Today was one of those days where we struggled with culture stress. Tom had to deal with getting our washing machine repaired or replaced.  It’s been broken for almost 2 weeks. Nothing happens fast here. Things are night & day different!
Before we left the house today, I was chatting with my brother on WhatsApp. He shared an inspirational quote with me. The line that stuck with me was to see the beauty around me. It’s easy to lose sight of the beauty in this city. It’s filthy, smelly, suffocating. There is rubbish and waste everywhere, betel nut spittle spewed on walks and walls, poverty and disease everywhere I look—both humans and animals. I see filth and desperation, and I lose sight of the beauty. I needed to hear that today—to look for the beauty.
So I looked for the beauty as I rode the hot, smelly, dusty, crowded, suffocating PMV. I reminded myself to see the beauty when my anxiety was getting the best of me and my stomach was cramping on that bus. Today we had to take 3 buses to town and 4 home. I tried so hard to see the beauty as I walked the streets of Port Moresby with the relentless sun and humidity bearing down on me.  I tried to find humour in the fact that after finally arriving at the drivers license center, we were told to try back next week because they were out of cards!
And God did not disappoint. There was beauty in the bus ride to town. Out my window, I saw the rolling hills, the coastlines, and the beautiful people. In town I saw friendly smiles, some bubbling streams, and the beauty of people going about their day, determined to keep surviving despite the poverty.  We met new friends who took pity on us and gave us a ride when we were unsure of where were going. There was beauty in smiling eyes when Joy and I shared some potato crisps with the children behind us on the bus home.
Tonight I enjoyed the beauty of friendship while visiting in the cool of the evening with my two neighbours who have become my dearest friends. I pray I can continue to see the treasures in the ordinary and find beauty in this city filled with heartache and sickness.
Written on Thursday, 3 May 2018