One of the unique things about this country is that they make woven bags that are called bilums. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are used to carry vegetables from their gardens, groceries, used like a purse, and even their BABIES! Babies in a bag?! Yes. And the babies love it. It swaddles them and they just love it. Then the women put the handle of the bilums on their foreheads and carry them down their back. Not a very safe method for us whiteskins, but they have incredibly strong heads and necks and are able to carry heavy things like their children, along with all of their produce on the top of their head etc. It is definitely a sight to see! Especially on the small paths that make up the mountain.
Yesterday Evan got to go on a hike to the village, Kamba. It was a 16km (roughly 10 mile) hike with a stop in the village Kamba for lunch. Because my ankle is still bothering me I got to ride up the mountain to meet them for lunch at the village. What a drive! The road was almost non-existent in some spots which made for a very bumpy ride. The hike was also very difficult, with lots of straight ups and straight downs. They even crossed a river at one point that was about ankle deep. We had a good time in the village of Kamba, relaxing and eating lunch. Evan and I have made it a point to go talk with the locals and learn more language. So I went to talk with the women and Evan went to talk with the men. It was a great experience and I feel much more accomplished just from that little interaction that I was able to have a full conversation with them. Here are some pictures from the day.
Once I met Evan in Kamba, he was enjoying a refreshing drink from a coconut
The village of Kamba
Evan with our guide Robert
All of the ladies hanging out in an old PMV truck bed.
My favorite shot from the day.
PNG has an array of beautiful creatures. Most of which I have never seen before in my life! Last night I found this HUGE moth (or butterfly?) outside our bathroom and I had to take a picture of it. You can see how big it is based off of my hand in the picture. Isn’t it amazing how God creates such beautiful animals?
This is our wasfemili (or host family) that has been taking care of us as we have been at POC. They are such a sweet family and we have really enjoyed getting to know them. Miani, the Papa, absolutely loves Evan and he comes to visit us every Saturday. Evan has been teaching him how to weld. Judy, the Mama, is so sweet and makes us fresh food, like shrimp and eel with lots of sweet potatoes and cooked bananas. They have four kids, Ezekiel, Magdalena, Ludwena and Clive. Ezekiel is the oldest, and was a nephew of theirs who they have adopted. He is a fun kid (in the dark blue shirt) who has nicknamed Evan, “goat” because of his goatee. Clive is a mischeivious little guy who the parents always say has a “Big Head”. Ludwena and Magdalena are sweet girls who love beautiful things like flowers and paper hearts and they love to help out their Mama in the kitchen and go to church. The other two older girls in the family are a cousin of Papa and a sister of the Mama who live with them. We have gotten the chance to eat at their home and at the center a couple of times now and each time we meet with them we have so much fun. We laugh and joke and learn more Tok Pisin. This week is our last week to meet with them and we will cook them a meal in our Haus Kuk (outdoor kitchen). Once we go into our 5 week village stay we will have another wasfemili. It is such a great program, and I can’t wait to meet them!
Haus Kuk, translated literally means “House Cook” which is, can you guess? The kitchen. Each weekend at POC we are asked to cook everything in our outdoor kitchens. We were also required to build our own haus kuk out of bamboo, tarps and string. Just like a Papua New Guinean would build it (although there haus kuks and homes are a lot more sturdy). We also have to go without internet and purify our own water. Just like we will do in the village. It has been challenging cooking over our own fire and coming up with recipes that will work. Especially on crutches! But we have been learning a lot and using a lot of our old camping recipes from the States. One of our favorite meals has been tulip meat (which is a lot like spam) fried with greens, green peppers, onions, and 2 minute noodles. We also really enjoy sweet potato fries! It provides a lot of flavor when you don’t have fresh meat to work with.
Cooking over a fire for the first time!
This week I had to change a tire on a PMV (our form of transportation to and from our POC center). As we were driving down the only highway in Papua New Guinea with our whole group (about 20 people) over some huge potholes (and by huge i mean BIG potholes that if you hit them you go deep into the ground) it ruptured the tire. So we pulled off along the highway and began to search for the tools to fix it. At first, we couldn’t find them and a YWAM truck pulled over to ask us if we needed help. But by that point we got it together and so me and a couple of the other guys changed the tire, in Papua New Guinea, along the highway. It was definitely a first!
Well as some of you know I sprained my ankle a couple of days ago going down a mountain on one of the hikes. It was quite an ordeal as we were in the middle of the jungle and I had to be rescued out to get to the nearest road.
I slipped on a bunch of gravel like stones going down the mountain and literally had to crawl on my hands and knees to get back up to even ground. As soon as we got back up there was a house that was not quite finished so I rested on that until we figured out what to do. One of the directors of POC was hiking with us so she used her phone to call her husband to figure out what to do because we were at least a couple of kilometers from a place where the truck could get me out. So our hiking leader, Russ, walked out of the bush to find help. He came back with a couple of Papua New Guinean guys who work at POC and lots of village children who followed them in. They were so curious! They followed us the entire way wanting to get in on the action. So a few more guys from the center came and we had a whole crew of men trying to figure out how to get me out. 6 men. A little excessive, I thought…but I soon realized why. The trail back was very steep and at one point we had to cross a creek. One of the men even fell in! I thought I would be next but they were able to keep me up and got to a semi-flat spot. The kids joined around us as the men devised another plan to take me safely up the mountain short cut (which was vertical) to a village where the truck was waiting. They decided that their previous idea, a hammock tied to bamboo was not going to work on this incline so gathered rice bags and cut holes in them to make a stretcher with bamboo poles. Oh wow. I was a little scared as to how that was going to work, but I did what they said a got onto it. They picked me up and took me up the incline, at one point they almost tipped me over because of the steepness of the hill and the smallness of the path (really only small enough for one small man to cross, one foot at a time). But I kept watching the palm trees above me and praying that God would get me out! It took us about 2 hours to get me out of the jungle, but it happened! And God is amazing for giving those men the strength to do it! I was so happy to see that truck.
My ankle is very swollen and I have to get around on crutches now. But how many people have a story like that?! I am so thankful to be okay and it is slowly healing. Please pray that I will have a quick recovery and not be discouraged about missing out on things. Here are some pictures of the event! Happy Wacky Wednesday!
The initial fall down the mountain.
Crossing the stream.
All of the kids gathered around to watch. Haha…
Stretcher #2 made from rice bags and bamboo.
Taking the “shortcut” up to the village.