Monday, October 20, 2008

Last blog post for 5 weeks!!

That’s right, I won’t be on the internet for the next 5 weeks! I will be staying in a village called Mus (if you’re on Google Earth, look for Bunabun, that’s where we will be). We’re right at the coast and we have a creek for bathing in, and a nice tap to get our drinking water from! We still have to boil our drinking water though just to be safe. Every family at POC is at a different village along a 27km stretch of coast, so Sara and I are in this village together, just us. We will have a ‘wasfamili’ (foster family) looking out for us there, and they have two teenage girls, so I think that will be good, hopefully we will be able to spend time with them and develop good friendships with them.

Our wasfamili and the village are so excited about us coming that they made an extension to the house we will be staying in. Originally it was a two bedroom house with a large verandah, but now they have closed in the original verandah and made it into an extra two rooms, and put on a new verandah. So now we have a bit of a mansion!

Here’s a picture of our house before the extensions:

This is our wasfamili:

Here’s the tap where we will get our drinking water:

This is our bathing spot:

Lastly, the beach…

If you are praying for me, please pray for good health and good relationships when I am in the village. Thanks! Will get back in touch in 5 or so weeks times and I should have lots of stories.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Three day hike

I survived our three day hike! We left on Monday and came back today, Wednesday. We stayed overnight in two villages. So what was it like? Well, while hiking my shirt was wet all the time with sweat! We had some beautiful views and walked through a rainforest area. I had bandaids on my feet preventing them from getting blisters.

Some of the tracks were steep and slippery, which was hard work when going uphill, but it was even harder going downhill because there’s more risk of falling. Our local guides always told us “Wokabaut isi isi, nogut yu pundaun” (‘Walk slowly. No good you fall down’). Our group’s tally of falls was: 1st day – 3 falls, 2nd day – no falls, 3rd day – 10 falls! We had a good laugh at ourselves when we fell though! Nobody got hurt either, so that was great.

I had a good time when we were in the villages, talking to the people and showing them some photos that I brought with me. They really loved looking at my photos.

Here’s some pictures of our journey.

Hiking along:

Me with a nice view:

Having a rest at a creek and getting my feet wet:

One of the houses we stayed in:

Me with some kids looking at my photos:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Foster families/Selling at the market

Over the past few weeks we have been spending time with foster families. These are local families who have volunteered to be foster families for the students at POC. In Tok Pisin we call them our ‘wasfamili’.

We have visited them in their village and had dinner with them there and last week we stayed overnight too. I started to learn how to make a ‘bilum’ (a string bag) on that visit. Going to the toilet is an event because the toilet is a little house by itself with a hole in the ground.

On Saturday I went to the town market with my foster mother to sell sweet bananas. We set up in an undercover area where we had a table and a seat. Thankfully we weren’t outside in the sun and sitting on the ground, so we were quite comfortable.

I had a great time at the market. I enjoyed sitting there watching everyone pass by and just observing everything. I was also a bit of a novelty – everyone thought it was amusing to see a white person selling food at the market, but they were happy about it too. I think it was also a selling point!

I was out all day and using Tok Pisin in all my interactions. I didn’t find the day stressful at all. I actually felt happy and at peace afterwards because I hadn’t had any time pressures on me. I don’t like rushing around to fit into a time schedule, I like taking my time, so I think I’m going to appreciate the slow pace of PNG life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hiking

We have been going on hikes every week and they have been progressively getting harder. Today we went on a big hike all day. We left at 9am and came back at 4:15pm. We had a long break for lunch, plus lots of rest breaks too.

We hike around the top of the mountain and we are blessed with the most beautiful views as you will see in my pictures below.

Next week we have a hike carrying heavy backpacks, and on the week after we have a three day hike, which probably sounds a lot worse than it is. We will only be hiking for about three hours each day and then spending time in a village and sleeping overnight. We’ll have to carry backpacks on the three day hike with all our gear.
Hiking photos:
Me and the view:
Me hiking:
Me and another nice view:
This is me during our lunch break today: