On the weekend of July 20 - 21, 2019, Fr Bernard (Fr Bennet) the parish priest of The Village of Vavua celebrated his 6th Anniversary of his ordination as a priest and I was honored to be invited to join him on his special day. I was also invited to dance with the Mommas Group from the Diocese of Kimbe. What an honor.
On Friday night, we met at Momma Helens house in Section 15 in Kimbe where I was shown the dance routines and we practiced together. We ate a delicious fish dinner made with greens and coconut milk and cooked over an open fire. Yum!
We then proceeded to another Mommas home where we, once again, practiced the dances and the songs we would sing on Sunday. There were between 20-25 of us and it was so much fun to be part of this event.
Saturday, I waited the entire day for transportation, something that is a true problem here in PNG. I finally got on the last truck traveling to Vavua. One group went in the morning, another in the afternoon and my group didn’t leave till 8 pm. We basically traveled at night and made it to Vavua in 3 hours. The ride was slow due to the many potholes and the truck itself was loaded with people riding in the back. We were warmly greeted at 11 pm by Fr Bennet.
On Sunday, I dressed in my Mommas meri-blouse and was dressed by the Mommas group in my PNG ‘jewelry’. In other words, leaves, flowers and face paint. I felt honored and accepted by this group. We danced up the isle during offertory and sang songs for half of the liturgy. After mass, I was invited to sit on the stage and was wonderfully overwhelmed as I watched the various communities of his parish preparing themselves for their dance, song and gift presentations for Fr Bennet’s Anniversary. The communities were marching and practicing in various places around the church and spilling out to the roadway. The songs, the colors, the pageantry taking place spoke to the popularity of Fr Bennet and how he makes a difference in their lives. He is very well liked and it showed.
Each community took their turn at their presentations and finally it was my turn to dance with the Mommas of the Diocese of Kimbe. We sang him two songs and then danced two dances. How fun!! I loved it!
After the dance, there was just enough time to go swimming in the ocean and I did just that. I was joined by a few pikininis (children) from the village and the water was warm and inviting. But too soon, transportation was available to take us home- back to Kimbe. We said our final congratulations and good byes to Fr Bennet and off we went. This time, it took two in a half hours to get home.
A few other notes:
My Director, Janice England, visited Maria and I here in Kimbe. It was nice to see her and to receive a few goodies from home. We thank her for her visit.
After his two month holiday, Bishop Bill returns to Kimbe. Hopefully, the cathedral will begin to be built now that he is finally home here in Kimbe.
Please pray for me as I continue my mission here in Kimbe. Please pray for the Sisters of Caritas as well as the staff and students. I will also be praying for you.
In July we had a two week break, but couldn’t go anywhere because of a volcano that erupted in the village of Ulamona- about 2-3 hours away and it played havoc here in Kimbe where we got showered with ash - everything had to be cleaned. The people of Ulamona had to be evacuated and we felt the aftermath here in Kumbe. Fr Gabriel, our parish priest here in Kimbe grew up in Ulamona and has been back and forth assisting his own family as they face this tragedy. Please pray for the village of Ulamona and the surrounding area as they continue to recover.
Feel free to leave comments. Have a wonderful day... until next time... God bless.