Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Home Again!!

Hello All,

It is Wednesday evening at 11:27 pm in has been Wednesday for us for a very long time! Hopefully this last blog finds you all matter what country you live in!!

After flying from Christchurch to Auckland, we had a long but uneventful flight on Air New Zealand from Auckland to Los Angeles. Interesting how you have to move from one terminal to another in a lot of these cities if you are going from a domestic flight to an international flight. We were so thankful for the smart carts (well they call them that in Atlanta) to put our luggage on as we had to make about a 10 minute walk between terminals in Auckland to get on an international flight and then when we got to LA we had to do the same after going through customs and picking up our bags to get to the domestic terminal to board a Delta flight home.

Ron, Ken and Whitney met us at the airport and we stopped for a Starbucks on the way home. Upon arriving at our house Duff got his big surprise! While we were gone Ken oversaw a project I had requested. We have a new sprinkler system and a new lawn. They relocated a tree for us and now we just pray that the new lawn will not die before 'taking root'!! Atlanta is going thru a real drought and the county had threatened to turn off our water due to the sprinkling. (I guess a neighbor reported us while we were gone) However, there is an ordinance that new landscaping can water for a period of time.....who knew my timing would be soooo bad!

Our other surprise was all the work our daughters-in-law had done here. We had a welcome home basket and the essentials of food in the house and it is decorated for fall! Sweet welcome home signs everywhere and Michelle had cleaned the garage and by giving away some of our furniture from the basement (with our permission) we now have room to walk around down there. Looks like someone did up the laundry that was dirty when we left!
We are really blessed to have the family we do! Philip just called and they will be by tomorrow.

We cannot put into words how wonderful our trip was...........hopefully you have enjoyed it along with us and just ask us....we have pictures!!
Mary and Jim

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

West Coast NZ to Christchurch NZ

Tuesday we traveled from the beautiful west coast across the Southern Alps and Arthurs Pass (see picture) back to the West Coast returning to our hosts, Rob and Evelyn Meikle's home about 3 p. m. We returned the rental car, and walked back the few blocks to their home. We enjoyed yet another meal and evening with them until dropping into bed. Our last night out!!

This morning we have packed and are ready for our long journey home. We are currently 17 hours ahead of Atlanta. It will be interesting to see what type jet lag we experience! I think we arrive in Los Angeles before we leave here!

Take care until we see you or speak with you on the phone.
Jim and Mary

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hokitika, New Zealand

Hi to All in USA, PNG and New Zealand!!

We have had very little feedback (comments) since sending our blog from New Zealand..........have you quit reading?? Today we had quite an active day!! Read on.............

We had a delightful breakfast with our hosts at the B&B we stayed at last night. Homemade multigrain bread, fresh squeezed juice, etc. (This was our splurge night!! Really the only one since we left home and it was wonderful.)

We left Murchison and stopped first at Maruia falls on the Buller river. These falls were caused by the 1929 earthquake that occurred in the area. We took a short walk down to the river.

Moving on toward Westport we stopped at N Z longest swinging bridge which crosses the Buller Gorge/River. Despite fear of heights Mary determined she would cross the bridge. Fortunately only the two of us were on the bridge at one time. We took a loop walk viewing remnants of an old gold mine, as well as the site of the fault line of the '29 earthquake. At the end of the loop walk we had to decide whether to return to the other side of the river on a zip line or on the same bridge. Finally we decided to ride tandem on the zip line! This was a blast and the guy at the other end was suppose to be videoing our ride and he forgot! Wouldn't you know it? all you get are 'still' shots!! (We have a video that Duff took from behind!) I would have insisted on another ride but I would have had to cross the bridge again.....not worth it!!

Our next stop was in Panakaiki....this was to view 'pancake rocks' and the blow holes. Unfortunately we saw only one small blow hole but the rock formations were incredible.

We got to Greymouth about 4 pm and stopped at the grocery store. Then we drove on to Hokitika. This is a seaside town with many more accomodations than eating establishments!! So we managed to find fish and chips at a take-away cafe for dinner.

After eating b'fast (Coffee, Evelyn's fruit and some date scones) in the morning we will head out for Arthur's Pass (nestled in the Southern Alps) and on to Christchurch. Tomorrow night and Wednesday morning we will spend with our fun & graciuos Christchurch hosts, the Meikles, and they will drop us at the airport midday Wednesday for our long journey home to the states!!

We have had an incredible 7 weeks and cannot even put into words what it meant to spend 4 of those weeks in PNG. We loved it!!

Our Best to all.....
Mary and Jim

Note to Jan and Patrick: We just enjoyed a Magnum in your honor!

Blenheim to Murchison, New Zealand

This is a short post to be filled in tomorrow, as it is late, almost 11 pm, and Mary is asleep.

We left Blenheim and favored the Queen Charlotte Drive along the Marlborough Sound, through Picton, Havelock (famous for the green shell mussel, so of course we ate a big bowl of the chowder...ummmm) and on down to Murchison. We are staying tonight in a B & B, on the Buller River, in a farm setting which is just delightful. Scenic, rustic, comfortable, and great hosts in Shirley and Merv, who are from the UK, and split their time between here and there. We happen to be the only guests tonight and so we had the 5 bedroom home all to ourselves this evening with a fire in the stove...very relaxing and we took a walk through the pasture to the river. See old bossy!! (Not Mary!)



