Monday, August 30, 2010

Home again

Just wanted to let you know that we made it back to Papua New Guinea safe and sound on Friday afternoon (PNG time). It feels good to be back in our own house again, and people here were eager to see us again (at least they were eager to see Greg, that is).

Greg did pretty well on the trip, which was about as direct as we could make it. We had four flights (the longest was 13.5 hours) and no layovers longer than 3 hours. Of course, Greg was more alert this time around than on his first flight at a week old.

Here is Greg getting ready to fly in the Kodiak up to Ukarumpa – the last leg of our journey. You should have seen his face when we hit some turbulence in the small plane – he was pretty startled!

Before we left grandma’s house, we took a walk through her dahlia field, which was all in bloom.

And Greg said goodbye to grandma and grandpa’s dog, Haydin.

But in PNG, he got to say hello to his new pet, Ruby.

Today Susan took Greg out to the classrooms where the STEP students are finishing up their final course. Jecobeth was delighted to finally get to hold him.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A few last photos from Stateside

Well, tomorrow we head back to Papua New Guinea. We managed to fit everything into our suitcases, though it seemed touch and go there for a while. Before we go, here are a few last photos from this week.

There was a big wedding reception for Brian’s brother Darin and his wife Becky on Saturday.

Greg dipped his feet in the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

We toured the Tillamook Cheese factory, since Becky had never seen it.

Greg and dad being silly.

Reading the funnies with grandma.

Chillin’ with grandpa.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some PNG Statistics

These are some interesting statistics that our friend Joy posted on her blog (

From the Australian Council for International Development 2006
  1. Life expectancy for Papua New Guineans is only 53 years in rural areas and 60 in urban centers.
  2. 6 treatable diseases (pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, tuberculosis, measles and anemia) contribute to 40% or more of deaths for those under 45 years.
  3. 31 percent of all people 15 years or over have no cash income earning activity.
  4. Approximately 50,000 young people leave school each year; the formal education system only able to reabsorb a very small portion of these.
  5. Population growth is high and predicted to double by 2026.
  6. Only 56% of females aged 15 years or over are literate. Results from recent PNG literacy task force are now finding that this is much lower. “At best we probably only have an overall functional national literacy rate of 30 percent according to our early findings” (Jonduo, 2007).
  7. Approximately 33 infants die each day, the majority from preventable causes.
  8. In 1999, only 39% of health facilities were in satisfactory condition and less than 70% of rural aid posts were operating. It is believed that conditions have since further deteriorated.
  9. Approximately 58% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water despite the fact that PNG has one of the world’s highest stocks of fresh water.
  10. 85% of the people live in rural areas with many areas inaccessible and only 4% of roads are paved.
  11. PNG is now ranked 133 out of 175 countries on the UN Development Index.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Time in South Dakota

A week ago we got the chance to travel to South Dakota for a family reunion with Susan’s side of the family. We all went and had a good time. Here are a few pictures of our time there and Brian can now officially say that he has been to half the states in the nation.

Crazy horse monument.

This is what the monument will look like when finished. You can see that they have a long way to go. One family has been working at this since the 1940's.

Hmm...I wonder if Brian can get this going again?

Mt. Rushmore... Do I have to say more?

Even Greg is enjoyed the culture and history lesson. So much so he peed on the floor in the visitor's center.

I think there is still room to have Susan's face carved in. Don't you think so?

Can you guess what this is?

The three of us went to a new place the other day and saw how something was made.  Can you guess what it is? 

Hint:  The finished product is what we are standing in front of.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One month old

Can’t believe that he’s one month old already! He celebrated this milestone yesterday by getting as many clothes dirty as he could (mom’s included!). We still like him though. He’s a pretty mellow baby - as long as you give him what he wants!