Learning New Tricks

By Sr. Ma. Lupecina N. Amamio, rvm

I have been a misyonera in two countries: Ghana, West Africa and Papua New Guinea (1991 to present). I was always assigned in the capital cities of both countries. Accra and Port Moresby respectively, where I enjoyed the ease and comforts of a metropolitan life. This year, I was summoned to answer the call to the wilds. Life has become more exciting, more challenging and more meaningful since then.

Teaching at Bema

I was asked to join the teaching staff of Bema Provincial High School. It wasn’t difficult to say yes knowing that my fellow RVM Sisters are already there since 1980. My only reservation was the means of transportation. Roads are non-existent in most parts of Papua New Guinea. The only available transports are small one-engine planes. (Which I dread most) and a tractor. Then came the day when I had to leave Port Moresby which had been my home for the previous three years. I set off by plane for Kaintaba via Kerema. At Kaintaba airstrip a tractor awaited for me and off we went to start my journey at Bema. The thick forest that I had to cross was fascinating. It was adorned with beautiful wild orchids and marvelous waterfalls. It was indeed a paradise with its fauna and flora.


I started teaching. I have a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree in Education, but I haven’t practiced my teaching profession for ages. I was the only new teacher in school, in a country not my own. I felt like a fish out of water. I had to learn a lot of new terminology like Class Patron (class adviser), Roll Book (class register) Day Book (lesson plan), Period Sheet (grading sheet). Records Card (permanent record), Headmistress (principal), and many more. Classes start at 8:00 a.m. but we have to be in school by 7:30 for the assembly, and end at 1:40 p.m. I had to adjust to my new time table. I really felt uncomfortable in the milieu I was in, but I just kept trying to give my best.

I must confess that I was just one night ahead of the students. Burning the midnight oil was a nightly routine because I could give what I did not have. But in no time I adjusted to the rhythm of everyday life and I am very happy where I am now. of course, the credit goes to the Greatest Teacher!