Monday, May 31, 2010

Canoe trip to tropical island (post by Bill & Liz)

While we were staying at Jais Aben, we hired a canoe for half a day and we went paddling in the tropical waters around the resort. Liz sat like a queen in the middle, while Bill and Julie paddled the canoe. We canoed to a deserted tropical island and sat on the beach and swam in the warm water.

Here are photos of Bill and Julie paddling.

Here’s the view from the island with our canoe.

Here we are all sitting on the canoe.

And finally, the little island that we went to.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jais Aben luxuries (post by Bill & Liz)

Before we went to the village, we had a bit of luxury at Jais Aben Resort, near Madang. Jais Aben is set in 9 acres of a former coconut plantation. It is about 19 kilometres from Madang town. We stayed in a small cabin overlooking the sea.

We enjoyed eating in the resort restaurant, which is more expensive than eating in Madang town itself, but you don’t have a lot of choice unless you have your own transport.

The resort also has a swimming pool next to the main building, but you can also swim in the sea.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flight to Madang (post by Bill & Liz)

We flew to Madang from Ukarumpa. It’s only a half hour flight, down from the mountains to the coast.

Here is the small plane we flew in.

A view of the mountains and clouds along the way.

PNG is not all mountains and bush, here are some cultivated fields on the plains before the coast.

It’s a tight fit into the plane!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Julie’s current house (post by Bill & Liz)

This is Julie’s current house, she lives in the left hand side of this two-unit building.

This is an early morning view from Julie’s house.

Here’s Liz admiring a big flower at Ukarumpa.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crocodile (post by Bill & Liz)

Crocodile is not something we eat a lot of in Australia, but here in PNG, it is cheaper than chicken and it available pre-packaged at the Ukarumpa store. It looks a bit like chicken, but has more of a taste and texture like pork.

Here is a packet of crocodile meat. I don’t know if you can see the picture clearly, but the crocodile looks quite happy to be somebody else’s food.

Bill and Julie look pretty happy cooking the crocodile as well!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Haus meri (post by Bill & Liz)

Julie has a haus meri who comes to the house once a week to do some cleaning. Most missionaries in Ukarumpa have a haus meri because it gives some employment to the local people who have little cash.

Julie’s haus meri is called Nekina and she is a very nice lady. She made a bilum for Liz and is now working on one for Julie. She tried to show Liz how to make a bilum, but Liz thought it looked hard.

Here are all of us with Nekina:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kainantu Cultural Centre (post by Bill & Liz)

Kainantu has a cultural centre that displays some local handiworks, such as weaving rugs. Pottery is also made on site, although pottery is not a traditional craft, it is a skill that the local people have taken up to create income. The pottery available to buy includes teapots, mugs, vases and other pottery type items. We bought a teapot, mug and a vase.

Here are some photos of the cultural centre which show traditional artwork on the doors and carving on a pole.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What's been happening? (Post by Bill & Liz)

Since we last spoke, we have spent 3 nights at Jais Aben in Madang - a little bit of luxury before the village! We spent 5 nights in the village which we enjoyed although challenging at times. The sea was warm and unbelievably the river was even warmer! We got used to Julie being called by her village name - Mogom. We are now back at Madang, staying at the SIL Centre. We are just spending a relaxing time with Julie. We will write more blog posts next week when we have a better internet connection.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gold 'n' Coffins (post by Bill & Liz)

Signs like this are not common in Australia!

You can walk in and choose your own coffin with a viewing window!

Before you move into your coffin, you can deal with the roadside gold merchant. This man will buy your gold for cash and when he has collected enough gold, he will sell it to a bigger dealer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Local takeaway (post by Bill & Liz)

The local takeaway shops are called 'Kai bars'. We tried some rice balls and fried, battered kaukau (sweet potato). The batter tastes a bit like donuts. Here are the rice balls and kaukau we bought, there was too much to eat at once, so this is our second helping of it. You can see the size compared to Liz's hand in the photo.

Inside the rice ball there is rice, chopped sausages and various unknown vegetables and dear knows what else.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Goroka (post by Bill & Liz)

We had a day trip to Goroka which is about a 2 hour drive from Ukarumpa. The road is sealed and in pretty good condition, except for one or two places where it has subsided and is in need of major repair. There is dramatic scenery along the road which you can see in the following picture.

There are many villages and roadside stalls along the way.

The locals travel by PMVs (Public Motor Vehicles), which sometimes looks a bit scary. Hold on tight!

Goroka has some large supermarkets and second hand stores, along with government buildings. Of course there is the market too, where the white people stand out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Kainantu (post by Bill & Liz)

Kainantu is the nearest town to Ukarumpa. It has shops and a market for all your shopping needs. It is on the Highlands Highway, where the road splits to go to Goroka or Lae. To our Western eyes it is quite a messy place.

Kainantu shopping precinct:

We visited several shops, the Cultural Centre and the market. We feel very conspicuous walking among the local people and they have no inhibitions about staring at the white strangers.

The market had separate areas for bilums and clothing and there was some undercover fruit and vegetables with sellers sitting at tables. Others were sitting on the open ground with their produce on a plastic sheet in front of them.

Kainantu market:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ukarumpa market (post by Bill & Liz)

Three days a week, local villagers come in to Ukarumpa to sell their home grown produce at the market. It starts at 6am and finishes at 8am, so you have to be up early!

All sorts of things are sold there, such as the familiar bananas, spring onions, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries and more. Plus there are some more unusual items like: strange green leafy things, which can be used like spinach, various types of kaukau (sweet potato), sugarfruit, black raspberries, 'pitpit' and some other unknown things.

Here's Liz and Julie checking out the strawberries:

Several ladies with their produce for sale:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Finally arrived! (post by Bill & Liz)

On Tuesday, we got up at 4am departed Melbourne on the 7am flight to a very wet Brisbane. After a slightly delayed flight from Brisbane, we arrived in a hot and humid Port Moresby. As we travelled from the airport to the guest house, we saw many people sitting by the side of the road selling betelnut and lots of people milling around doing nothing.

The next day we flew to Ukarumpa. Liz was a bit apprehensive in the small plane, but thought it was good after we were safe on the ground! The picture below shows a view of the mountains from the plane.

Here we are finally at Ukarumpa, which is much cooler than Port Moresby:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mum and Dad visiting on Wednesday!

Mum and Dad are visiting me and they arrive in Ukarumpa on Wednesday, after staying overnight at Port Moresby for one night. I think they are going to be posting on my blog about their visit, so keep checking over the next week to see what they've written! (After we go to Madang they may not be able to post until they get back to Australia).