Saturday, November 3, 2007

Blenheim, New Zealand

Blenheim, New Zealand
Northern South Island

It is Saturday evening, November 3, 2007. We did not report on our blog yesterday so this will be another catch up.

Yesterday morning we got up and after breakfast went with Bob and Evelyn to their holiday home. They had not been there since before they went to the states in May. The scenery along the very curvy road was spectacular! Their place is located near the Akaroa Harbour in Wainui. They have several fruit trees in the back yard and Evelyn gathered fruit, flowers and did some trimming while Bob and I used 2 mowers and mowed their lawn. I think Duff had a nice nap while we were outdoors. Evelyn had quiche prepared for us for lunch which was quite good! On the way back to Christchurch we walked around Akaroa, a neat little village established by French settlers in 1840 and stopped for a Latte’. We had been following the weather forecast and it did not yet look promising for the route we wanted to take which was west and south!

This morning we got up and due to the continued poor forecast for the west coast made our decision to travel north and see what we could. We did enjoy the scenery all day from the mountains to the sea! As we drove through the lush green rolling foothills leading to the mountains and observed all the sheep grazing all I could think about was the 23rd Psalm! Surely that was what David was seeing when he wrote that Psalm. Green pastures and still waters, the sheep and their shepherd!!

Stopping for lunch in Kaikoura, we sat outside and looked to our right and saw snow capped mountains and to the left the South Pacific Ocean. Driving along we saw seals sunning themselves on the rocks along the shore. It was truly an incredible drive. We arrived in Blenheim around 5 pm and after checking out several places we found a nice motel room.

Tomorrow we will tour the Marlborough Sounds area at the top of the south island before making our way to the west coast. We plan to take the next 3 days touring what we can based on weather. And cross back to Christchurch Tuesday afternoon where we will stay again with Bob and Evelyn before flying out on Wednesday the 7th.

Pictures are: 1) view from The Meikles holiday home 2) Mary and Jim today at lunch. We will check email and publish this in the morning before leaving town…having located a travel cyber spot this evening. Our best to all!
Mary and Jim

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Christchurch, New Zealand

It is Thursday evening..........

We blog last night. The hotel in Auckland had wireless but wanted to charge $$$$ and it was very late and so we said 'Forget It'.

This morning we flew into Christchurch where we were met by our new friends, Bob and Evelyn Meikle. This delightful couple are friends of my sister's and have stayed in her home many times off and on since the 80's. They volunteered to take us under their wing and guide us as to the activities we should undertake here on the south island of New Zealand, mostly based on weather patterns. Obviously we haven't a lot of time and we want to see it all, so I imagine we will have to come back some day.

Duff still isn't up to par having experienced some abdominal distress since last Sunday. After getting in today he took a nap for a couple of hours and Evelyn and I walked to the mall nearby. (If in doubt shop!!) No, really we went for groceries and while there we wandered through a couple of nearby stores. This afternoon Bob took us on a driving tour of Christchurch. This is beautiful country....lush scenery ....lots of sheep (well we are in New Zealand) We will make a decision in the morning after seeing how Duff feels and what the weather is doing as to just what direction we will head.

Attached is a picture of our gracious hosts! We are really enjoying them.....thanks Miriam for sharing.

More to you all tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Papua, New Guinea to the Great Barrier Reef

We will catch you up on our last two days since we were too tired to go on line last night.

Monday morning about 7:45, after telling Jan and the girls’ good-bye (Benjamin had told us good-bye the evening before) we left CLTC with Patrick and a security guard. Due to rain the night before the road was a bit slippery where they are doing construction but we managed to slip and slide up the hill and on to Mt Hagen’s airport.

We checked our bags with AirNiugini and waited with Patrick until we knew about the time the flight was due in. Patrick told us good-bye with the promise that after he shopped in Mt Hagen he would come back by the airport and make sure we had gotten out. (Often flights are cancelled.)

We had a nice flight to Port Moresby (jet) and after making our way to the international terminal we were so early we had about a 3 hour wait before we could check our bags with Airlines PNG. This gave us time to eat our sandwiches we had packed and for Mary to check out the gift shops. Of course we made some last minute purchases before leaving PNG!!

Our flight to Cairns was uneventful and after getting in we were the last ones to go through customs….they checked us out carefully but did not confiscate anything! We picked up our rental car and made our way to Tree Top Lodge where the office was closed but a sign outside had our name and room number on it! We made our way into Cairns for some fish and chips before retiring for the night.

This morning we drove to town for breakfast before boarding a cruise boat to spend the day at the Great Barrier Reef. We both signed up for instruction in snorkeling (I know that might strike some of you as silly!) as we had not such a great experience in Hawaii a few years ago. This time with the help of Eric, our Aussie instructor, we had a wonderful experience! The coral was beautiful and the fish remarkable….color of the water was quite spectacular as well!!!

