When my missionary mentor, Dr. Susan, asked if I wanted to join her family on their vacation to Madang, I jumped at the chance. The 5-day trip to the northern coast of Papua New Guinea happened to coincide with my 3-month anniversary here in PNG.
After that came a seemingly endless stretch of doldrums (and very bumpy roads) before we reached the rainforest. The highlight of the rainforest was spotting white cockatoos among the dense green foliage. Finally, we crested the last hill and saw the ocean for a second like a gleaming jewel in distance.
The resort in Madang rests right at the waters edge, providing beautiful vistas and a sea breeze that helped a little in the 100% humidity and heat. We spent the next three days snorkeling on the coral reefs just off shore, kayaking in the surf and nearby lagoon, relaxing, and playing games.
The drive home was another trial of endurance— testing our ability to avoid whiplash, motion sickness, and bruised tailbones on the bumpy ride. We were fortunate though not to meet any “raskols” (bandits) along the way. Although I’m not eager to sign up for the drive again, I greatly enjoyed seeing the diverse landscape of PNG and I am thankful for a few days of refreshment, relaxation, and refocusing.