I have been very blessed of late for receiving several pieces of mail from home. I can’t thank everyone enough for sending me mail and for incurring the not insignificant costs to do so. I really, really appreciate it!
From my friend Maria H., currently studying at Stanford, I received a postcard of the California Redwoods. Maria spent a year in China, learning Chinese and writing a really compelling blog of her experiences there. She has a natural style that I wish my blog would come close to. Someday perhaps!
A sizable box came from my sister. Meant as a birthday shipment, it actually arrived in time for Easter, taking a month to come from Oklahoma. That seems to be par for the course right now. What did I get? Stuff that I really, really appreciate: two packages of plain white t-shirts, sunscreen, insect repellent, a new polo shirt, and most likely the only bag of Fritos in Papua New Guinea. Nothing earth shattering, but as good as any comfort food.
Matthew and Tracy Pepper, of Santa Fe, not only sent me a piece of New Mexico sky, but also a St. Patrick’s Day card. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the only one in Papua New Guinea as well. It’s not a well known holiday. I’m guessing that the Irish never spent much time here. Too far from the Guinness factory probably.
Speaking of my birthday, I also received a wonderful card from my aunt Joanne. Of course, no mailing from my aunt comes without one or two newspaper clippings to help you keep on top of all the doings in Tulsa.
The doings of my friends Abigail and Timothy Thomas also arrived in the form of their mission newsletter. The Thomases and their young daughter Amelia are serving as FOCUS missionaries at the University of Pittsburgh. Abigail was a student of the St. Philip Neri Newman Center at the University of Tulsa while I was campus minister. I am certainly very proud of the outreach that they are doing to the college students there.
Most recently, I received a box from my wonderful friends Linda and Jeff Nielsen. You may know Jeff as “Captain Jeff”, host of SQPN’s Catholic Weekend show. They sent me two things that I’ve been really craving – CDs of recent SQPN podcasts and a box of chocolate covered coffee beans. Because of the dearth of internet here on the north coast of PNG, I have been unable to download any SQPN podcasts for 4 months. One episode could easily take 5-6 hours to download. Just not possible when my access is limited to 3 hours every Friday morning. The chocolate coffee beans are a really nice touch! They became a favorite of mine when I visited the Nielsen’s house outside of Atlanta on several SQPN working trips. These are also quite possibly the only of their kind in Papua New Guinea.
I know that a post about the mail I receive isn’t the most compelling type of blogging but it is a highlight of my day when something makes it all the way to this little outpost on the north coast of PNG.