SmythsInPNG's Weblog

September 14, 2008

September 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — smythsinpng @ 12:53 pm
Highway

Highway

Diana and I drove to town on Monday. It’s about 45 minutes away on the highway. Oil palm plantations line the roads in this area. 

Palm olive cluster

Palm olive cluster

I didn’t realize what a “palm olive” was until I moved here. In the mornings the roads are lined with stacks of palm oil pods harvested from the trees. 

 

Cute&Dangerous

Cute&Dangerous

We had lunch at a hotel where Diana met one of her favorite neighbors and we checked out some of the animals in the tiny zoo.

We were able to find almost everything we needed on this shopping trip, which was a surprise.  We don’t go to town very often because of the large travel expense and lack of the things we need.  Most of our basic groceries are ordered months in advance and purchased by the Supply Buyer who puts it on shelves in the little store next to our house.  Every month or two we get some broccoli and lettuce on a flight from the high mountains.  Still, browsing through stores in town once in a while is good to see what is available at the moment.  Shopping at least once a month is a matter of sanity for some women, I guess!  The freezers and coolers in this particular store can give a sense of nostalgia for home, but the smells and contents quickly reveal that we are not in Kansas!

Shopping

Shopping

The jet fuel ordered over a month ago was delivered this week so I spent some time rolling full drums of fuel around and sent 45 empty drums back. I managed to get reacquainted with some yard equipment and acquired a new list of lawn and garden equipment needed to maintain the hangar property.  How nice it would be to have a Wal-Mart anywhere in the country!

Maleu Missionaries

Maleu Missionaries

Flying has its perks. One flight this week I took a family back to be reunited with their Dad and had two passengers eager to return home to the apartment above us.  They had gone into the Mengen tribe the hard way, which is now much easier than years past due to logging roads. 

Flying beats hiking

Flying beats hiking

They rode eight hours in a vehicle to the end of the road then hiked four hours to get to the airstrip where the other missionaries have houses. The ride home a week later was 35 minutes in the airplane and they got to see a waterfall on the way.

Falls

Falls

 
Friday was a longer day of flying as several families returned to the tribal locations during the school break. Some folks were going along to get some “bush orientation” where they put into practice what they have learned of the national trade language and to learn what tribal living and a house setup in the tribe might look like.

Saturday night we received a visitor from the Provincial Health department requesting medical evacuation of two expectant women who were having difficulties at an outstation clinic. So, we were up at daylight Sunday morning preparing the airplane.  Because of the usual communications difficulties, the outstation medical staff were not aware that a flight had been arranged. That resulted in about an hour and a half of waiting on the ground for the patients at the airstrip near the outstation.  Meanwhile I talked to the spectators who came up with various speculations about where the patients might be and the reasons for the delay.  A woman with a broken jaw was added to the flight along with a nurse, a baby and a guardian.  I was prepared for two flights, but everyone managed to fit in the one flight. 

This weekend there is a lot of celebrating going on. Papua New Guinea is celebrating its independence from Australia next Tuesday (Sept 16) so local people began festivities on Friday with sport tournaments, local bands and competitions.  Tuesday is the day when many folks celebrate by dressing up in traditional grass skirts and fancy bird feather headdresses to compete for a prize.  Other folks are inviting friends and families over for a traditional mumu (steaming food wrapped in banana leaves on hot rocks in a pit).

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1 Comment »

  1. Hi Randy and Diana,
    I just wanted to tell you how I eat up reading about what is going on with you. I’m embarrassed to say that this is the first time I’ve taken time to go onto your web log..and discovered even more great things to read and pics to see. Thanks so much for being so consistent in your updates about progress in the ministry, and your life there. It just ties us all together so much better, and helps us at home to know what to pray for. Lord bless you richly.
    Celeste (By the way, I’m from Valley 4th in Spokane).

    Comment by Celeste Horpel — September 15, 2008 @ 3:30 pm | Reply


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