Throughout the day we talked with quite a few people, a lot from the states who were just beginning a 27 day tour of Australia and New Zealand. They were really enjoying themselves! I’m happy to report that we slathered the sunscreen and did NOT get burned to a crisp!

Tomorrow we fly to Auckland for one night, then Thursday morning on to Christchurch. We are excited about seeing New Zealand!!
We will include a couple of pictures from today!

Much love to all,
Mary and Jim

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bunum Wo Village Church

This morning we attended Bunum Wo Reformed Lutheran church in the village of Bunum Wo, not far from CLTC. When entering the church the music had begun and the men were sitting on the floor (covered with pine straw) on one side of the church and the women were sitting on the floor on the other side of the church. Jim and Patrick sat leaning against the side of the building with legs outstretched on the men's side but Jan and Mary sat among other women. The women always sit cross legged but unable to do that Mary got in as comfortable a position as possible and welcomed the opportunity to stand when singing. Unfortunately she could not figure out a way to gracefully stand up. It was interesting! Everyone was very gracious and the pastor apologized for not providing food following the service and for not providing bilums.

Patrick’s cell group (students) led the service with Titus preaching. Titus was mentioned a couple of weeks ago as he is having difficulty with transportation home to the Solomon Islands…the airfare is very expensive!

This afternoon was spent packing and we are almost there! This evening Karis and Benjamin ate pizza with us (Nothing interesting…homemade crust but only tomato sauce and cheese! No other toppings.) Karis wanted to bring the desert so Jan provided chocolate chip pan cookies with extra chocolate. Very good! We played Clue after we ate. Jan and Patrick went to a dinner and program that Kristen was in. Quite a nice event with everyone all dressed up!!

Following the program, Joy, the clinic nurse came to the house to tell me good–bye and brought a gift for us.

It is hard to put into words what this month has meant to us. Certainly it is something we will never forget!!

Patrick said we should leave CLTC at 7:30 in the morning to get to Mt Hagan in time for our flight. Tomorrow night we will be in Cains, AU.

More from Australia.........with love,

Mary and Jim

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Another beautiful day in paradise!"

Our title is exactly what Mary says each morning here!!

We started our morning with coffee of course followed by coffee with Patrick at the Halls. After which Jan, Patrick, Mary and Jim went for a walking tour of the campus. Why you ask did you wait until 2 days before leaving to do that? Well we started one Sunday afternoon and the rain came (just as it does most evenings) so we turned back.

We walked by student housing and then up on Vision Hill (with all the cows.) Vision Hill is where the founder of CLTC stood when he viewed the land and envisioned the layout of the campus for the future CLTC. From here you get a panorama view of the entire campus which is a working farm as well. This is a total of 400 acres. We went to the hatchery where we saw day old chicks (they sell 40,000 a month). We saw the chickens raised to sell. We saw the slaughtering plant for cows and for chickens. CLTC is now growing rice and we walked by the rice patties. We also walked to the Waghi River where Mary stuck her hand in and then was told that water analysis showed Typhoid is in the water!

This evening we had dinner with the Halls and celebrated Patrick breaking his “sweets” fast. We also tried for the first time some sugar cane! Of course we get a picture of all ‘firsts’!!!

Now we face the challenges of packing up for our return trip. We at least started this evening and will complete this tomorrow after church. We will be visiting a village church in the morning where we will be sitting on the floor for the service. Patrick assured us it will not be a long service but Duff asked if we would be provided a crane to help us up.

Pictures included are of student housing, the inside of a kitchen which 4 families share, the 4 of us on top of Vision Hill and a couple of the women gardening.
More later!
Mary & Jim

Friday, October 26, 2007

Last work day at CLTC

Mary took some additional medications newly arrived from the Avondale support group to the clinic this afternoon, along with a bag of cookies for each of the nurses and a thank you note for letting me spend time with them in the CLTC clinic. This evening a meeting for the married female students and wives of students was held, with much singing and a program led by Gay, an Australian lady. The topic was 'Worry'. Gay asked that I make a short statement of something I worry about. Of course the entire program was in pidgin so Jan wrote out my statement and I read it in pidgin. After which I received a round of applause ...not for worrying of course but for the attempt at their language. At the end of the evening this group had special prayers for Gay and I and gave us each a card and farewell gift. The custom here is that you do not open a gift at the time you recieve it, so after getting home I opened it and receieved a beautiful hand woven bilum. A bag described earlier in our blog.

Jim spent the day working on installation of a Linux operating system on a Windows based computer so that the user could have both systems available. Ultimately CLTC wants to migrate to the Linux system as the Microsoft programs continue to get more expensive and Microsoft gives no breaks to a Christian non-profit, but sell to the Chinese at $3.00 a unit. Go figure! The picture above is of the CLTC IT department being treated to a Coke by Jeff, the interim department head, after a successful day.

As you probably figured out, this is written by Jim, as it is somewhat more cryptic and unimaginative. It is now midnight here, she is asleep, and tomorrow, after she reads this, more detail will follow. (It's now morning, Mary is awake, and the proper corrections, amendments, and additions have been made in the first paragraph).

