Bundi Mission by bobfoto

Bundi Mission

I need to start by saying thank you to all the sweet comments in recent times. You guys all make me smile and your comments make me cry. Thank you all.

Back to the trek...

We left the school at Snopas with all the kids waving and cheering and the road continued to descend. The environment became more jungle like as we dropped further down to the coast, the humidity increased and the air temperature started to climb.

Deeper and darker into the jungle we fell.

Young Lionel with his gait brought up the rear with his Aunty Susan, young Shy Lucas kept to himself and Raskol Ken and Boss Ishmael chatted along the way. Around 1pm, Ken announced that he was off to check out our accommodation and off he ran.

Around 45minutes later we wandered into Bundi and there was Ken to greet us and to tell us that the Catholic Sisters at the Bundi Mission were no longer accepting travellers. I thought to myself "Fuck off, when does the Catholic Church stop taking weary travellers?". I had heard that the Mission Brothers at Brahmin were a bit grumpy but the Mission Sisters at Bundi were still happy to bed and feed a lonely sheep into their flock.

Smelling a rat, I stood up, grabbed GF's pack from Susan and threw it over to GF, I then grabbed my own pack from Lucas and threw it over my shoulder and announced "perhaps I should ask the opinion of the Sisters"???

And with that announcement, GF and I marched with strength towards the mission.

Our guides and porters all looked at each other and said "shit, this white man is serious", and they chased us (at a distance I might add).

When I passed the Bundi High School, I stopped and marvelled at this big shiny silver building and knew that this was the mission. I stopped and took this photo and then saw Sister Roslyn. I approached our friend from New Ireland and asked "Sister, my guides tell me that you no longer take in weary, hungry travellers?"

Sister Roslyn replied "Oh no, my dear friends, I would be glad that you joined me tonight for I am all alone in this mission tonight and it would be wonderful if you could keep me company"

"Sister, it would be a pleasure to stay and rest with you."

Our guides and porters had then caught up and heard the conversation. Ken, looking like a right dill was scratching at the ground with his toe. I looked Ken in the eye and said "The Sister is happy for travellers to stay the night, whom did you talk with?"

And Ken just kept on digging at the ground with his toe... not even a shrug of his raskol shoulders.

Ishmael apologised and said that he and the team would be staying with family on the edge of town and that he would be back here in the morning ready for us to continue. Tomorrow was a long day on the track.

We bade farewell and joined Sister Roslyn inside the mission.

Sister Roslyn told us that the others Sisters were down at Madang for a conference and as she was the junior Sister, she was left behind to hold the fort. She showed us our bedroom, the small iron framed beds complete with blankets tucked so tight, that you could drop a toea onto the surface and it would bounce. She showed us the showers and said it was wise to shower before the sun departed as she had no power to power the lights. We were weary so I said I would shower first, and oh boy! What a shower! After trekking all day, the water was hot and plentiful. Best. Shower. Ever.

My GF agreed.

In fresh clothes we wandered down to the dining room, and then the sky opened. A deluge of rain plummeted down from above and it was deafening against the tin roof. In the perishing light I wandered down to the right wing, I saw Sister Roslyn pass from one room to another.... then I wandered down to the left wing and again, I saw Sister Roslyn move from one dorm to the other.

I thought I was in a Scooby Doo cartoon! I ran back to the dining room and told GF that Sister Roslyn moved in mysterious ways. In that instance, Sister Roslyn appeared with dinner; rice, noodles, sweet potato, greens, pumpkin tops, and some tinned meat.

It was perfect.

Sister Roslyn did not join us for dinner.

We finished dinner by candlelight, the sun was gone. By candlelight we made our way back to our room and the super tight tucked in blankets... it must have been maybe 5pm? Outside the storm still raged, the sun was still gone. We could hear Sister Roslyn clean up.

We slept the sleep of the weary traveller, fastened underneath the tightest blankets ever!

Around 4am, we could hear Sister Roslyn moving again in mysterious ways and as the sun rose at 5am, we discovered porridge, rice and noodles for breakfast. We ate as if we did not know when our next meal was, and we parted ways with Sister Roslyn.

