My travels from my home area in PNG, Finschhafen, to my hometown in the US, Pullman, had many bumps, but all worked out well. The most dramatic episode was my time in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea. I needed to spent some time there to make sure I had my updated passport. It was time to renew my work permit and visa.
Fortunately, the guy in charge of these things for Lutheran missionaries, Reinhardt, was able to get my paperwork through a bit early so I could leave the country (and get back in). When Reinhardt picked me up at the airport Thursday morning he mentioned that the van at the Lutheran Guest House was running again so I should have no trouble getting my early Friday morning flight.
Well, it turned out the van wasn't really fixed yet, but I was told not to worry, the night manager would order a taxi and ride with me to the airport to make sure I got there safely (Port Moresby is that kind of city).So, at 4 a.m. I was ready as promised, however there was no taxi and the night manager had fallen asleep. He woke up quickly and but found there were no taxis that morning. For some reason they had been banned in the city. Then the night guard said he had an idea and took off down the street. He came back with two people and a van that gave the night manager and me a ride to the airport. I was allowed to sit in the front seat.
I had assumed they were neighbors on their way to work. However, after we got out of the car I was told they were the local undercover police. I assume they don't give everyone rides, but treating guests well is important in Papua New Guinea. The fact I was with the Lutheran Church may also have helped. I am not sure what this was all about, but I am thankful for the police escort.