How Talking Can Mend Men

Today Ryan received an email from a friend in Perth.  It was an update with some heartbreaking prayer requests, an attached article on men’s mental health in WA (Western Australia) and general encouragement for us to keep working hard towards getting to Perth, more specifically the Wheatbelt.  You can click on the picture below to read the full article that was emailed to us.West Australian-OpinionHow talking can mend men by Andrea Burns from the West Australian, gives the reader insight into the state of men’s mental health in these rural communities.  She sites the statistic that, “Across Australia, about 8 people kill themselves every day, with men outnumbering women three to one.”  But the article also gives a little glimmer of hope in sharing about a group of four men who are being listening ears in these communities.  The “Talk to a Mate” signs referred to in this article are what broke Ryan’s heart for this area to begin with.  But this battle is far from over and this article shows just one of the ways these communities are hurting.

Please join us in praying for Western Australia.  Pray for these communities.  Pray for the men who are out there listening and trying to make a difference.  And especially pray for the men who are hurting.

Not all Earthquakes are Created Equal

Living in California and also in PNG I’ve felt quite a few earthquakes.  I’ve even posted about the earthquakes (mostly the PNG ones).  If you want to go back and take a trip down memory lane you can see my first PNG earthquake post here: Seismic Activity in PNG or read about a crazy day in the village that included an earthquake here: All Before 8am or even what could have been the end of the world earthquake but wasn’t here: The End of the World.

So needless to say that I’m not a stranger to earthquakes but I have wondered why the earthquakes that happen often in PNG, the ones that make the international news, don’t really cause much damage and are sometimes not even felt all over PNG.  This is especially interesting in light of the 7.8 earthquake that just happened in Nepal.  There was a 7.4 earthquake that happened in PNG yesterday and it didn’t cause any damage that was worth reporting and didn’t even trigger a tsunami.  So what’s going on here?

png_plates

I know that PNG is located on the ring of fire and that there are a few fault lines that run through it (the picture above is also on Jesse’s post which is explained below).  I also know that the tectonic plates in PNG move differently than the plates in California and I’m assuming here, Nepal as well.  And from personal experience, PNG quakes just don’t cause as much damage which is a good thing for PNG otherwise with the amount of earthquake activity, it would be practically unlivable.

Well there are indeed many factors at work and a friend in PNG just wrote a great post that is definitely worth reading if you’re interested in why the earthquakes in PNG are different from those in Nepal or California.  Jessie has been working in PNG for a few years now (her time overlapped with mine) and I’m even cooking my rice paper wrap recipe this week which was inspired by a recipe she shared with me.  Anyway, back to earthquakes, whether you are a geologist or not Jessie’s full post On Earthquakes and Tsunamis is an informative and interesting read.

Perth Platform Rescue

I really will get back to the US soon but here’s a little Perth news.  Many Americans don’t ride public transportation often if at all.  Maybe if you’re in a big city but here’s a tip no matter how often you ride public transportation.  Mind the Gap.  The gap is the little area between the train and the platform.  It looks small and inconsequential… until you get stuck.  This man in Perth got his leg stuck after stepping wrong while boarding the train.

0608_trapped_sp(nicolastaylornz/Twitter)

But fortunately thanks to other passengers he didn’t have to stay that way for too long.  Check out the link here: Perth Platform Rescue and watch as fellow passengers push against the train to free his leg.  Thanks Missy for bring this to my attention.  And remember everyone- Mind the Gap!

A Coup in PNG

Politics in PNG is always interesting.  When I left PNG there were two men claiming to be Prime Minister and I understand that the issue is still being disputed.  The first is Sir Michael Somare (pictured right) who has been Prime Minister on and off since PNG’s independence in 1975.  The second is Peter O’Neill (pictured left) who was chosen Prime Minister while Sir Michael was having health issues and was out of the country.

And then once I was already back in the US there was an attempted military coup.  I first heard about the coup from my aunt who told me that my uncle had heard about it on NPR that morning.  Although political instability is never good for any country, I personally am not worried about PNG.  My hope is that my friends in PNG are still able to function through the uncertainties.  The details are not really clear in any of the news articles but that seems pretty typical PNG.  Here are just a couple of articles:  News from directly after the coup., The current aftermath. It’s the land of the unexpected for a reason.