All the best toYou!!

Jim and Mary

Thursday, October 25, 2007

PNG Missionary Stories

A few days ago I invited the Halls for dinner tonight and decided to have a few couples over afterwards for dessert. Three couples had accepted the invitation and so preparation for tonight was my assignment for today.

My day was spent mostly in the kitchen....after getting the spaghetti sauce put together I baked cookies for tonight (turned out to be a good thing!) Then I made French ended up looking pale and pitiful but actually tasted fine.....then the day's disaster was the Butter Bundt Cake I baked. I had gotten on the internet to find a cake recipe that included the ingredients I had in the house. I have lots of excuses such as altitude, oven isn't calibrated, the pan wasn't really non stick! Anyway when I turned it over to take it out of the pan it totally fell apart. CRUMBS.........1/2 in and 1/2 out of the pan. So I cut what was left in the pan and ended up with about 10 pieces of cake. I believe everyone that wanted any had a piece. No one raved but were gracious and said it was good.........these women have lived in the bush and I'm sure have experienced lots worse! (See picture of group.) Jan took the pic and Patrick had already taken the kids home. It was a very enjoyable evening with lots of stories of their experiences through the years! We certainly have a new admiration and respect for their life and work.

Duff spent his day fixing used (donated) computers. I think he is loving it! Although everything moves slowly! The piece of equipment we mentioned last night that he was hoping to set up did not come in (true to PNG form.... some snafu.)

We are including 2 pictures, one of the Hall kids eating Sugar Fruit which we stopped and bought on the side of the road coming back from Ukarumpa. This fruit looks like an orange on the outside but is filled with this slimy looking, sorta green yuk ....I won't say what it looks like but it is really gross! Now I had to try it at least! So rather than handle it as the kids do Jan wanted to feed it to me...with a spoon(2nd pic) . It actually tasted like the inside of a grape with seeds that you could chew...the kids just swallow they said.

Well....we only have 3 more days here and I know I am going to miss it, however, we are looking forward to 6 days in New Zealand and then getting home to our family & friends!
Our best to all,
Mary and Jim

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A sunny, windy day at CLTC

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beginning at 9:00 this morning Mary was involved with a large (65+) group (pic) of Pidgin speaking women (some of whom understand a limited amount of English), who are the wives of students or workers here at CLTC. These women gathered with their preschoolers to hear the clinic nurse, Joy, speak to them (of course in Pidgin) regarding different health issues and especially those pertaining to women. Even with the distraction of children these women were quite attentive and most appreciative to have the opportunity in such a setting to ask questions or make comments regarding their health.

After this meeting Mary came back to the house and caught up on some ‘domestics’ which are easy to push aside when on the go all the time!

Duff is much better and was able to help the IT department today. He is looking forward to the arrival of a new all in one printer, fax, copier scanner which should arrive by truck from Ukarumpa tomorrow. He will be setting this up tomorrow. This piece of equipment was flown in from Cains, AU by MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) to Ukarumpa. CLTC sends a truck with eggs to the grocery store in Ukarumpa and will bring this new equipment back. This delivery took less than a week from the order date. This is amazing considering how isolated CLTC is here in the Western Highlands.

I mentioned eggs…. CLTC sells day old chicks, as well as eggs (not sure how many ‘layers’ but a large number) and this is their major source of income to subsidize student activities.

Mary delivered some more medical supplies to the clinic today which were recently shipped from our home church in Avondale Estates. Mary stopped by AWANA this afternoon and we are including a picture of Jan with part of the AWANA kids this evening.

We commented today that by now most all the men and women we meet on the road or in the buildings around campus are familiar to us because we have engaged in conversation in some setting. We truly feel we will be leaving new friends behind when we leave next week. Our prayer is that we have made a difference while here!!

Sending our love ………
Mary and Jim

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Well we wrote our blog for the w/e on Monday so it is now late on the evening of Tuesday the 23rd. I will say Happy Birthday to my sister Miriam!

I did not mention it yesterday but Duff has been sick. He started with a fever early Monday morning and ached all over ..... this was after several days with what felt like a sinus infection. Of course here in PNG with a fever like that everyone is afraid of malaria. We do not think that is it at all and he has started on an antibiotic. Hopefully he is on the mend but he has missed the last two days working with the IT department.

Today I rode the school bus and after dropping the kids at high school the driver took me on to Kudjip Hospital. I once again worked helping the OR supervisor sorting out medical supplies in an effort to get their 2nd OR ready for the Eye team coming in from Australia the first week in November. We finished all we could do about 11:30 and so I observed Dr. Jim in surgery again. This case was colon cancer and I can't imagine how long this women had put off seeing the Dr. This is often the case here in PNG. They aren't anxious to go to the Dr and they don't take their children soon enough either.

