Thursday, September 17, 2009

Home Improvement

Because Wednesday was a holiday (see previous post) we got to stay home and work on some projects around the house. Brian recently discovered that a drainage pipe at the back of the house was completely clogged with tree roots and dirt. Not only that, but it was a weird amalgam of steel pipe, clay pipe, and two different sizes of PVC. This needed to be fixed, since rainy season is approaching and our house is built on sloping ground (we’d rather not deal with a flooded basement!). So Brian dug out the old pipe and laid down a new one, and then built a new cement catch at the mouth of the pipe.

Independance Day

September 16 is Independence Day in Papua New Guinea. Here are a few pictures from the Goroka Show – an annual celebration where different tribal groups will demonstrate their traditional costumes and dance. We didn’t go this year, and the photos were taken by someone else, but we thought you might enjoy some local color.

(photos by Kahunapule Michael Johnson)

spoiled dog

Defa (the lady who we pay to work in our yard once a week) likes Ruby, though she has trouble saying her name. In her language there isn’t a distinction between “r” and “l”, so most of the time the dog’s name comes out “Luby” or even “Buby.”

On Wednesday Defa made a comment that showed her opinion of how we treat Ruby. She told us “yupela i gat wanpela pikinini tasol” (you guys just have one child). In her opinion, our dog is hopelessly spoiled.

Papua New Guineans often have dogs, which are valued for security or for hunting, but they don’t take care of them the same way we Westerners do. Village dogs are often treated roughly and are left to find their own food most of the time. And so the fact that Ruby has her own haus kapa (house with a tin roof), and a painted one no less, shows that she is given special treatment. In Defa’s eyes, it’s a little crazy that we provide her with plenty of store-bought dog food, toys, etc. Every time Defa comes over to work, she comments on how fat Ruby is and how quickly she is growing. Lucky dog!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The HAPPYmatic

Today I brought home the Happy-Matic… a well-worn Finnish sewing machine that I bought from a friend.  It works (most of the time anyway) and although it can only do a straight and zig-zag stitch, at least I now have a sewing machine and won’t have to borrow one every time I have a little project to do.  I snapped it up because the last few times someone here has put up a sewing machine for sale I missed out.  (You have to be superhumanly fast around here to nab the good stuff on the “for sale” board!)

I’ve been thinking recently that I might like to try my hand at quilting, so maybe someday I’ll be able to upgrade to something a little more capable, but for now I’m happy just to have the Happy-Matic.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Six Wheel Drive Fun

That’s right all six wheels turn when the mud gets deep!

Living in the back woods of PNG can bring many adventures and challenges and having a vehicle that can tackle them is very important. About three weeks ago a surplus military truck that was purchased to be able to tackle some of these challenges finally arrived. It is a ten ton cross country cargo hauling machine and in case you do get stuck there is a 20,000lb winch attached to the front to pull you out. Oh and it has lockers in all three axles so all the wheels will spin. My job in all of this was to reassemble it when it came out of the container. You see to fit a truck this big into a 40ft. container most of it had to be disassembled. I will let the pictures do the talking for me since they are worth so many words. But let me just add that it is a lot of fun to drive and I am looking forward on taking it on a few adventures into the wilds of PNG.

Pulling our track loader out of the river when it got stuck: