Before sailing into Piru Piru, my biggest concern was whether to choose flip flops or tennis shoes. I remember saying, “I don’t want to look like an idiot”… this concern turned out to be quite ridiculous and self involved but it was all I knew at that time.
Transported by zodiac, we arrived at the banks of the village. After walking on logs through mud we were finally there – Piru Piru; a little village in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. All around me people were smiling and greeting me. The houses in the village were made out of whatever nature could offer and I was instantly impressed by their way of living. They didn’t have bricks or concrete yet they lived in beautiful wooden houses.
They showed us around the village and helped us whenever we got ourselves stuck in the mud or lost balance on the logs. They didn’t mind how muddy they became, as long as we walked safe and dry. I was stunned and at the same time I felt sadness. I kept wondering about these wonderful people — how could they stay so rich in their heart when their circumstances were so poor? They had no Toys ´R´ Us, no McDonalds, and no supermarkets, yet they were so rich in their way of living.
We came to teach and empower them, but this first visit was more of a lesson for me – a lesson about happiness and generosity. After that day, I couldn’t wait to see what those next days would bring. I looked forward to giving them what we have to offer and was excited to learn more from them.
As we went into Piru Piru the next day, I didn’t care about my shoes; I was thankful that I had shoes and that I even was able to choose between several pairs. You see, life is not about the things we own but about the attitude of our heart.