Can this really be the end? Am I really graduating in less than two days? It doesn't seem real. In a little over a month, I'll be heading back to the US, and leaving behind this beautiful country where I spent my childhood. From the August lockdown to Carnival to Encounter to Christmas break to vacationing in Madang to the Yearbook trip in Lae to the Senior Retreat to these end of the year events, this year has flown by in a blur. Just like a joyride, it's been full of fun and adventure, but there's also been risks, and hard times, like when Luke N. was hit by a PMV while riding home from Aviation one day and suffered terrible injuries, or the day that Matthias' house burned to the ground in less than an hour. Often more is required of us than we'd like to give, but God always proves faithful and helps us do more than we ever imagined was possible. The road hasn't always been rocky. Sometimes it's been smooth and easy-going, like most of the sports tournaments down in Goroka. Thankfully, God has watched over and protected all of us along the bumpy ride, especially on the way back from Encounter traveling down the steep mountain "tracks". This year has in no way been perfect. Some have become addicted to smoking. Reckless driving has become a normal occurrence. Still, God is present, and he has been working. I have learned to love people no matter what they're like, and no matter whether they're doing right or wrong. Every person has been made in the image of God and therefore deserves to be loved, regardless of who they are. I am putting 1 Corinthians 13 into practice, especially 1 Corinthians 13:14-17 which says, "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." Many people that I have gotten to know have not been good examples, but they have helped me to become more loving. If I wanted to sum up this year from my perspective with one word, I would have to say that word would be love. I'm not as loving as I should be, but I have matured in love these past 12 months.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Imagine relaxing on a comfortable wooden chair near a tiny beach at a comfortable resort. Or imagine spending an afternoon snorkeling through an under water world. Picture lounging on a little "dock" in the dark, watching the reflection of lights on the water and gazing up at the Southern cross in a beautiful, unpolluted sky. Sounds perfect, right? You can experience all of these things, and many more in Madang, Papua New Guinea. The trip there will take a long time, and could be quite expensive, but it's so worth it! You'll love Jais Aben Resort (www.jaisabenresort.com), where you can stay comfortably in cute air conditioned cabins. It's far out from Madang, but that means that it is less populated and really feels like a vacation. It is worth taking a walk along the shore, looking out to sea. You'll probably see several canoes with nationals carrying fresh produce from home to the market in town and back again. Snorkeling is also a wonderful thing to spend a few hours doing. Papua New Guinea has the best snorkeling in the world, besides the Great Barrier Reef in Australia! If you'd prefer to stay in town, Madang Resort (www.madangresort.com/madang.html) is the best place around. Offering a variety of rooms, some with views over the water, others with views of the large salt water pool, and still others with views of beautiful gardens, Madang Resort has something for everyone. You will want to visit the market and used clothing stores located nearby. There are beautiful artifacts for sale in the market, and quality, cheap clothes in the used clothing stores. It is most certainly a worthwhile experience! If you desire a small and far out but gorgeous place to stay or simply spend a day relaxing at, then Malolo Plantation Lodge (http://www.pacificislandtravel.com/png/hotels/mdg_maloloplantation.html) may be the perfect spot for you. Malolo Plantation Lodge sits along the Bismarck Sea, with a gorgeous black sand beach stretching for miles. Virtually empty, it's certainly a great place to spend a lazy afternoon. Eat lunch at the restaurant, head down to the beach for body surfing, hit the pool for a while, and head back down to the ocean before the afternoon's over. You'll love the warm ocean water and the view of KarKar Island in the distance. Want to go out for a tasty pizza dinner or still looking for a place to stay? Madang Lodge (www.madanglodge.com/) is located in town, central to the main shopping centers. There is a picturesque view of the ocean and the gardens are beautifully cared for. Watching the sun set while eating a pleasant dinner outside in the restaurant at Madang Lodge is an experience that you'll never forget! There are so many other awesome things to see and do in Madang, but they would take much too long to describe and there isn't much room left as it is. I'll leave you with this: Madang is a pristine beauty in the Pacific. You'll love everything about it, from the lovely, sandy beaches to the wonderful views to the peaceful atmosphere. Next time you're looking for a place to vacation, why not head to Madang, Papua New Guinea?
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