Things We Miss

Homecooked Meals (every night of the week)

As much as it seems like an insurmountable burden to have no fast food, no restaurants, and no ice cream joints in our whereabouts in Ukarumpa, we make the most of it.  That means homemade tasty goodness every day of the week.  Ravioli, Chicken ‘n Dumplings, even donuts – things I had never seen people making from scratch (and I do mean scratch, not like frozen ravioli packets you “home cook” on the stove) – commonly grace our tables.


You can walk down a road in Ukarumpa any day after 6 and smell the smells of your grandma’s house wafting out of every door (assuming your grandma knew how to cook).

Sometimes, we even get Korean food delivered to our house!


OK… so that only happened once, but how many times did that happen to you last year?

Dirt Roads

Yeah, yeah, yeah – go ahead and say it: I’m a luddite.  “Down with interstates, down with automobiles, down with smartphones,” we’ve heard it all before.  But really, people, there is something fantastic about being able to walk everywhere you need to be, about knowing that your friends live a few mud puddles away.


Right now, I rely on interstates to get me back and forth between Virginia and North Carolina and Alabama – to see all the people I’ve missed seeing these past two years, and I’m happy with that.  I don’t force my wife to walk to the grocery store, I promise. But there is something about simplicity that really brings that sense of peace and satisfaction.

My Students

Sometimes I want to strangle them, yes.  But hey, I used to try to strangle my brothers and we’re still on good terms.

I miss teaching and hosting pancake parties and coaching basketball and all the other crazy things being a young high school teacher in Ukarumpa entails.



I can’t bear to think that my small group boys are living through half their senior year without as much as a single pat on the back from me. They certainly don’t need me in order to thrive, but I sure hate missing them change and grow and learn while I’m gone.  And my 10th graders just did the fairy tale unit without me!  Alas.

4 thoughts on “Things We Miss

  1. If home is where the heart is then PNG is certainly becoming home for you and Amanda. Looking forward to having you both in AL soon.

  2. If you weren’t here now you might not be missing those students so much!! ( absence makes the heart grow fonder!”) You will be so excited to get back to what , for now , feels like home because God has called you there and I’m so glad He has ! Look forward to seeing you and Amanda in Maine! Mrs Frese

    Sent from my iPhone



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