I get back from a six mile hike with my coworker and a 70 year old man (who was way better shape than me), exhausted and ready to just die on the couch when my wife tells me, if we want, we can leave early from the tribe. With a lot of crazy things going on in the village and the fact that my mind is half in America because we are going home on a furlough in a few weeks, I say, “sure, when?”
“Tomorrow,” she said. I processed through what that meant we had accomplish in the next 24 hours and said ok. So hurriedly we packed up all of our belongings and cleaned the house. With my legs dead from the hike and being exhausted, lets just say I didn’t have a good attitude. The next day came and we said our last goodbyes (or so I thought), packed our stuff and took off.
About ten minutes outside of our New Tribes Base, I remembered we forgot our meat! The power was off, the sun was hot, and all I can think about is the hundreds of dollars worth of food I forgot in the fridge going rotten in our house. We got to the base and unpacked, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this mistake I had made. So I weighed the options and reluctantly came to the conclusion that I needed to take the bus back to my village, turn on the fridge, re-freeze our stuff then come back again. It was the only good option without leaving a horrid mess for our coworkers when they return to the tribe in two weeks.
So my coworker, Justin, took me to the bus stop the next morning at 7am and I hopped on the first bus I saw heading towards the village. What I didn’t notice was that right in front of me, in the center console (I was sitting in the very front next to the driver) was a mostly empty bottle of beer! The passenger on the other side of me was drunk as a skunk and the driver was definitely not “all there” either. As we pull out of town, this man buys another six-pack and continues his drinking. Praying for my life, we continued on. The driver continues to tell me that they have driven through the night from Madang (a seven hour journey) and were now headed to our closest town (a three hour journey). So here I am sitting next to a very drunk man, and a very sleep-deprived, half-drunk driver inside a 15-passenger van with about 20 people in it!
About halfway into the trip, I look over at the driver and he isn’t looking so hot, so I offered to drive. He said YES but just wait until we got to a good point. Well I continued to ask him, afraid for my life and the others around me, but he continued to say, “just a little further.” We got to a point where I knew I wasn’t going to drive, so I made it my goal to keep the driver awake. Luckily we finally made it, alive!
About halfway into the trip, I look over at the driver and he isn’t looking so hot, so I offered to drive. [Tweet It]
Well I got on another bus and rushed to my village (this one was alright). He had to dodge drunks and potholes left and right and that’s when I realized Sunday is NOT a good day to travel! I got home, turned on the power and saved our meat (praise the Lord).
It ended up being a good trip because, within that day, all of the church leaders came to my house unexpectedly and we were able to talk about some very good things before I left.
The next day I got up at 5:30am, packed everything up, and headed down the mountain to catch my bus. I ended up in the back of a pickup, freezing cold, with about 20 other people crammed in the back with me (this is normal). I got to town and then got in a bigger bus to finish my trip home! That is what my past two days looked like, how ‘bout yours?