Friday, December 30, 2011

Living at Teop Island

Sorry it’s been a while between blog posts. I hope you had a good Christmas and wish you all the best for the new year.

We lived at Teop Island for four weeks and we were comfortable there – after our toilet was finished. The first week without a toilet was a challenge! They did build us a very nice toilet though. Here it is:

We stayed in a lovely couple’s house. They are Christians whose faith and love for the Lord is very evident in their speech and actions. Here are some photos of the house:

I did our cooking up on the verandah – I felt a bit like a TV chef on a stage!

This is the back of the house:

The Teop people also built us a nice shower house:

We stood on this concrete inside the shower so that our feet didn’t get muddy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Moving house and back

During our last village stay, we packed up ALL our village possessions and moved them three times! First to move to Teop Island, then to move back to Hiovabon (where we have spent most of our time), then when we left the village, we took everything with us to Buka to store there while we are away for almost a year.

We were in Hiovabon from 28 Sept to 15 Oct, and on the 16th we moved to Teop Island and stayed there for four weeks.

People at the Hiovabon beach watching us leave:

Here’s all our things on the motor boat to go across to the island:

On 16 Nov we moved back to Hiovabon and spent our last two weeks there and went to Buka on 30 Nov. The motor boat wasn’t available on the day we were moving back to Hio, so our cargo went across on canoes. Most of our things went over on two canoes, and Rebekah and I travelled across on a third one. We were a bit concerned that something might fall off a canoe and into the sea, but everything made it across safely!

Below is all our cargo spread out on the bench at Hio. It looks like a lot, but in the photo above where it was heaped together in the motor boat it doesn’t look as much and it’s all the same stuff. This all our village possessions too – pots, plates, food, clothes, gas, etc.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Malaria strikes again!

Just a week before we left the village recently, I got sick with malaria. I wanted to go and cut open coconuts on the day that I came down with it, so I was naughty and tried to hide the fact that I wasn’t well, but it seems that most of my village family could tell and knew before I said anything!

I started treatment on the first day, but it was a really strong bout of malaria this time, and I continued to feel ill on and off for about a week, although not as bad as the first day.

This is me lying on my makeshift bed in our eating house on the third day. I woke up feeling quite bad – weak and dry-retching, but I was feeling a bit better by the time this photo was taken.

Back on the first day of the malaria, I was really ill. Previously when I’ve had malaria, it’s gradually gotten worse, but this time it started really strong. I was weak, although I was also thrashing about a lot, and at night I vomited twice. I had a high temperature during the day and my village family put cool wet towels on me to cool me down. They were very concerned about me, and it was nice to see their care, although I’m sorry to have caused them that stress too!

Even a week later, I was still having moments of weakness and dry-retching when I didn’t feel too good. The last day of feeling ill was the Thursday, and I travelled to Australia on the Friday and didn’t have any of the ill feeling that day, so that was good. I’ve been fine since then, so I’m all better now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bumpy 4WD roads

Four-wheel-driving isn’t a hobby in PNG, it’s an unavoidable part of life! There aren’t a lot of sealed or graded roads, so many roads are constantly deteriorating. When it rains and the roads become muddy, it’s even worse!

Here’s one road that we travelled up in the back of a ute on a rainy day. I took this photo when we actually got bogged. Another 4WD had to tow us out.

If you go 4WD-ing, you would know that your body bumps around all over the place as the car goes up and down ditches. Sitting on a padded seat with your seatbelt on helps to restrain you a bit though. Now, imagine what it’s like in the back of a ute, sitting on a wooden plank, with no seatbelt, and metal bars not far above your head. Quite a different experience!

I focus on two things – 1. Holding on tightly. 2. Bending over to keep my head low so that it doesn’t hit the metal bars – I have hit my head a couple of times with sudden jerks in these cars; being tall doesn’t help!