It’s been very busy here in Port Moresby, between moving into our apartment, kids birthday parties, Halloween and work…
So let’s start with the good:
Although it is hitting mid-30’s now, I am not struggling that much with the heat, although that depends entirely on what I am doing. The four flights of steps in our 3-level apartment is much easier to run up and down now, than when we first arrived. Might have something to do with the 10+ kg I have lost since being here, I am not sure if I have lost it because I am not eating junk food, or that it is being sweated out of me, or the first month or two wasn’t kind on the ole belly – but I’ll take it!
We got our first power bill the other day, and only used 500 odd units of power which would have cost less than $150 in NZ – but at 80+ toea a unit here – yes, try $250 NZD… Thankfully we are ceiling fan people, just trying to get by with little shots of air-con.. But the next 2 months where the heat and humidity really crank up – yup, that will test us!
The fantastic thing about PNG is both the expat community, and the locals. The kids have had great fun both having a pool party for Xanthe’s birthday and then going to the Aussie government compound down the road for Halloween. Sadly the people that invited us are leaving in a couple of weeks 😦
We have met lots of people, including being adopted by the Buai (betlenut) Seller that has a stand outside of our compound, and our compound guards who look after us, and us them. I often go out and spend the evening with Mark and his family, and the guards, telling stories, learning tok pisin, and having a laugh. I think some of the expats that drive past really fast are really missing out, some of them stare at me as if to say “wtf is that stupid white fella doing sitting in the dirt”, but it’s all good – I am quite safe, and Mark’s wee daughter has come out calling me “Uncle” lately – so I guess that is a sign of acceptance and familiarity.
If you ever come up here, don’t get trapped into thinking that everyone is a rascal – you will miss out on everything. I also think, that even though there is such a huge divide in how we live, our income levels etc. Most people I meet don’t begrudge the fact I sleep on a bed, whereas they sleep on a mat. At the end of the day, if you strip people back to nothing, once you can connect with someone – it doesn’t matter who they are, where they are from, or where they shop – it’s called humanity…
And let’s end with the bad: the Lae riots, killings and violence – awful! But please don’t think that all of PNG is like this. The lawlessness was a direct result of people against the thieves and pickpockets taking the law into their own hands and then getting completely carried away. Very frightening for people in Lae and I hope the government is able to permanently fix the problems,
And with that, till next time 🙂
I forgot about the Holes! Yes, our apartment now has two of the hugest holes in the stairwells where the plumbers are jackhammering the concrete to get to the water pipe that has burst. Unfortunately, the pipe has burst on the 2nd floor, and our bedrooms are on the bottom level – so yes, for the past two days we have had an indoor swimming pool in the hallway and master bedroom – what fun! Last time this happened, it took them a week to find the leak….