It is Tuesday evening October 2, 2007. Today we started our work at the college.
Since I did not have time to write anything but a short note last night I will recall Monday.
We caught a 6:45 a m flight from Cairns to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (hereafter PNG). We flew Airlines PNG and were surprised that our luggage was not over the weight limit; however, he just marked the duffle bags as Heavy and sent them on. We arrived in Port Moresby about 9 am after having breakfast (ham and cheese sandwich, yogurt, juice and coffee) served to us on this little 2 engine prop plane. After arriving we presented our paperwork and passports/ visas, found a luggage cart, collected all our bags and made our way to the customs lady. She asked if we had anything to declare and we told her about candy and a camera we were bringing to a missionary family. She told us we could go on (paying nothing.) We then went outside and walked to the Domestic terminal quickly….there were men hanging about everywhere with no apparent purpose (some on ell phones.) After getting in the terminal we stood in line to check our bags with Air Niugini to come to Mt Hagen. Again……they did not send us to the Excess Baggage counter as we thought they would. Many people were sitting about this large room on the floor. We knew our flight was not due to leave until 3:15 pm and for a few minutes we thought we would be sitting on the floor until then. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that we could go ahead in the Departure Lounge………a large room with about 200 seats…our time was spent on the computer, reading and talking with people we met. We were about 30 minutes late leaving ………. (After a false alarm where we were sent out to the plane but could not board because the flight attendant had not arrived yet, so we were sent back into the terminal) Once boarding the plane we got to our seats to discover that the air conditioning had been running and condensation was dripping from the vents above the seats and down the walls….Duff’s seat was very wet and the flight attendant just handed him a couple of paper towels……fortunately I had a large ziplock bag which we used as a barrier for him to sit on……..however for the hour long flight he had a Chinese torture with the drip, drip, drip on his left ear!! Very interesting!!
We arrived late but were greeted by Patrick and Karis who quickly wisked me to the van where Jan, Kristin and Benjamin were waiting along with another couple from the college and a security guard. They had brought him with them into Mt Hagen as they must guard their shopping items …they can’t leave them in the car/van to go to another store.
After piling everything in the van we made an hour long trip on a pot hole infested mostly paved road except in areas which had been washed away by the river in flash floods, and the last 4-5 miles it seemed. Along the way we viewed many people walking along the road or gathered in groups doing?? We observed much trash and debris everywhere. However, this is a beautiful mountainous, tropical region with banana trees, coffee trees and tea fields along the road.
We arrived about dark last night and it began raining just as we began to unload our luggage. The campus is quite large…after we see more we will give a description.
We are staying in a good size house………we have 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and bath (3 room bath with a toilet sink and shower all in a different room.) We thought we would have a bucket shower like Jan does but we have a regular shower……..however they said the washing machine takes 2 hours to fill up……..we’ll see.
Jan and Patrick had us for dinner last night and tonight however she took me to the college grocery store today…..another interesting experience. Choice of meat was ground beef and chicken. (Kinda’ like you might find in our freezer at home) …. Jan had mixed some milk for us (powdered) and bought groceries for us in Mt Hagen so we are off to a good start and tomorrow I will begin cooking.
I taught my first (First Aid) class today of 13 women who all have a different level of understanding English. I hope I wasn’t beyond them and I also hope I did not insult any of them. It was interesting, they were very sweet and a couple actually stopped me to ask a question or make a comment.
Jim met all the staff he will be working with while here and got his schedule from Patrick. He will be busy!!
More tomorrow………..our best to all!