There are only a few places in the world that are as special to me as the second floor of the big house, early in the morning overlooking Hauna. When the first hints of light appear, people begin moving around, trying to get in some tasks before the hot sun comes up. Smoke is coming out of huts as morning fires are started for boiling water. Some are headed out to their gardens to gather vegetables for the day or to hunt or fish. If school was in session, you’d see students in their canoes rowing towards the school. It’s one of the most beautiful experiences to observe while sipping some powdered coffee in the only cool part of the day.
After breakfast, we had devotions with the Sepik Christian Ministries staff. Sepik Christian Ministries (SCM) is the name of the PNG registered organization here in Hauna. There is a board made up of 3 members of each clan. The SCM staff are the teachers, the cooks, the saw-mill operators, the pastors, the Bible School teachers, the mechanics, the nurses in the medical clinic, and many other helpers.
We took a walking tour of the entire village. We started with the main Hauna hill with the Big House, the Dormitory, the Elementary School, the Bible School and the Church. We visited the Soman Clan, and then crossed the river and visited the Owna clan, and then the Meyio clan.
We spent a good amount of time looking at the newly remodeled medical center. After a rest, we hiked up a long way to where the new Bible School dorm is being built. This is on a hill overlooking Hauna village as well as the whole valley. Afterwards, we walked down the hill and visited the last clan, the Wanu clan and then crossed the river to the big house.
Shortly after that, a huge canoe came slowly chugging up river loaded with 16 people, six 55-gallon drums of fuel, plus all of our luggage and food for seven days. It was like Christmas as we unpacked the supplies we had hauled all the way from the United States. Jay immediately started measuring people for reading glasses, and the rest of us talked with villagers who came by the house.
After dinner, we sat as a team and talked about what we had observed during the day. This led to such a great discussion on culture, village life, spiritual formation of youth, and the Christian church within village culture.
Having Tony along on this trip is extraordinary because he grew up in a village in Liberia. He says Hauna Village is almost exactly like the village he grew up in. The only difference is that they didn’t build on stilts in Africa. The people here seem to respect his perspective. We decided that Tony would be the guest speaker at church on Sunday.
Finally, it was time for us to get our quick cold showers before the generator shut off. When it did, we were left to the sounds of the jungle under the mosquito net.