After the surgery I was waiting in front of the hospital for my ride and a young woman approached me and asked where I was from...after a few minutes of conversation I discovered it was the daughter of the woman whose surgery I had been watching. They had a baby in a bilum (which is how they often carry their babies) and I asked if I could take a picture. Then I took a picture of the entire family who were waiting on the lawn. (See Pics)

Patrick picked me up this afternooon and gave me a ride back to CLTC. After dinner tonight I co-led the second session with some of the women regarding health issues. This session was for single women and there were about 27 who attended. About 4 missionaries and the clinic nurse also shared and helped answer some of the questions they had. All seemed to appreciate the information and now will hopefully feel a bit more comfortable discussing these such topics . In the morning we will hold the third session for non English speaking women and so since it will be in Pidgen I know I won't have as much to add!

More later............

Mary and Jim

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Week-end in Ukarumpa at the International School

This is the first blog since leaving CLTC on Thursday of last week. I will describe our week-end for you.

On Thursday morning about 8:30 we left CLTC with a van load of people to make our way across poor roads into the Eastern Highlands province. Several rode with us only part way, as this was a ride to go see their families for a few days.

The trip took us through some absolutely beautiful, very rugged mountainous areas. The roads were for the most part paved (other parts were gravel/muddy & rough) with huge pot holes on both sides of the road requiring lots of swerving to miss them. Occasionally we’d meet large trucks with containers on them, which you hoped you would have room to pass. There were many one way bridges and we hoped Patrick would drive so the tire would go on the part that holds you and not into the space between those parts! Along the way we saw lots of goats along the side of the road as well as many pigs/hogs, not to mention nationals walking to and from their villages and wherever! Often Patrick would have to blow the horn so they would get off the road and out of our way.

We did encounter one group (8 or so) of ‘rascals’. They spread themselves across the road and tried to stop the van, yelling that they were 'fixing the road’ and we needed to stop. Patrick just barreled through, and they got out of the way, but what they are really after is money. We encountered two official road blocks by the highway patrol. One wanted to see Patrick’s license and the other just sent us on our way. They appear to mean business, with one man carrying an automatic weapon. Someone in our group questioned if it was really loaded.

We stopped in Goroka first at their market (see picture … wish I had first brought umbrellas into this country) and at a hotel called The Bird of Paradise, or ‘The Bird’ as it is sometimes referred. Here while we ordered food and while we ate poolside the kids had an opportunity to swim. Outside the hotel people were on the sidewalk selling their wares; baskets, bilums, etc. After the break at the hotel, we continued on to Ukarumpa. Our first stop was at the grocery store to pick up a few items. This store has a much nicer selection than Jan has in Mt. Hagen!

After settling into our flat (complete with kitchen) we walked around the campus of the International School. The high school kids were playing soccer (against some of the nationals) and we watched them for a while. After having a light supper we joined Jan and Doug Hanson in their home for dessert and coffee, after which we played a few games.

Friday we went down to the Ukarumpa market which lasts a couple of hours several mornings a week. Here we were able to pick up fruits and vegetables. A beautiful, sunny day but not as warm as it gets at CLTC, we wandered around campus and again went grocery shopping. Jan had a list from others at CLTC who wanted items they are unable to get even in Mt. Hagen. So she shopped for several families. Friday evening was burgers at the Teen Center and that was a fun and relaxing time meeting other couples. Ukarumpa school is for grades ……….. and serves the SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics….originally named that for a site in Arkansas which later expanded to not just summers but year round and globally) community and for missionary kids from the surrounding area such as CLTC. SIL partners with Wycliffe Bible Translators and most of the work is translations of the Bible but also nutrition, health & agricultural information.

Close by campus is an air strip for MAF, Missionary Aviation Fellowship. They have several locations in PNG and carry passengers as well as cargo…for instance they delivered CLTC newest (large) copier. We visited the air strip and Patrick got us on a King Air plane which the Halls plan to fly out of here when leaving on their furlough next year.

Saturday evening Jim and I joined our host family, The Hansons, (We are staying in the Hanson’s home at CLTC while they are serving in Ukarumpa) and went to the school for swing dance lessons. (The Halls had an invitation for dessert to another family’s home.) The teens were having a blast dancing. Quite often brother and sister were dancing together….not what you would see in the states! The music switched from swing music to 50’s music and so of course we danced quite a bit.

Patrick preached in the English service on Sunday morning and we left to return to CLTC immediately following the service. Our trip home was thankfully uneventful, even with some rain.

All in all an interesting and relaxing week-end! Wish we could show you all our pictures.

Until next time we send our love and best wishes,
Mary and Jim

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another day at the hospital. October 17, 2007

