Blending in

Milling has been tough for the Kovol team in Papua New Guinea. It was always something Steve Stanley was not looking forward to, but it had/has to be done. After eight weeks of milling and many, many disappointments (chainsaws breaking, difficulties with repairs, trees falling wrong and rotten trees to name a few), Steve is fed up with milling and needs to take a break.

The guys all returned and took the weekend off to spend as a family together. They had some social time too, celebrating Thanksgiving with their co-workers on the centre where they are currently living. It was relaxing and they started to feel better.

It was the fourth time they had been apart for two weeks. The plan was for the guys to go back in on this week for one final push to get the Hansen’s house up, another two and a half week trip to finish up.

It is not just the time actually on the trips that contribute to the stress though. Between these trips they have only been able to sneak in a day or two off because preparing for the next trip needs to happen. Arranging cargo for the upcoming helicopter flights, buying supplies and fetching missing building materials have kept them pushing even between trips. Supply buying is tiring for all of them!

Gerdine has not been feeling great either and it is getting harder for them to be separated from each other and being a single mum while Steve is away.

After talking with other people, they have decided it would be good for them to postpone Steve going into Kovol again for the next build trip. He plans to go in a week’s time. Please pray both of them would recover well over these next days and that they could still serve their co-workers in different ways. Please keep praying too for the build trip, for safety and good progress and for Natalie and Stacie, as they will be without husbands for the next two and a half weeks again.

It was tough to decide to step out when the other two families will be continuing the work, but they (and particularly Steve) feel like they need a little extra time to rest so that they can keep going.

The team have flights at the end of this week to get builders and materials in (Steve will be going in on Dec 9) and those need to be ready. Their family has 130kg allocated on the flight on Dec 6, and for the first time they are using tribal supply.

Meanwhile in Kovol, the days of their big blue plastic houses sticking out like a sore thumb are coming to an end. The Kovol people are helping the team blend in a little better with… bamboo camouflage

The local area doesn’t currently have bamboo, so all the bamboo has been hiked in from about two hours away. Weaving and securing the bamboo is a painstaking process! They are amazed at the dedication of the Kovol people in making sure they are taken care of!