Q: What did you discover about Papua New Guinea that you didn’t expect?
Jenny: The amount of stores and products you can find here in town. Also, the many varieties of bananas, mangoes, and other fruits that we simply have one kind of in the U.S.
Grace: Ditto to Jenny about the varieties of food. Also there are many more vehicles here than I had expected. The town is full of competing PMV’s (public motor vehicles…aka taxi, bus), along with private vehicles.
Q: What is your favorite part about PNG so far?
Jenny: Well, there are so many wonderful things here. The lush beauty of the mountains and valleys , the amazing highlands climate, but I believe my favorite part is the people. The honest enthusiasm, joyful laughs, and the larger than life smiles aren’t something you find in America too commonly.
Grace: Once again Jenny has stolen my line and I couldn’t agree more with her. I love the quote “Some people are so poor all they have is money.” Papua New Guineans are so rich with joy. Nothing can compare with their laughs and smiles. My favorite thing to do here is be around the people and learn about their culture, what they have experienced, and hear their amazing stories.
Q: What do you miss about the U.S and what have you found to be difficult in PNG?
Jenny: Honestly, a good hamburger. Does that make me a true blooded Yankee? Also probably the cleanliness of the roads and sidewalks. I like things neat, clean, and organized (OCD a little?!) While it doesn’t seem a big deal, I realize how much I miss a beautiful, clean environment whenever I am out in the villages. Their natural beauty contrasts with the trash and mud often found in town.
Grace: When I see pictures of people eating pizza, Chic-fil-a, etc!!! Oh, there are days when I just want to order a pizza and check out a Redbox movie. The thing I find most difficult is not being as free as I was in America. Sometimes I just want to go out and walk by myself somewhere peaceful.
Q: How has PNG started to change you?
Jenny: I’ve learned (and continue to learn) how to handle myself in unpleasant situations and settings I wouldn’t run into in the U.S and converse with people when we don’t share common life experiences. I’ve gained more confidence in my abilities, and while living here with Mom and Dad being part of their mission, I’ve struggled through some of what my own personal purpose is in life.
Grace: God is really stretching me and molding me and BOY!! I can feel it. For example, depending on him . I love being in control and having my own plan. There are so many things here that I have no control over and God is saying,”let it go; lean on me and my wisdom. My timing is perfect.” PNG has been a breath of fresh air and God is showing me what REALLY is important in life.