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


Lori KMc said...

Mary and Jim,

What an awesome opportunity! Mother shared your blog and I enjoyed reading about your experiences. Be safe and go with God. Please give Jan my love, too.

Love and hugs. Lori K. Mc

Anonymous said...

Mary and Jim,

What a great adventure------and all because of the Gospel. It helps me understand the challenges that St. Paul must have encountered in his travels in another land, another time.

I've read every post and--because of the vivid narrative--have vicariously been there with you.

Stay well, be safe, and keep up the good work.

My love to you both.

Gerald K.

Anonymous said...

Hi Duffs,

Been waiting on your report of shopping at Mt. Hagen. Looks like
the produce market now has a my trips there it was completely an open air market.
I think pictures of the small student houses would be a good shot. Love to you both.
Gail & Jon

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