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.
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 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.
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.
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.
But she is very happy to return to preschool, now that the roadblock is resolved.
Pray for us, that we will teach well, our students will learn lots, and that Fr. Paul’s rectorship will have a great start.