A few days ago, I said good bye to my cousin Josh outside of a hut near the beach. Technically, he’s Cameron’s cousin, but I call him my cousin too. In tok ples Ndo, I call him ‘ahane’.Two weeks ago, a helicopter came with six-weeks-worth of supplies for us, and with those it brought Cameron’s mom, Josh, Zach’s mom, Zach’s sister, and their family friend. Everyone else is still here, but Josh could only stay for a little bit.We had good times while he was here. He came with the goal of encouraging us, and helping us out, and those things he definitely did!While he was here, Josh worked on a couple household projects with us. He filled in many of the cracks in our floor and near the roof. This may have been bumped up in priority after seeing how many bugs like to come into our house at night.I think the number of bugs that live inside the house is perhaps a little shocking for guests, so this task benefitted Josh as well as us, since sealing the cracks will hopefully decrease the numbers of the insects.He organized our mudroom a little, putting tools together which belonged together.He put together a chair that we were missing screws for. This may not sound like a big task, but Madang only had some of the hardware we needed to assemble it, so it has just been sitting unused since we got here. But even without having all the hardware, Josh improvised and made it work!He also built a shelf in the bathroom, shower room, and nightstand in our bedroom! When you live in the jungle, and you are storing 6 weeks of supplies all the time, the more storage space the better!
Josh also came with me twice for language learning sessions. The first time I just sat down at my language helper’s house and he sat in. The second time we went to my language helper’s garden to learn how they plant things, and what they plant. This was pretty sweet.Josh also came with me to walk to a friend’s house across the way.Besides movie night, game night, going to the market, and just enjoying hanging out, Josh wanted to hike out of the village instead of taking the helicopter. This is not an easy hike, about 10 hours of hiking in the jungle to get to the beach where you then have to spend the night and take a 3 hour dinghy ride to Madang the next morning. We left our house on Tuesday morning about 6:30 am and made it to the beach about 6:30 pm! I was sick by the time we got there, and wasn’t sure I was going to be able to hike out the next day, but I woke up feeling great! I said goodbye to Josh around 5am, and left him in the hands of a guy from Mawarero who was also heading to Madang. The two of them made it safely back to Madang, where Jeremy picked them up at the dock, and I hiked back and made it safely to Mawarero around 5pm.Thanks for coming, Josh!