By Elaine Chagnon
After a good night’s rest, Bob and I awoke refreshed and ready to travel. Bishop Markus arrived with his driver promptly at 7:00 a.m. We loaded our bags into the trunk and headed out on a beautiful morning. It was a long ride - about 3 hours - on pretty rough roads, but the scenery was beautiful - far more lush and green than in the north. We passed groves of trees with strange berry-like clusters- teak trees. Sources for lumber are abundant here.
We finally arrived at the Bishop’s compound. As we drove down the road to the house, we passed flowering vines, referred to as “sponge plants”. They had beautiful yellow flowers on them a hanging “vegetables” that resembled cucumbers. Bishop explained that the fruit is inedible; the interior is very fibrous and spongy. The insides are actually used by villagers as sponges for bathing!
After a brief stretch, Bishop Markus introduced us to three of his building committee members; we boarded a bus and set out to see the four of seven diocesan schools.