Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tearouki church service

Some Sundays we go to the church at Tearouki as we like to visit the different churches in the area. It’s about a 20 minute walk to Tearouki. There’s a river just near it that many people like to bathe in before going to church. You can see the bridge going over the river and the hill up to the church in this photo:

They have nice walls around the side of the church:

On special occasions, such as Easter Sunday last year when these photos were taken, they use traditional instruments and have some items.

Big bamboo flute:

Small bamboo flute. Note also the three guitars leaning against him!

Performers decorated:

Dancing with bows and arrows in church:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

High humidity + hot sun = lots of sweat

Usually in Australia, I can walk in the sun for any length of time and not work up much of a sweat. I don’t really sweat all that quickly, but in Bougainville it is a whole different picture – the sweat just flows. It drips off my nose and runs down my back or legs. Some people sweat like that in Australia, but not me, so this is really quite unusual for me and I find it intriguing. Dad tells me it is because of the humidity, that’s what makes the difference.

Just to show you an example – here is my arm after a 20 minute walk in the morning sun (and the morning sun is when it still hasn’t got really hot yet). Two photos taken at the same time, one with the flash and one without, both show it slightly differently.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mysterious red spots

Every now and then when I'm in the village I find these mysterious red spots on my arm. I have no idea what they are from. I’m guessing they’re an insect bite of some sort, unless it’s something from brushing past a certain plant.

Can you see the four red dots on my arm in the photo below?

The funny thing is, they’re not raised, and they’re not sore or itchy, so really they’re the best kind of bite to have! They don’t cause any problem. I’m just curious as to what they are – where they’ve come from. Any ideas anyone? The local people don’t know about them, as they don’t show up on their skin.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother’s day to all the Mums out there!

Last year on Mother’s Day, I was in Buka and the local church had a special service for it – although it was postponed, so our special Mother’s Day service was one week later than the actual day!

It was a lovely service. Most of the mothers dressed in white. You can see a few in this photo below.

The church was nicely decorated for the occasion as you can see in this photo and some of the other photos too.

There was a time for people to present items such as songs and dances. First the Sunday School children said sorry for all the bad things they have done to hurt their mother and the went around putting water on the mothers’ feet as a symbolic act. They used a branch from a tree, dipped in a bucket of water, to spread the water. You can see it here in this photo.

Here are some photos of the people doing items.

Sunday School kids:

High school boys singing a song about how they love their mother:

Youth group:

And lastly, the mothers. Theirs was the most entertaining. They entered from the back of the church carrying baskets on their heads and then they sang some songs and did actions with them. Everyone had a good laugh.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shopping in Buka town

When I’m not in the village, I’m in Buka town and that is where we buy food to take to the village for our meals. If I’m only doing a small shopping trip (where I’ll be able to carry everything myself), I get a bus in to town from where we stay at Hutjena. The bus stop in town is next to the green shop in the photo below. You can just see the front of a bus on the left in this photo. We get off the bus here when we arrive in town and this is where we wait when we want to go back to Hutjena.

The market is under this big roof.

Here are some of the shops in town:

This one is one of the few stores that sometimes (occasionally) sell cheese:

We do most of our shopping for the village at two shops, and then we run around half the rest of the shops just to find some elusive items that our two main shops didn’t have. The elusive items usually are eggs, chicken stock and coconut powder (for making coconut milk). If we can’t get the coconut powder, it’s not too big a problem, there’s plenty of fresh coconuts in the village! Anyway, the blue shop in the photo below is one of the two shops where we do most of our village shopping.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Watch where you’re walking!

It always makes sense to watch where you’re walking. I’m sure nearly everyone has made the mistake of not looking and consequently walking into a tree or a pole or stepping on a dog poo. Well in the village we have another hazard that you need to keep your eyes open for – large crab holes!

They are big enough for your foot to go into up to a point, and there are times when I have found myself with my foot down a crab hole. They are along our path to the toilet, and it’s even harder to spot them at night. Here’s the same crab hole as the one in the photo above, with my foot next to it to show you the size.

Being bitten by a crab is not the hazard – I think they run away – the danger is more that if you’re not lucky, you could end up spraining an ankle or just come crashing to the ground if you’re not expecting it.

There are a lot of small crab holes that aren’t a problem either, but some crabs build big homes which also produces a small mountain of sand next to the hole as you can see in this photo.