Thursday, April 15, 2010

Glimpses of Papua, my home

When I am feeling sick or exhausted or down, my heart always turns towards home. I start imagining I hear the Papua bird calls in the morning, and whiffs of warm spring hair sweetened by the new flowers just makes me ache for a walk around Pos 7. That's the name of the neighborhood I lived in for four years - it's actually from Post 7, which was I guess the 7th post in the area for General McArthur's troops during WWII. Some of the buildings up there are left over from their barracks.

Sorry, I'm getting side-tracked. In any case, the home-sickness causes me to linger over photos that people have posted on facebook from home. Recently one of the families I know completed a translation of the New Testament into the language of the people they work with. Their whole family is gifted in photography (in fact, they are all-around gifted people), and their son Sam posted photos that I am using with his permission.

First of all, this is MY mountain. I lived in the shadow of it from the time I was in 4th grade until I left home. It rises from sea level to 4,000 feet or so, and is simply beautiful. This valley is my valley. I have cried over boys there, sang and prayed, had long talks with friends, watched sunsets, and experimented with my own photography. Mount Cyclops is beautiful to me:
From papua

It's all just SO green and tropical. Yes, it's steaming hot and overwhelming for most of the day, but in the afternoons as the sun droops in the sky, oh my land the world becomes green and golden, and it is breathtaking...

From papua

Sam even took two pictures of local parrots, and I've had both as pets. Our bird that looked like this was called Pickle:

From papua

Pickle was chill and friendly actually never really that interesting in comparison to the Black-capped Lorries:

From papua

These birds were friendly and we'd bring them inside while we were doing our homework. They'd walk up and down your arm and on your head and sometimes perch on the top of your pencil while you were trying to write. They're smart too, and we always taught them to say things like "pretty bird".

Missions pilots were the life blood of work across the island of Papua, which is the size of Texas and has about two roads of any significant distance. To get just about anywhere you have to fly:

From papua

But if you don't have to go far, there's always canoes:

From papua

From papua

Going nearly anywhere outside of the city I grew up in requires hiking. Sam's photos of the Westerners making their way through the jungle cracked me up... so many memories:
From papua
Trails often lead straight through rivers, if they're shallow. Going over rivers is scarier, as the bridges would never qualify as bridges in the US!

From papua

The Papuans are so beautiful to me..... photos of the Papuan people just make my heart ache. You can just see the clash of village life and the modern city in this picture:
From papua

*sigh*... I miss home... expect more Papua posts in the near future!


Jaimie said...

These are GREAT photos! Oh to live overseas with my camera...

The Bald Guy said...

Thanks for sharing this. You have had an exciting childhood!

Bethany said...

Wow, so gorgeous! I would love to visit (or live!) there :)

Togenberg said...

I can see why you love and miss them so much. The one with the kids I really like!

I love parrots and birds that can mimic speech. SO MUCH FUN.

Also, I've noticed: people that grow up in canoe/boat cultures (I'm thinking parts of Africa but I'm sure it's true for Papua) - best sense of balance ever.