IN THE SUMMER of my 21st birthday, I adventured to the damp outpost of Koropun, in the magnificent highlands of Irian Jaya. Those were the most significant two months of my entire life. Each morning, my friends and I rose up out of bed at 5 am, ate a quick breakfast and went outside to gawk at the towering, breath taking, rugged mountains and breathe in the crisp air. Our primary task was to complete the construction of a church. We had to work fast, knowing that at about noon, dark storm clouds would come rolling up the valley and bombard our village with intense rain, sending every one of us running indoors. The afternoon rain would often continue through the cold nights.