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When we were planning our move to Papua New Guinea, people were generally excited and supportive of our venture. But one concern that many had were our boys—would they be okay? After all, it wasn’t their choice to head to other side of the world. And for everyone in our family, it was a lot harder to let go of Jude and Oliver than Cass and me.

But fret not. The boys are loving their new home—especially the backyard. The Finisterre Mountains are a wonderful world to explore.

Burning our trash means there is a nightly campfire.

Burning our trash means there is a nightly campfire

And the boys have an amazing mom to encourage them, guide them, and train them in this new world. It’s mother’s day today. And a blog about our boys would not complete without a tribute to the only girl in our family. In this unknown and unfamiliar place, it can be tempting to stay indoors where it feels safe and secure. But Cassidy has done an impressive job getting our boys out the front door and into adventures around the village.

Cass with the boys on the way to one of the waterfalls near our village

Cass with the boys on the way to one of the waterfalls near our village

And waiting outside the door most days is a whole slew of kids…

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Some of Jude and Oliver's neighborhood friends

Some of Jude and Oliver’s neighborhood friends

Though there are no traditional playgrounds in our village, our boys have recently realized that there are swings made of rope and twine underneath most village huts.

And sometimes drying coffee beans are fun to play with. It’s the closest things the kids have to a sandbox here.

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But the boys favorite place to go is the Takero River waterfall. There are about 5 small rivers that cascade down the mountains close to us, but the Takero is the largest they’ve seen so far. The kids here love to swim in the many pools that form at the base of the falls. Jude and Oliver are still not too keen on swimming yet, but they do love to play with all the stones… especially throwing them into some of the deeper pools.

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Takero falls

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Swimming pools

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Jude and Oliver playing with stones in the Takero river.

Here they are on the walk back from the waterfall:

In the states, most parents would shudder at the idea of kids playing with weapons. But weapons are a way of life here. It’s not uncommon to see three-year-olds holding knives and grade school kids walking around with bows and arrows. While we’re not quite to the point of trusting Oliver with a knife, we have let Jude try his hand a shooting a bow and arrow a couple times. He hasn’t got the knack of it yet, but he loves it.

Robin Hood with our house in the background.

Robin Hood with our house in the background to the left and the Takero falls to the right.

Helicopters are vital for our work here in Mawerero. We are over 15 mountainous miles from the nearest road. It’s nothing but steep and slippery footpaths in our corner of the world. But every six weeks or so, a helicopter comes to bring us supplies or to transport us in and out of the village. It is a boy’s dream come true—helicopters landing just outside their front door.

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Jude and the Dodd boys (Onesimus and Benaiah) feeling empowered during our first supply run.

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Oliver has a love-hate relationship with the helicopter. He cries on supply run days because he is afraid of the helicopter, but after it lands he can’t stop smiling.

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Jude and Oliver helping our tribal friends build the brand new landing pad for the Helicopter. (Read: looking for worms)

So while these boys did not choose to come here, and though there is much to adjust to, God has provided many wonderful things for them as well.

All in all, they love their village.

All in all, they love their new home.

 

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