners on strike" which is slightly better than "Fatima is closed"

the sign says “land owners on strike” which is slightly better than “Fatima is closed”

The dissatisfied land owners sat behind their ditch and barracade for about a week and half before the other tribes got tired of it and dismantled the ediface.

New in this year's seige: a tent to hang out in

New in this year’s siege: a tent to hang out in

Fr. Clement, the outgoing rector, is now relaxing and doing some interim work until he goes on to his next adventure. We spent a nice afternoon with him just hanging out at his childhood home of Kuli and enjoying a meal prepared by his extended family.

Hospitality is giving your guests an entire pig leg complete with toenails

Hospitality is giving your guests an entire pig leg complete with toenails

I, Rebecca, am teaching computing this semester (oh boy). So far we’ve discussed malware, how to download and install antivirus, and how to open an email account. One student, confronted with the CAPTcHA image and field on the gmail registration form that instructed him “prove you’re not a robot,” wrote “I am Joe”. Another student struggled with the “birthday” field. Asked for month and day, he wrote “October, Monday.” I asked him the date. He said he wasn’t sure. I asked him the year, and he said hesitantly… “1976? Maybe?” The most surprising was how many people with my students’ last names have already signed up for gmail! Some struggled to find usernames that weren’t already taken. We’ll see what new surprises I have when I help the third years open email addresses on Wednesday…

Brandon is teaching Latin, Philosophy of God, and Ethics. Unfortunately he is again dealing with a few students who can’t follow who is speaking in a platonic dialogue. The second years were similarly challenged by the passage of Avicenna he gave them to read. I trust that setting them a high bar they can aim for is good for them. This is a philosophy seminary, after all.

Anastasia enjoyed the school break time in January to play with our neighbors and harvest the guavas in our back yard.

Find Cornelia!

Annie and Cornelia, resident bookworm and tree-climbing expert

But she is very happy to return to preschool, now that the roadblock is resolved.

"Watch out, educational system, here I come!"

“Watch out, educational system, here I come!”

Pray for us, that we will teach well, our students will learn lots, and that Fr. Paul’s rectorship will have a great start.

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1 Comment

  1. Al Rapp says:

    Good Morning Brandon & Family,

    Your new post very interesting, hope everything works out for you and CC and the new rector, what a challenge. Seems like the snow is not over even tho it’s last week of Feb. more of this white stuff to fall tonight into tomorrow. Your mother has been a wonderful angel 2 nights straight she stopped and brought food to us and also for her self. I’ve been suffering w/a nasty cold on medication. No energy, tired all the time.

    We need updated picture of Tabby and Annie, now their birthdays are in April hope Sue gets their package in time. Wish I could shop but using that walker is too much for my bad knee.

    pop-Pop still the same, no change. He sleeps most of the time when he isn’t at Day Care 3 days a week. it’s too cold to take him out on the wheel chair. Seems nothing changes. I will keep you all in my prayers and hopefully things w/work out to your advantage. Keep the messages coming. Love you, Grammy

    Liked by 1 person

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