A local man who was given some carpentry training by Fr Zuccolo helped me replace some rusting gutters and repair the roof and windows.
I have been working on the main building which has about ten bedrooms with a big living area on the ground floor. A local man who was given some carpentry training by Fr Zuccolo helped me replace some rusting gutters and repair the roof and windows. He is now repairing the windows of an older building while I have given the living room of the main house and the kitchen and dining room some maintenance to doors and latches and a couple of coats of paint. I have also scraped and sanded tables and chairs and re-varnished them. There was a young chap working there when I arrived, but he has gone to Bro. Stan’s class at Danup to do two years carpentry training.
There is also a gang of six from Manam Island who had been trained by Fr Zuccolo who have extended and renovated the other living quarters where people can stay when they come for seminars, conferences or training. They have an experienced carpenter in charge, so I have left them to look after that. So, it has been a busy little areas for a couple of months.
There is grey ash over everything – in one area the Island is about 100 metres bigger; ash about three metres deep has pushed out into the sea.
The first Mass on Sunday was another rough boat trip of half an hour to Boisa Island. There is only a small population there but they had a good roll-up to Mass with the normal nice guitar-playing and singing. The majority of the congregation were under 20s – not many older people around. After Mass I produced my digital camera – there was much excitement when they saw themselves on the screen. By the time we returned to Manam for the second Mass and Father prepared, it was after 11:30 – it didn’t seem to worry anyone though.
There were lots of trees with all bark and branches stripped off them around the beach at Manam; I though they must have come from further up the mountain but apparently they get washed out the mouth of the Ramu river, about 50 kms away, or the Sepik, about 80 kms away.
It has been a very wet year over most of PNG so far, and its playing havoc with the roads. I was to go with Fr Itigo to his parish west of Bogia to work out the best way to extend their church but a landslide had blocked the road, so there was a ¾ hour walk at the end. As I had hurt my leg, it meant we had to postpone it. Its rained a lot more since, so I’m not sure when we will get there. Fr Ronnie from the same area also has some walking to do to reach his parish, so hopefully the dry season will be here soon. Fr Adrian from Banara has some work for me in his house so I don’t think I’ll run out of work! That is 30kms down the coast from Bogia. Fr Michael has marked out a tennis court behind the Bogia church so we have some exercise on Sunday afternoons. I wait until he and Fr Adrian have worn each other out before I tackle them.