April 11th (Friday)
Wednesday, late afternoon, we left the village and headed to Madang. On our way, we stopped and saw Win's high school, Fatima Secondary. It was nice-looking. It seemed like there were a lot of students there. I went and used the bathroom there, and found that the water wasn't working so they were using buckets to flush the toilets. :( We stopped and saw Jeffrey's mom and dad. They were very sweet. The ride was very bumpy. Jenny, Andrew, Bras, Joel, and Amos all came along for the trip. We all took turns holding the boys, since it was so bumpy, without seat belts. I had trouble staying on the seat; it was so bumpy. We put one bench seat up and slept on the floor part of the time. It wasn't the best part of the trip. We finally made it to Madang at about 8 AM, after driving all night. We found a guest house (a hotel) and I, Jenny, and the 2 boys stayed there for several hours. We ate breakfast, showered, and waited for the guys to come back. After they came back, we went looking around the town a little bit. We went to a resort and swam at the beach. That was very nice. The water was clear and blue, just like you would see in pictures. I don't think the guys really knew the place well, because the beach was tiny and they didn't seem to know where any other ones were. It was ok though, because we were the only ones there.
April 13th (Sunday)
Friday, Win went to see Jeffrey's parents. They gave us lots of foods.
Today, Sunday, we went to Tambul to church.We visited Grandpa Okie's brother and sister. They were both very sweet. I didn't want to leave the sister. She was one of the first to know Pidgin. I probably won't see them again. She cried and was happy to see us and said the next time we meet we'll be in heaven. We went to the Tambul mission station. We also saw Kenneth Galua and his children. Our family all came in the truck; Joseph (brother-in-law)and Salome (niece), Shadrach (nephew), Robert and Moni (in-laws), Jordan, Benadiah (nephews), Matthew (in-law), Carl, Stephen, Andrew (nephews), Bill and Clara (in-laws) and all of us. Then on the way back, Bill's cousin came along. It was quite packed!!
Monday- Wednesday we stayed at home, going out once or twice. Win went to town to find out about our tickets and to meet with some people. The counselor's brother passed away (after we had just met him on our way back from Madang), so they have been having a funeral gathering all this week. Tuesday, I went for a little bit. I've met lots of people. Everyone seems so happy to see me. The older ones cry tears of joy. It's been raining a lot the last few days so we've had to keep the boys inside. Yesterday we washed more laundry, then it started raining hard, so we had to get back. Jenny finished up the laundry this morning. Life here seems simple, but hard.
I've seen lots of things; some good, some I don't like, or understand. Today was the actual funeral service. It was, honestly, kind of scary. I didn't like it at all. I didn't feel much hope or encouragement for the family. The man passed away in another part of the country, so they brought the body in and the family saw it the first time right then, during the service, with all the tribesmen there. As people would come into the funeral they would cry and moan from the road and then those who were already there, seated at the service would begin the funeral cry, a song that they sing for this time. Everyone cried when they brought the casket down from the road. Several of the family members were in deep anguish and were rolling on the ground, pulling the grass and dirt up on themselves. As different people would come, they would stand and cry and people would go up and cry with them, then bring them into the area where everyone was sitting. It was very sad. The people are very emotional to begin with, so the sadness is just another expression, but it was very overwhelming. They will continue to have the funeral until they bury the body.
Tomorrow we will go up to Tambul and they will give some food for our farewell feast/mumu. It will be hard to leave everyone.