A Few months ago I wrote about Springfield Illinois, my home town. Today I want to write about Madang, my new home town. Comparing Springfield to Madang is, however, grossly unfair. So, I won’t do that. What I will try to do is tell you why Madang has become my adopted home.
If you flew in a spaceship over the North coast of Papua New Guinea, you could look down and see our house in Madang:
If you were landing at the airport in Madang towards the West, you would see our house right here:
Much is made of the beauty of small South Pacific towns. I have seen a few myself. Each has its own particular ambiance. For my money, Madang is one of the most beautiful.
The main reason I love Madang is the work I do and my home. Here are a few pictures of my home. My work with Pioneer Bible Translators over the last almost thirty years has been varied. I started out as the bookkeeper and moved on to Administrator of Finance to Director of Support Services and now I am the PNG Branch Director.
Sheba spends a lot of time in the kitchen with me in hope that something tasty will fall on the floor.
After nearly thirty years, I finally got all of my little treasures from the past to our new home and put them in a cabinet made by a local woodworker. I love to cook for friends, so I have a table that seats twelve.
The lounge area is a little less orderly. Sheba sleeps on one of the couches, so we keep it covered with a blanket.
Our house is no mansion, but God has blessed us with a safe and pleasant place to live.
I love the scenery of Madang. Madang is on a peninsula. There is a bay on one side and the Madang harbour on the other. Across the bay there is a range of mountains that come right to the ocean. We have beautiful gardens and there is a lily pond that also has a crocodile or two.
The home of our local crocodiles is a beautiful place to visit, but not a good place to swim.
Machinegun Point is a favorite swimming hole for local residents – no crocodiles here!
The main tourist attraction is the Coastwatchers’s Lighthouse. This is a real working lighthouse for shipping and a fitting memorial to the men that reported the whereabouts of the Japanese during WWII. Many of these men were Australians that were living in Madang at the start of the war.
The Population of Madang and the surrounding area is about 40,000 people. The town center is not very large. There is a good sized outdoor market where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables. The shops are all small – no shopping centers or sky scrapers. You can walk to the post office, the bank and grocery store in less than five minutes.
I love the sky above Madang. It is never the same. It seems to change every five minutes. The sunrises and sunsets are sometimes spectacular. When there is a full moon it seems to set in the sky just outside our front door. Here is the sun rising as seen from our front yard.
As we drive to work each morning, we pass Coconut Point. The sunrises there are breathtaking.
At another place on our drive in to the office we can look out to see one of the most dangerous volcanoes on Earth, Kar Kar Island:
From our house Jan can take our dive boat out on a Saturday and have a dive with many friends and acquaintances. He has become a professional photographer and enjoys underwater photography especially.
Life is simple and nothing moves fast. There are some frustrations living in a place that is not quite in the 21st century yet, but most of the time that is one of the main reasons life is so good in Madang.
There is an expression in Tok Pisin (the lingua franca of PNG). Gutpela sindaun. It means “It’s a very nice place to live.”