Volunteering in PNG - Fifty Years On (A Poem)
Sentinel dreaming and guarding the way;
Brilliance of reef and of somnolent day
Uniting to welcome as years flee away.
Beauty created the Creator display,
Brighter than memory, more poignant than gay:
Half a century has fled since I first passed this way.
The same and not the same:
The wharf is still there, but needing repair,
The bush has receded, track fixing's needed,
Loved faces are gone, but warm welcome goes on
Filling the spaces as my heart retraces
Familiar haunts along the track, looking back.
Next morning, what joy! A High School boy
Hits well the same old war-bomb bell
And as it reverberates 'round hills and playground
A kingfisher of brilliant hue fills my view.
For the past, a tear, but now as volunteer
I hasten to prayer, as local leaders there
Begin the day in the very best way,
I must not shirk, so now to work.
One evening, and tropical evenings are brief,
When work was over, yet the lights not on,
I climbed a steep hill, at the top, found relief:
A gentle light breeze; green mountains led on
To beautiful Dobu and islands around
While below in the valleys dark jungle I found
But an old rough cross leaned closer at hand
And I stood and thanked God for this beautiful land.
More on Papua New Guinea
- Papuan Island Celebrations
During a stay on Fergusson Island as a Volunteer, I had an interesting trip in a dinghy to visit a bishop and his wife. Some time later I participated in the annual Wesley Day celebrations.