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Easter 2015: Part 2, Holy Saturday


Dear faithful reader, Apologies for not finishing our Easter posts during the Easter season.  As always, we are well occupied here in PNG.  Last week was finals week for the first term, Brandon has been preparing a publication and revising the first chapter of the dissertation, and Tabitha can now take about 6 steps on her own!  We also had the joy of hosting our friends Ellen and Dae for a week and taking them on various adventures. You may remember that for Easter weekend, we went with our former rector, Fr. Clement, to the remote mountain valley of Tsinsibai.  On Holy Saturday, we accompanied Fr. Clement on his pastoral work.  He walked throughout the valley, visiting the sick and shut-in in order to hear their confessions and anoint them.  The valley was quite beautiful.


Rebecca and Tabitha ready themselves to cross a tiny gorge caused by a tiny waterfall.

Annie and those who dwell by the tiny waterfall.

Annie and those who dwell by the tiny waterfall.

The center of the valley was an uninhabitable swamp of great width.  The people live at the feet of the mountains on both sides.  Fr. Clement said that the whole Waghi Valley would have been a similar swamp before the Australians drained it.



We walked across the swamp and visited the outstation church on the other side.  We learned that Fr. Christian Sieland, who had painted a mural at Good Shepherd, had been stationed here for a time and had blessed the outstation with his art:


Mary and St. Michael (in the art, not the foreground)

IMG_1318 We also met and spend some time with the sister of Sister Janice (the latter had already departed for Australia).  Martha is a single lady who seems to devote her time to good works, such as sewing clothes for the poor.  Rebecca was feeling a little tired from the long walk across the swamp, so I went on a walk up to the top of the mountain, while Rebecca and the girls stayed behind to eat strawberries and play with water (both being favorite activities of Tabitha). IMG_1334 A local teacher and some school children took me on a good walk up the mountain.  I got some good views of the local method of growing kaukau (sweet potatoes).


The mounds are ready for planting.

Mounds with kaukau.

Mounds with kaukau.

The top of the mountain was rainforest, but I had a nice view of the valley from the treeline.


The swamp is in the middle between the lines of trees. We are staying over on the left where there is a small break in the mountains.


Rainforest, with my guide, Robert.

At the top of the mountain was a little hut intended for those who wished to make a private prayer retreat.

My guides.

My guides.

Though it was rainy, the views were amazing.  The other side was a nearly sheer drop to the Kaugel river, with a full view of the city of Mt. Hagen and the Waghi Valley.


The Kaugel River is wending its way below. The distant white buildings in the haze is Mt. Hagen.

Once the Zimmerman family reunited, we walked back to the house at the main station.  Fr. Clement stayed behind.  He was going to celebrate the Easter Valley at te outstation and then walk back around midnight to the main station.  We barely beat the rain and had a nice dinner of potatoes and cauliflower.  We put the kids to bed.  I thought about walking back across the swamp to join Fr. Clement, but it was raining and a long walk, so I decided to go to the vigil service at the main station while Rebecca watched the kids and rested. The vigil service was mostly in the tok place (Melpa) and was fairly low-key.  Due to the rain, the fire was much smaller than the ones I’ve seen at Sacred Heart and Good Shepherd.  Still it was very good to celebrate with other Christians, and to feel, despite all our difference, one in spirit with them.  They were very excited that I was there – which meant that old ladies and the lay leaders kept interrupting my prayers by energetically shaking my hands!


  1. Doris says:

    Brandon & CC I just viewed your fantastic post, what a great experience you all are having. Annie is a beautiful grand daughter, she is growing so tall, I like the picture of Tabby must see her full body some time. CC looks good hope she is feeling OK with the next baby on the way. Bonnie & family are on their way to Nags Head so they are stopping this am in honor of my 87th birthday, getting so old. Wish you and your family could be w/us, some year.Pop-Pop doing well w/his walker that has wheel that makes it so much better for him to walk. It’s amazing how he comes back from all his set backs, We thank the dear Lord for all the prayers. I will soon go shopping for all your items you sent and hope to mail the package soon. Keep up the good works and keep in touch. Love you, Grammy & PopPp


  2. Rebecca says:

    Wow, the mounds look so neat! Like, orderly! Very cool.


  3. […] it was “cruel, cruel” to mention in our last post that Tabitha was walking without presenting photographic evidence. She is still at the stage where […]



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