Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Diary of My Trip to PNG #4

April 7th (Monday)
Yesterday, we went to church and then spent the rest of the day at home. The people at church were very welcoming and all came and shook my hand. They were like magnets to the boys. Everywhere the boys went people followed them. We walked quite a distance to church, probably 30-40 minutes. People met us along on the road and shook hands and hugged me. We came home and then Knox came to see us. We ate and then Win took me up the mountain. Some children came up the other side and then they took me up two more mountains tops. The view was very beautiful. It was almost cloud level. We could see for miles. Today (Monday) it is raining. Win went to town to meet with some people and get a few groceries. Saturday, Joseph Kera (Charity's dad) took us out for an all-day drive around. We went to town (Mt. Hagen) and went to the market. We got some fresh foods and then went to a lady's restaurant and got some chicken and chips (french fries). Then we went around to see different places. We went all the way to the Southern Highlands Province, then went to Paprabruk where they have the Pacific Bible College.

The boys are getting lots of exercise and having fun playing with the kids. Jordan and Jonah come and stay and play with the boys. Jonah has a bad sore where he hit his foot with an ax, so he has to stay still, but it's raining now, so we are all inside. They like the cars and little musical phone, lizards, bugs, etc. that we brought the for boys to play with. I gave them some Skittles to try. They made a face because at first they are sour, then sweet. They ate more, so they must have liked them. :)

April 9th (Wednesday)
Yesterday I went with Jenny (my sister-in-law) down to the river to wash our laundry. We took 1/2 of a big rain-barrel and some stain remover and washed them. We filled the barrel with water then put the Omo (stain remover) in and rubbed the clothes together to get the dirt out. The boys clothes were REALLY muddy. It was hard work to get them clean. We put them into the stream to rinse them, turning them inside out to get all the soap out. Later, I saw my fingers were rubbed raw. I had to put bandaids on because it was so painful. (The next time we did the laundry, I rubbed them differently and it was better. That time we used a soap bar and rubbed it against the rock, and then rinsed it. For the really dirty clothes, they use a "tangle" of twines and rub the clothes with that. It's not the best on keeping the colors bright with all the rubbing, but they are clean.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Diary of My Trip to PNG #3

April 4th (Friday)
We flew up to Mt. Hagen, Wednesday, April 2nd. It is VERY beautiful. The landscape is green with lots of flowers; the air is cool and crisp. It's not humid at all. The sun gets hot during the middle of the day, but it's a little bit chilly other times of the day. We arrived at the airport and I saw a group of people with a sign and I cried. They were all so happy to see me and the two boys (and Win too). The older people cried and even some of the young ones. Tears of joy. We loaded our suitcases into a truck and we rode in a van to Mt. Hagen's shopping area to get a few things. After shopping, we went on about a 11/2-2 hour ride to Win's village. It was so beautiful. The air was so fresh. There were gardens all along the way. We drove on a smooth highway until we reached the turnoff- a dirt road with lots of rocks and ruts. It wasn't too bad in most places, but I had to hold on to the seat or the window so I wouldn't move around too much (no seatbelts, or car seats either).
Charity's mom and dad drove their truck/van for us to go up to the village. We finally got to Win's village and the first group of children saw us, smiled, and squealed with excitement. I was already crying just seeing them. It was so special and is not something that you have probably ever experienced. The people were jumping for joy. They gave us flower leis and had a welcome sign and the walkway was decorated with ferns and flowers. Everyone was lined up to shake my hand and hug me; they were so happy to see me. After going through we were surrounded by the people and some of the leaders spoke, welcoming us. It was raining pretty hard so they had to cut the speeches short. We went up to Bill and Clara's house and got all our things in. It was an overwhelming time and even as I write about it, I cry (even this time, as I type).
Yesterday, we went around and saw Robert and Joseph's (Win's brothers) houses and gardens. Today, we walked to see Wansilin's (Win's sister) gravesite. We went to see Matthew's (Win's brother-in-law) house and his children's homes and gardens. He seems like a very kind, sweet man.

The family said that they were afraid we would be afraid of them, but they feel free now. The boys like to play with them. When they saw me cry, they felt happy to see that I was happy to see them.

Cabbage and greens
Today they made me a shower room. It's made out of the mats that they use for their kunai houses. It's made in a circle with an extra side for the walkway. Bill and Clara have a "kitchen" house with a fire in the middle and benches near the ground all the way around. Their home is very basic; some plastic chairs, trunks (used for storage, tables, or seats), some homemade couches, wood-burning stove, and mattress on the floor. They dug a new outhouse for us. They have two baby pigs up at the kitchen house. Robert keeps one of theirs and some of his own down at his house. Jabin really likes them. The littles ones lay down and want you to scratch them all over when you pet them.
Taking the pigs to the mud swamp

Right now a lot of the young people are down playing volleyball. I am staying in the house with Ian, while he sleeps. Tata (Grandpa) Okie knows who we are (sometimes), so we are happy about that. He likes the boys. They haven't warmed up to him yet, but hopefully the next few days and weeks we'll spend more time with him. We are eating lots of fresh fruits and different greens and potatoes. Everything is very expensive here.