Leaving CLTC early, riding the school bus to Banz and then changing vehicles I rode on to Kudjip. After changing into some scrubs I started helping Margaret (O.R. supervisor) to empty some of the boxes seen at the right. After 4 hours we had made an impact ... we probably had 1/3 of it done. I took my PB&J sandwich and went to the Radcliffe's house and joined them for lunch...(previous invitation yesterday.) After lunch I had no help to continue working in that O.R. (and the temp was so high I was getting a headache- no air moving) I hung around the break room and read until they started an emergency C-section, then I went in and watched until the baby was delivered. My ride back to CLTC was due at 3:30 so I waited outside and the scene to the left was what I saw. People are lined up at 8 am around that wall waiting to be seen. They are given a number and they sit around on the grass and wall with family, waiting sometimes hours. There is a sheltered waiting area for some (I think if they have paid they can wait there.) And we complain if we have to wait past the appt. time in an air conditioned waiting room with comfortable seats.
We leave with the Halls in the morning (18th) for a 3 night 4 day trip to Goroka and Ukarumpa (spelling may not be correct.) We will have lunch Thursday at the Bird of Paradise (found in PNG) Hotel. This will be our first meal in a restaurant in a couple of weeks.........have not really missed it!! We are taking our b'fast food and lunch food with us. Next blog will be Sunday evening...I'm sure we'll have new pictures and lots to report.
Duff reports that his day was uneventful and he has nothing to say at this time (he is deeply engrossed in a Tom Clancy novel)
By the from home is that we are going to have our 4th grandson sometime next March. How exciting!
Don't forget to pray for our SAFE trip !! More news and pictures Sunday!
Mary and Jim

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kudjip Nazarene Hospital / Women's Health

This morning I (Mary) left CLTC at 7:30 for a trip to Kudjip hospital. After arriving safely (always a concern) one of the Dr. wives (herself a nurse) took me under wing and after stopping by the school room (all MKs, perhaps 7-8 children) so she could lead their morning devotion, we walked on to the hospital, where she took me to the Operating Suite and introduced me to the staff. I had met the surgeon Dr. Jim Radcliffe a couple of times and he had said it was fine for me to observe in surgery with him. I changed into scrubs and all necessary cover-ups and spent the day in the O. R.
The first case was on a 9 year old girl who had a cyst under her chin. That case was short and went well. The second case was a woman who had a large ovarian cyst about the size of a large cantaloupe. In addition to this she had a diseased kidney which needed to be removed AND just yesterday she told the Dr. she thought she was pregnant.......testing showed she was. The Dr. tried to talk her out of the surgery but she insisted on having it.
When it was time to bring the patient in the O.R. the Dr. got on the phone and called to report that the woman had not seen the chaplain and he was waiting for that to occur prior to bringing her into the room. (see picture in pre-op / recovery room with chaplian talking to patient) After getting the patient on the table he had prayer with the patient and staff. The cyst was removed without difficulty but the rest of the surgery was not so easy. Dr Jim stopped once and prayed and later being very frustrated as things weren't going smoothly he requested that I pray. So things stopped and I prayed for him, for successful outcome with the surgery and for the patient's recovery. The surgery was completed successfully in about
4 1/2 hours and after finishing the case we stopped for lunch at 3:30. He was starting the next case just before I left. A most interesting day!!
I plan to go again tomorrow but will be working putting away medical supplies and clearing out a second Operating Room so that a volunteer team coming in November to do eye surgeries can have that room to do surgery.
This evening after dinner Jan and I walked up to the guest house for a gathering (see picture) of staff women or the wives of the staff to discuss womens health issues. The clinic nurse Joy also came and together with Gay and other missionaries we answered many questions. We gave them printed information and with the hope that this is just the beginning of much discussion to aid them with issues previously considered too private to talk with others about, such as menapause, depression, etc.
Jim spent his day preparing the handout for my meeting with the women, and trying to track down a 'worm' in the e-mail system after installing a new server, or perhaps a spurious report of one. He hopes to finish that project tomorrow with some tools being downloaded tonight from the internet.

More until tomorrow.........
Our love and best wishes from PNG
Mary and Jim

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, here two weeks today............

Today I spent time researching Women's Health Issues. Those who know me know that isn't my area of specialization. However, it has become apparent that many women here at CLTC desire more information regarding what's happening with their bodies and why.

Gay is a lady from Australia who has just returned to CLTC. She discovered this need, so she and I met today. I had done some Internet research and then we went to the library here on campus to see if there were any books a woman could check out that might answer her health questions. There were several copies of one book which is basic but covers many topics, Where There is No Doctor; a village health care handbook, complete with lots of illustrations. After contacting a friend of mine from nursing school and getting more web sites I have more info. It is wonderful to have the computer to reach the outside world!!

Tomorrow I am riding to Kudjip Hospital to spend the day. I'm not sure what I will get to do or see but I'm open to anything, if it will help them. We still have several boxes of supplies to take to them and I'm sure that will happen before we leave!

This evening we enjoyed dinner with the Halls and several others. I'm constantly amazed at all Jan Hall does!! She is home schooling 3 children, entertains students and staff and is the director of the AWANA program (80+ kids), she has been organizing my schedule and making contacts on our behalf! I'm sure there is much much more!! (Bakes all their bread, makes yogurt, etc.) What a woman!!

Well that's it for tonight. I'm sure I will have much more to convey tomorrow! Here is a picture of Jim standing next to our side door....the scene behind him is what we see from our kitchen and living room windows. Isn't it beautiful?

Our best to all,
Mary and Jim

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunny Sunday at CLTC, Banz, PNG

We woke this morning to a beautiful sky here in PNG….I know we keep saying that but it is really overwhelming. Once the sun is up it gets warm quickly. We walked to church about 9:45. Some of the men were having a retreat this w/e and so it was a different worship team leading the service. We had communion at the end of the service.

