The Mid-Day Shower

In my life I have varied from a morning-shower-guy to a nighttime-shower-guy depending on my daily routine. I feel like both are equally appropriate under the right circumstances. I have never, though, been a cold-shower-guy. And so, here in PNG, I have become a mid-day-shower-guy because of this:


The Water Filter

The water on the left is filtered water we drink. The water on the right is for everything else.


The Smoke Screen

Here in Papua New Guinea it is not uncommon to see brush fires. The difference between such fires here and similar fires in America is that these are started on purpose. Folks are constantly starting fires big and small. Frequently people are burning something specific (like their trash,) but not necessarily. I’ve seen huge patches of mountainsides charred black for no obvious purpose. We’ve been told that one reason for fires is to bring rain. If it doesn’t rain for a few days, everyone starts burning. The only thing a person needs for permission is the government-issued official burning permit:


*I use the word “adjustments” here as a euphemism, of course. In reality there are many things about life in PNG that are hassles, inconveniences and annoyances. Contrary to how some of our pictures make it seem, we are not living in paradise. I share this not as a complaint, but as an acknowledgement of this fact: as privileged (spoiled) Americans we are constantly in need of God’s grace for patience, endurance and joy. Without this we would quickly give up and go home.

  1. Andrea

    While your pictures are so very beautiful, from your talent and from being in a place that is vastly different from the US. Please know that we are not under any delusions that you are living in paradise. I am sure that the time of day in which you shower, the language barrier, the water, and the fires are only a few of the obstacles that y’all will face. We are praying that God give you an extra measure of patience (lots and lots of patience), endurance and joy. Also, that he make his will known to you and your path straight. That he surround you with friends and “family” that will lift you up and encourage you along your journey. We know that God sent you to PNG but we also know that doesn’t mean that it will be easy. We love y’all and are praying for you!!

  2. Ashley

    That must be one killer water filter…it dominated the cloudy water.

  3. Sharon Jacobs

    I am confused….why do people burn if it doesn’t rain? That seems kind of like….not very smart?????

    • Joseph

      Sharon, first of all, who are you to judge? Secondly, they burn stuff to make it rain–it’s part of their animistic beliefs.

      • Sharon Jacobs

        y’all stop your bickering! I knew this answer all along! I was just testing your knowledge. Peace out!

  4. Kelly Keever

    oh Philly-Joseph…you are such the theological elitist assuming all know the doctrine of animism

    • Joseph

      I’m just trying to educate the public.

      • Kelly K

        That was Jeremy on my account, btw!

        • Joseph

          I should have known.

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