My earliest memories are of growing up in are remote jungle tribe called Dahamo in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea as the son of nondenominational Christian missionaries. I could swim before I could walk, and would often spend hours on end exploring the jungle, hunting with bows and arrows, slings shots, bamboo pressure guns or fishing spears fashioned out of nothing more than a wire coat hanger, a sheet of rubber and dried bark rolled into twine. If we had none of those handy a large branch rolled around in strong spider web worked great in a fast moving stream if we got hungry and wanted to cook fish. Even starting a fire was done using a piece of twine rubbed against a dried out piece of wood and a pile of dead leaves. It was a different time for me, one that was more carefree and adventurous than in any other places I have lived in the world. The Konai lived a stone age lifestyle that hasn’t seen much advancement to this day.

None of my friends wore shoes, few even wore clothes. Just a grass skirt and loin cloth to cover the basics. We celebrated events with pig feasts and caught bats to serve as a side dish. Crawfish grow to the size of lobster in that part of the world and more than once I lost my best catch of the day to a freshwater crocodile when I went fishing as a kid. Our home had to be elevated on stilts to even survive the torrential downpours of an unpredictable rainforest, not to mention wild boar, crazed bush dogs, muskrats and various other wildlife that would venture into the small clearing that served as our village.

My father had sought out an unreached people group to bring the gospel to. The Konai were about as unreached a people group as you could ask for. That said Konai is how I walked, talked, thought, hunted, what I ate and all I really knew of the world until I turned 13. I was Konai, and America was some place my parents would try to explain, but a concept I could never truly grasp. We were the first white people they had ever seen which meant every meal our family had was a source of entertainment and an event for the entire tribe to see, I was constantly poked so my friends could watch in amazement as all the blood in that area left leaving a pale spot that quickly turned pink and back to freckled tan again. Hands were run through my hair at all times and my friends were amazed how my skin would turn red and peel off if I spent too much time in the sun.

I had a friend who was a cannibal, expertly taught by his uncle how to do this using witchcraft. I remember watching young girls, barely older than myself being dragged off into the damp quiet recesses of the jungle after a dowry had been agreed upon. None of this was anything out of the ordinary for me. The bizarre, strange and still foreign was always the place my parents referred to as “home.”

We moved to America in the early nineties after my parents had established a church, built an airstrip, medical outpost, school and small trading post in order for the government to recognize Dahamo as an official location on the map. A Swedish couple who had devoted their lives to translating the bible in unwritten languages took over the church and translating the bible from my parents, living there and translating the bible until this year. After working for 11 years, the dedication ceremony to present the first book written in the Konai language was held Easter Sunday 2015.

My parents took us to live in my father’s home in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia for the first couple years before moving to Orlando, Florida where they continue to live and work. Orlando is where I spent my teenage years and the place I refer to as “back home” now. Before settling in my folks, wanted my brother, sisters and I to see I mean really see America.
The goal was Atlanta, but we started in L.A. on a road trip from the west coast to the east coast, camping in KOA sites along the way. That road trip was an epic family car ride worthy of rivaling a Griswald family adventure considering my siblings and I had extremely limited experience when it came to riding a car, wearing shoes, seeing tall people, white people, so many people…
The punk scene in California, the Deadlands, the Grand Canyon, Air conditioning, big screen movies, snow-capped mountains, they did their damndest to show us America the beautiful from sea to shining sea. We even went to a Meet the Flinstones theme park and saw the horses that starred in Dances With Wolves. We saw the purple mountain’s majesty, drove through amber waves of grain under spacious skies and as though to make up for the parts of the song we could have possibly missed we later went to Niagara Falls, the to the top of the two towers and visited lady liberty… Now that I think back on it, we did the whole trip in a station wagon with faux wood panels just like the Griswalds… ‘MURICA!
To be continued…

One thought on “About

  1. Hi

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    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.

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