Diary of My Trip to PNG #2

March 31st (Monday)
Nature Park 
Saturday, we took a trip around the city and stopped at Port Moresby Nature Park where they have native animals that you can look at. It was like a miniature zoo. Win's friend, Kela, went with us and drove us. We went to Vision City, a mall, to get a few things. The mall was very clean, with white tiles that the ladies were mopping. They had electronic stores, a grocery store, pharmacy, little toy stores, knick knacks/ tourist type shops, and even a movie theatre. One interesting thing from there: It cost 1K (kina) to go to the bathroom. The toilet paper was at the doorway, which I found out after going in, and almost all the toilets were missing the seats...LOL!

We are staying at Rogers and Naomi Kuk's home. We came home and had a wonderful traditional dinner of fish (super good!), several types of bananas, broccoli, coconut-creamed rice, pit-pit (a type of vegetable, not my favorite)... the meal was very nice. We've been eating fresh paw-paw (papaya) everyday. The boys are having some trouble with the foods, but they eat rice and noodles. They like
 the watermelon and grapes from the store, too.
Yummy dinner! (Yes, that's a whole fish.)
Sunday, we went to church. It was "mission Sunday," so there were lots of people there. It was very moving to hear them singing together. There were lots of announcements though so it lasted about 31/2-4 hours, I think. I was sore from sitting on the wooden pew. Men and women sit on separate sides. It was so full though, that I sat with the men. After church we met some people from Win's area that live there in POM. Later that day we went back to the Nature Park, where we met lots of Win's tribesmen. It was very touching to see their reaction to me and the boys. They presented me two bilums. Today we straightened our visas and tomorrow we will fly to Mt Hagen (turned out to be Wednesday) . It is extremely hot and humid here. The city is very dusty. There are lots of people everywhere.

Pictures of church, a beautiful beach, and the welcome party they gave us.
The house we are staying in is built up on stilts. It has large windows on almost every wall, which lets in sunlight and any breezes, but also lots of noises... The city is very busy. You hear horns, vehicles driving, dogs barking (there are dogs everywhere), babies crying, music, yelling, etc. most of the time. It's not really loud, just a low hum of activity. The house is very nice- water, electricity. There isn't any hot water, but it's so hot outside that you don't really notice. Once you get out of the shower you are already sweating again. I've seen a couple of small geckos around. Lots of tropical plants and flowers. They are taking very good care of us. Jabin doesn't want to come inside. He is enjoying playing outside with the kids and dogs. Ian is getting spoiled by everyone.
Ela Beach (that's Kela, not Win)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Diary of My Trip to PNG #1

March 29th, (written Saturday in PNG)
Win, trying to keep both boys going in the same direction...
We made it to PNG! Wednesday we were scheduled to fly out at 7, so we left home at around 4:30AM. We got everything ready and boarded the plane and were ready to go, when the pilot said we'd have to get back off due to a flat tire. We ended up leaving at 12:30, which turned out ok, because both boys got some sleep after eating some complimentary pizza while we were waiting for the tire to be flown in from another state!! (Surely there's a better way!) It was a rough wait. The boys were trying to go everywhere and Win's aunt came with us, so we had lots of baggage to carry around with us. At one point, I was ready to go back home and just forget the whole "crazy" idea. (Looking back, it was crazy.) We finally made it to LA and then found our shuttle to go to our car rental. We went around a bit and ate at a buffet. I was glad to get back to the airport and get everything situated.We got there and thought everything was fine, but then they were having trouble with Win's passport and his aunt's transit visa. Then after that was settled they didn't know if our luggage went through to Port Moresby, or if it was there in LA. For some reason the people at baggage weren't answering, so poor Win had to go all the way down past all the terminals to the Delta line and try to see if he could see any of our luggage. He found all his aunt's luggage. By the time he got back with that (he had to take a taxi to make it in time), it was time to board, and we still had to go all the way back down to the terminal with our carry-ons... and the boys... and an elderly lady...
LA highway from the view of the plane
(His phone wasn't working which made things more complicated.) I was already exhausted and we hadn't even gotten to the long flight yet. We had a lot of people praying for us though. The long flight was the best flight we had had so far.We got a large aisle area and the boys slept a lot. (Praise the Lord for that.) We had about a 15 hour flight then landed at Brisbane. We left in the night from LA, then went "through the night," so landed in the morning, which was easier to adjust to, because it was like an extra-long night.We flew out a few hours later and had about a 3 hour flight to POM (Port Moresby). That flight was ok because there weren't a lot of people so we could move around a bit. Jabin slept almost the whole flight. We arrived to a very hot and humid Friday afternoon. Julianne, Lucy, and Jenny came and picked us up at the airport. The airport didn't have air conditioning, which was surprising because I thought it would since it's in the capital city... :)

This little guy sat on our laps almost the entire time...

Jabin, getting a window seat view