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Archive for September, 2017

Greetings Everyone,

We arrived in Misima bearing gifts. On our travels around Sudest we caught firstly two Spanish mackerel then three more, a large pike a trevally and finally another Spanish mackerel. Even feeding five passengers for several days my fridge was overflowing and I was pleased to unload the excess fish and accumulated heads at Misima. They promptly invited us to share a meal — an excellent way to catch up with some old friends.

In Jelewanga the whole community had been saddened by the death of their leader, Ken. I had spent a lot of time last year teaching him English. Fortunately we still had Pastor Sigi with us. He is such quality and spent a lot of time with some of the young men there encouraging them to step up into leadership and promising to send a support team. Phil fixed their radio.

We left one afternoon after heavy rain. The tide was up which means the access to the dinghy was via logs through the mangrove mud. The catch was the logs were underwater. One of three young men walked in thigh deep oozy mud holding on to me and guiding my feet onto the logs — otherwise I’d probably still be there.

By the way, Phil’s foot is better — thanks for the prayers.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

SO much has happened in the past ten days. We finally got some zoom and endured the usual two hour wet trip to Wale where I did a day teaching Sunday School teachers and a three day conference on Marriage and Parenting. Phil did an hour’s walk further down the coast to liaise with a catamaran with engine trouble and came back with a coral cut that developed into a tropical ulcer which we are still trying to get to heal.

We returned to Damunu where they gave us an INCREDIBLE farewell — a major production with song, dance, drama, speeches from visiting dignitaries and tearful farewells then of course a feast. Even the school was closed so the teachers and students could attend.

The next day, just on dawn, Pastor Sigi’s wife and daughter came out in a canoe weeping uncontrollably. I thought someone had died. But NO. The whole family had been so upset at our leaving, especially Sigi, that Julie came out to express their grief. It was a VERY moving experience. In the end Sigi and Julie decided to come with us to Sudest Island while we visited the churches there. Phil installed an new HF radio in a very remote village on the eastern tip of the island. After sailing to Sudest we had another two hour very rough dinghy ride to the village. Phil took his GPS and clocked the dinghy speed — we sat on 19-20 knots when we were not dodging reef. Phil was worried that the jarring would harm the radio but all went well.

When we returned to the yacht they got Phil to check why the government radio wasn’t working. We cannot doubt that these people value the work we do with them. It is proving very hard to say goodbye.

Today we sailed to Jelewaga on the south coast of Sudest and will spend a couple of days here doing some work.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Transport and communications are the two biggest problems here. Local trading boats are no longer allowed to carry passengers if they are bringing fuel. It effectively makes it twice as hard for people to get around, often taking 3 to 4 months for mum’s with new bubs to return from hospital in Alotau. And fuel is always in short supply (apart from being over 8 kina a litre at Rossel, that’s over $4). We’ve been waiting a week for some zoom to get to our next venue.

Meanwhile Phil has installed one new radio at Morpa and relocated an existing one here at Damunu. The bush houses only last 7 to 8 years and have to be rebuilt.

The locals are SO pleased to have them. Misima now has mobile phones (if the sun has been shining and the phone tower has power) but the people in Rossel don’t get a signal. They climb a high mountain early in the morning but usually are unsuccessful in getting a connection so they really count on the radios and the whole community uses them. Phil is very popular and is constantly getting messages of thanks from the OIC of the local government area here. I think as well as sending people to Bible College, it’s one of the best services we have been able to provide.

Lack of medical facilities are also a problem. I was asked to dress a little girl’s leg. She had put a coconut on her knee and got a bush knife (machete) to open it and she missed the coconut and cut her knee. The aid post nurse was away and all she had on it was a lump of cotton wool. It was deep and gaping and really needed stitching. She was in a lot of pain and was only six years old. I disinfected it, applies butterfly clips, dressed it and gave her a panadol. She didn’t cry — just looked at me with big eyes. You need to be a Jack of all trades here.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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