Thank you for prayers for safe travel! We have never had such a smooth across-the-world trip! Though we are all a little dazed and foggy in the brain from all the airplanes and airports and time zone changes, we are so happy to be back in Papua New Guinea! And with every family member and every piece of luggage accounted for, we are tired but thankful.
On the long flight from LA to Brisbane, Brooke sat next to a Papua New Guinean 9th grade student! She had just spent a month in Indiana, and was eager to talk about her perspective on visiting the US for the first time. Some things that stood out to her were all the machines that Americans use to do their work. She said, “how can a machine know better than I do where the dirt is on my clothes, and where to scrub the most?” She also said that New Guinea girls know better how to run and manage a house, and that the New Guinea mothers teach their daughters at an early age. When she was about six, her mother said, “Watch everything that I do, how I cook and wash and clean and take care of the little ones.” So she did! Deborah said that all New Guinean daughters have to know how to run the household so that if their mothers die, their fathers will not be forced to remarry a stepmother just to take care of the children and the house. Daughters must be ready to step in! (what a perspective! I have seen many New Guinean girls’ competence, but never heard it reasoned out like that!) Another observation she had on Americans is how silly it is to have to cut the word ‘fat’ out of their descriptions of anyone! (Here in PNG, fat and skinny are used as or more acceptably than we use short and tall!) However, her overall impression was wonderfully friendly, she loved America, and will definitely be coming back again soon!
It was wonderful to begin hearing some Pidgin again early on in our trip, and to hear some of the opposite side of the story – how a New Guinean looks at being in America!
Busy supply shopping days ahead,