I paid her K50 ($25) for her services which is all she asked, I also showed her how to start the brand new Diesel generator so that she could read at night with some lights while the other Sisters were away, and she smiled and lowered her eyes at me.

I asked if I could take her photo.

This photo taken 14 November 2008
Such a good story, Jason! I was hanging on every word! The house looks like the cladding is fairly cheap but it does have windows! I can visualise the story inside these walls! Thanks!
November 28th, 2012  
@maggiemae - it survived the storm okay!
November 28th, 2012  
great story dude
November 28th, 2012  
@houdiniem - cheers Miss Tull.
November 28th, 2012  
The house looks like its made from paper! Thank goodness for Sister Roslyn.
November 28th, 2012  
@kjarn - Sister Roslyn Rocks!
November 28th, 2012  
I really need to make more effort to come by 365 - really enjoyed reading this. You must have wanted to wring Ken's neck.
November 28th, 2012  
@lbmcshutter - I was close... wait until tomorrow's chapter.
November 28th, 2012  
Very cliffhangery - did you take her picture or not? Fascinating building, I love the see-through middle.
November 28th, 2012  
Nice shot but this time the story eclipses the photo, Jason!
November 28th, 2012  
Wonderful shot.
November 28th, 2012  
It took me a moment to find the sister in the photo. Wonderful story.
November 28th, 2012  
@grammyn - Thanks Katy :)

@netkonnexion - Cheers Net. Thanks.

@swguevin - Thank you Sheila :)
November 28th, 2012  
Your discription leads me to closing my eyes, feeling that crisp cotton sheets pulled tightly, and hearing the sound of the rain whilst smelling the air...
Mmmmmm pure bliss :)
November 28th, 2012  
I'll bet you got her photo. Another adventurous story, and the photo of the building is really interesting with the low-hanging clouds.
November 28th, 2012  
Great story! Great building shot. Including Sister in the shot gives me an idea of the size of the building. I can see the humidity in the background in the form of low clouds.
November 29th, 2012  
@michelleyoung - I don't think they were cotton, more thicker and woollen almost. It was a Catholic mission afterall. I struggled to breathe and woke up in the same position I fell asleep in.

@daisy - It was a great big building for what was just the three of us that night.

@rvwalker - stay tuned....

@archaeofrog - stay tuned.....
November 29th, 2012  
a bit spooky but nevertheless great story jason, i had the scene in front of my inner eye the whole time i read... :)
November 29th, 2012  
@agentzuckerguss - Thanks Katia, it was a little bit spooky in a Scooby Doo kind of way.
November 29th, 2012  
They still sound wonderful :)
November 29th, 2012  
@michelleyoung - It was. Life in Port Moresby was hot hot hot, so nights were spent under thin sheets and air conditioning. So any opportunity to be tucked in under blankets was kinda novel!
November 30th, 2012  
Sounds perfect - comfy, tasty and a bit odd!
November 30th, 2012  
@filsie65 - it was bliss.
November 30th, 2012  
I love the setting... it seems like a great place for rest and even meditation if one was so inclined.
December 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - perhaps it should be a monastery as opposed to a catholic mission?
December 30th, 2012  
Perhaps. Or both. It reminds me of some of the old Zen ink paintings that would have the cloud covered mountains -- minus the structure, but the feeling is the same.
December 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - I do like Chinese ink on silk.
December 30th, 2012  
:) Me too....
December 30th, 2012  
@megstorey - here it is.
November 14th, 2013  
Meg
No doubt, after the trek, any shower would feel divine! Very interesting read as well. Why didn't your guides want to stay at the mission?
November 14th, 2013  
@megstorey - seriously, even without the trek, the shower was amazeballs! Oh and they wanted us to stay at their family house because we fed everyone and paid rent the night before, so they were keen on some further feasting!
November 15th, 2013  
I used to live in Bundi (1972 - 1974) and would love to see some more photographs of what it looks like now. Not really sure how to use this site but hope you can tell me how to contact you. The building in the photograph used to be the dormitory for the boarding primary school the convent was at the other end of the school grounds.

John (jswinson@netwest.biz)
February 3rd, 2015  
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