We did indeed have a ball in PNG… And so did many of our new friends.
As suspected, the balls were a BIG hit. And while it was a delight to see so many precious faces light up with big white smiles and sparkling eyes, there were a few stories that just felt… Like destiny.
Like Mida… We were chatting on board the ship as she waited for her turn in the dental clinic. Max played at our feet as we chatted about her two children in the village and how she was the eldest in her family and the only one to go to school, hence her good English.
And as the conversation turned, she shyly asked me whether I had a netball. I kicked myself because I was so close to getting a netball and then asked her if a soccer ball would do. She was thrilled and I went to my cabin to pick it up.
Days later I learned that this village saved for months to buy the men a rugby ball in Port Moresby. Now the women, with no way to make an income, were saving for a ball for themselves.
What started as a fun idea actually turned out to be an answer to prayer for around 50 women.
And then there was Joyce.
Isn’t she beautiful?
Her eyes are absolutely radiant. Like, can’t-help-but-smile-because-they-sparkle-so-bright sort of radiant. She’s smart and quick and witty and kind.
She is also mute.
She’s never said a word in her life. No one knows why. And the bright intelligence that embodies this little girl is absolutely astounding in a place where the fit are the ones who survive and thrive.
She is strong, lovely and tenacious and I’ve fallen in love with her.
There was also Jeffrey. His oldest son was given to him when he was a single man by his sister. Its the thing to do here. If family doesn’t have a baby, you give them one. Now he’s married with another little girl. He’s been in this village as a school teacher for 10 years.
10 years in a place where they are only just now getting a clean source of water. 10 years in a place where he couldn’t even access his pay check unless he took a $300 trip to the city… via dingy… on the water for two days… if the weather permits.
The man is so committed. We gave him balls with globes on them for the kids in the classroom. He was SO excited.
Those are only a few of our friends, only a few who adored those balls, each for different reasons. There are many more shining faces and bouncing balls round these villages.
Thanks for helping us make their faces light up and giving us another reason to connect!!