This afternoon we had some down time (Duff managed a short nap while I read.) I made some tortillas this afternoon for tacos this evening. This was new to me but Jan had given me her recipe and they came out good other than they were not all round but were various shapes!

This afternoon Karis (71/2) came down and visited with us. She wanted to play games and after she grew bored beating me she decided she wanted to play ‘Duffie’. She is a joy to be around and we get to grandparent (just a little) away from home!

Evening worship for the Halls is in the prayer chapel and the service is in Pidgin. Jan, Kristin and I went and Rita, one of my (First Aid) students brought the message. She used the scripture from Matthew about salt and light. Although I did not understand pidgin I was able to follow some because I knew her subject and picked up on various words. It was a small group and the music was great!

This picture was taken this morning just before going into church of me, Jan, Kristin (13), Benjamin (11) and Karis (7). The bag I am carrying is the bilum my class gave me Friday evening.

More later, sending our best to all!!
Jim and Mary

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday Shoppin at Mt Hagen Market Place

Jim’s Day: This morning at 7:30 we boarded a bus (note white bus in front of Best Buy) along with 23 others for the weekly trip to the market for groceries and supplies. A few children and babies went along to make sure the adults maintained control. The trip took about an hour along the same route we navigated from the airport on arrival to PNG, with the same set of potholes, wash-board action, and repaired washed out areas we encountered then. The beauty of the country side with it’s lush greenery and colorful flowers contrasted with the piles of garbage, trash, and milling people along the roadside and at virtually every intersection.

We were warned to take nothing of value except the money in our pocket (and keep it ‘deep’ and concealed as much as possible). We arrived in ‘downtown’ Mt. Hagen to the scene depicted in one of the pictures of the park area, with stores on either side. Jan led us on a tour of all the stores without buying to get a feel for the way business is done, then we made a second run to actually purchase, all the while being pursued by street hawkers encouraging us to buy their wares. One of the stores, and the one we shopped most, is called ‘Best Buy’. Eat your heart out, America!

We then piled, literally, our contraband and ourselves onto the bus to return to CLTC, except one more stop was necessary in order for us to get fresh produce at the ‘farmers market’ and have a ‘cultural experience’, according to Jan. This place was amazing; acres of tables laden with all kinds and styles of vegetables, fruits, and nuts grown in the area. One of the pictures is a small sample of the setup. We spent about an hour here, made our way back to the bus, piled the additional goods around and on top of us, and made our way back to CLTC. What a trip!!

Mary’s Day: I don’t think I can add anything to the above description, except the ‘drop off’ at CLTC when we got back. The driver made his way through the campus, stopping at each person’s house because there is no way each person/family could have carried all that was purchased. The Halls and Duffies sorta’ co-mingled groceries, etc. so we had to straighten that out after arriving home and unpacking everything. I wish there had been a way to get a picture of the loaded bus coming back. As Duff said, groceries and other items were on top of us, under our feet, etc! (Duff said he would NEVER complain about going to Kroger again) :):)

More news tomorrow.
Our Best to All
Mary and Jim

Friday, October 12, 2007

First Aid Course Completed

Today was the last day of the first aid course. The class did well on their 20 question test! They are so sweet .. see picture. Tonight we had a party here at our place for them. Jan and Karis came down and we had popcorn, hot tea and cookies. They loved it! We played games and Karis (Jan and Patrick's 7 y/o) was our social director. She is a real card shark and loves games.

After eating and playing games I showed them the pictures we had taken earlier today. They each want copies and so we told them we would get copies made and mail them. Lots of hugs were given, they prayed for us and they presented me with a bilum, which is a net bag used as a carry all by women throughout PNG.

This afternoon we took the medications donated by our church to the CLTC clinic. The principal, Eric Takila was there as well as the clinic nurse, Joy. (See Picture) Afterwards and between patients, Joy and I were able to stock the shelves with the meds. Thanks again Avondale First Baptist!
Tomorrow is a trip in to Mt Hagen. The bus leaves at 7:30 and so we need to go to bed now so we won't miss the bus...I have made my grocery list and we are prepared to shop for whatever we need for the next 2 weeks.
More later....
The Duffies

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday... Preparing for Friday October 12

This morning we joined Patrick's small group at their house. There were 8 male students. We shared with them about ourselves and families and they with us. One student by the name of Titus needs prayers that things will work out for him to be able to return to the Solomon Islands after graduation. There are logistical problems which he is working on but still hasn't solved it all. Remember Titus.

Well my First Aid class is over tomorrow. We had class this morning and closed with a few minutes of review for their test tomorrow. Tomorrow I will get some pictures and send with the next blog. Tomorrow evening we will have a party here for the ladies. Another opportunity for pictures.

The clinic here at CLTC gets busy in the afternoons. There is a separate entrance and waiting area for the pregnant women. Also for the Family Planning Clinic. However, the nurse sees both sides. She is really stretched at times. (I know that feeling... not for the same reason)

We are in the process of working on a schedule for me for the next 2 weeks so that I can possibly spend some time at Kudjip Hospital.

This evening we watched a DVD movie on my computer...we brought several DVDs but this was the first we stopped to watch one. Many 'pauses' while I was baking cookies for the party tomorrow night.

Here are a couple of pictures taken since we arrived.....our house for the month and the local coffee shop. :):)

More tomorrow,
Mary and Jim

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another beautiful day at CLTC

Have we sufficiently described how beautiful this country is? Today I just kept taking it all in! The blue sky with beautiful white billowy clouds, lush green mountains, flowers growing every where. I think even I (Mary) could plant something and have it grow in the rich black soil that is here. Sure if you look down and close you see things that are not clean...especially beside the road as you travel from place to place. (Off campus) I noted signs several places on campus, apparently made by the school children, re. Keep CLTC not throw rubbish.

Today after I came from class Patrick stopped me and told me there had been a security breach and not to walk home alone. A fellow had stopped a faculty member on the road on the way back from Kudjip Hospital and then came on here to the campus and got through security at the gate somehow. Instructions were to 'lock your doors and take precaution'. Apparently when turned down for a job they get angry and pushy (for lack of a better word). Some have been given 2nd chances and they blow it by stealing etc. and still want to be rehired.

Jan leads AWANA for the children and tonight was crazy hair night...they were all decked out. About 80 kids learning about the Bible and memorizing many verses throughout the year. They are so enthusiastic!! See picture. We walked home in the dark together.... all worries about the earlier security out of our minds.

Next week we will be taking a 4 day trip with Jan and Patrick and family. We leave Thursday morning and return Sunday evening. The road we will be traveling is not always safe & not always negotiable. Please pray for safe travel, good roads and vehicle reliablility.

We're including a couple of pictures. One of Awana tonight and one taken a few days ago in front of the campus grocery store.

Take care,

Mary and Jim

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 Relatively quiet day

Greetings from CLTC.

Tuesday is Chapel day and we had full intentions of going this morning (7:30) but for some reason last night we left windows open and if I had not mentioned, it gets chilly in the evening and at night and esp. after it rains which it did last evening. We both were cold all night and did not sleep well....finally at 6 a.m. we got warm and went back to was all over then. We will have to try again next Tuesday morning!

I taught my First Aid Class this morning and this afternoon I spent about 3 hours in the clinic. I had an opportunity to talk for a while with one of the nurses and we compared notes re. nursing duties here and in the states. She said the hospital nurses here do very little if any charting. The Drs do it all, however, did I mention that all nurses can deliver babies & suture wounds? The nurses in this clinic examine patients, diagnose and treat/prescribe medications. Today we saw a woman who had come in 4 months in a row with a headache, she was not referred on to a Dr. as she had a history of malaria and it was assumed that was the problem.

The clinic nurses put in an order to the government for supplies as they need them. Today the nurse was 'making bandages'......she receives a large roll of gauze and has to cut and fold the pieces of gauze to make her own bandages to have ready to use. That is going way back in the states.

These women are tough, however as Jan said this one country where men outlive women on an average. Let me tell you how tough.........we visited a woman Sunday who had a baby 9 days before. She walked 2 blocks to call the nurse to report that she was in labor, arrived at the clinic at 11 pm, the nurse told her to walk for a while, she did .....up a hill and back, she delivered the baby at midnight and was home again with the newborn at 1 am.........can you even imagine? That's PNG!

Did I mention that Duff and I both feel very comfortable here? Jan and Patrick have gone out of their way to include us and make the transition smooth....we have been here just one week today! More reports to follow.

Take Care,

Jim and Mary

Monday, October 8, 2007

Immunizations PNG Style

Monday 10-8-2007

Mary started her day by accompanying George, a nurse at the CLTC clinic (see below in white shirt) to a nearby village for a Mass Immunization clinic. The other two workers who were nurses work for the government and they brought with them all the medications and actually gave the injections. George would interview the Moms and make sure the children had not recently been sick. Some of the children would get as many as 6 injections. It was a village of about 3000 (George suggested there were probably 1000 kids) and the turnout was light. Although we did not count there were about 30 children immunized. They receive Hep B, TA , Vitamin A (oral), Polio, BCG for TB, Measles. Each child is given a booklet which the Mom is to bring with her to the Dr, clinic, etc. This is their 'health record', sometimes they had them and sometimes not. They did not receive immunizations if they had no record.

After the clinic was over, George and I walked into the village and he showed me pineapple & bananas growing. When we got back to the site of the immunizations Jennifer one of the gov't nurses had cut up a pineapple for us to share. I joined in and it was delicious.........the plate she had it on was made of several large leaves. :):)

George and I walked back to CLTC after the clinic. This turned out to be a time to answer a lot of his questions regarding my visit and about our country.

Today Duff got the Kindergarten teacher's computer and printer working , as well as a server several guys have been working on. He is staying busy!

We had rain this afternoon right after I washed our sheets.....I ended up hanging them everywhere in the house to get them dry. Timing is everything!

Tonight we had dinner with Patrick and Jan and one of his students and their family. It was an interesting evening as we shared with them and heard of their ministry prior to coming to CLTC.

Well, it is late so we are off to bed. We love getting mail from home!!
Jim and Mary