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Back in 2012 God must have known what he was doing, because we posted this blog post…
We wanted to show you all what houses looked like in Papua New Guinea. Unknowingly, we began looking for houses in Ukarumpa to buy and came across one that we liked a lot. It needed some fixing up, so the owners decided to GIFT us this house. WOW! Crazy huh? Most houses here costs between $10,000-30,000, so to be given a house is such a blessing. Turns out-it was the same exact house that we posted pictures of back in May 2012! I just can’t get over how God works in our lives sometimes…and I feel like this verse really applies…
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD.” He knows ya’ll…
So we are now FIRST TIME home owners in Papua New Guinea, never could have imagined that! A HUGE thank you to the Oates family for gifting us this house!
Check out this video series Sarah is currently working on called the Faces of Bible Translation. We are looking for couples that love teens to be Children’s Home Parents. See the video for more information and how they play a vital role in Bible Translation. Pray with us!
If any of you have been wondering, what does Ukarumpa look like? And where do they live in relationship to everything else on Center? Well look no further, here is your answer. This is an aerial shot taken of Ukarumpa. I have drawn circles around the various important things around Center. Like our house, and the Auto Shop and my office in the Director’s Office. So our house is at the bottom of the hill, while everything else is up on top!
Ukarumpa is a missionary community that is home to almost a 1,000 SIL (our organization) missionaries. Some are translators that come in and out from their villages and some are support workers like us that stay on center and work to help the work of Bible translation. What’s it like to live here?
Here are 20 random facts about living in Ukarumpa.
#1 You walk freely in and out of people’s yards because nobody has fences, crossing rickety home-made bridges on an everyday basis.
#2 We have to wash and hang out all of our own laundry-which can be tedious at times when rainy season hits and it rains all day long!
#3 The most amazing strawberries are grown here. Very tasty and they grow all year long.
#4 All of the cars are from the 1980s or 90s but are still crazy expensive to buy! My favorite car is our neighbor’s car, the yellow submarine.
#5 The weather is perfect. Cold in the mornings and evenings, but warm during the day.
#6 You have to do all of the cooking because there are no restaurants or pizza deliveries. And most of the cooking is from scratch!
#7 The one and only store here is very expensive. Things like chicken, steak or pork (when you can find them) are $15 or more per kilo. Another example, a block cream cheese or walnuts right now is $22 for just 1lb!
And when the one and only store closes during Christmas for 2 weeks we all have to stock up!
#8 Because Ukarumpa is nestled up in the mountains that means we have to walk uphill a lot! None of the roads are paved, they are all made of gravel so lots of times we all find ourselves slipping when we walk down the hills!
#9 Ukarumpa is very quiet, there are no movie theaters or restaurants. So we have to make our own fun. We like to have people over a lot to eat together, play games and watch movies.
#10 We don’t have a formal pastor at our church, so different missionaries get up to speak each Sunday. Each of the missionaries come from different backgrounds and denominations so we definitely get a big variety of preaching here. We also have a Tok Pisin service, as well as a video service that features pastors from all of the Acts 29 churches (i.e. Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan etc)
#11 There is a local market that runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings where everyone from the surrounding villages brings their fresh produce, crafts and homemade bilums (bags made from wool)
#12 Ukarumpa is guarded by a company called Guard Dog. They have men that walk around to make sure there is no trouble happening. One of the guards that we have become good friends with is named Randy. Here is a picture of Randy and Evan on Christmas Day when he came to our house for breakfast Christmas morning.
#13 Many people are employed by SIL from the local villages. This helps the economy of the local area, because otherwise these people would not have jobs. These jobs include: Auto Shop (with Evan!), Construction and Maintenance, Language Resources, Secretaries in the Director’s Office (where I work), Haus Meris (House help), Yard Help and many more! We are so thankful to get to develop relationships with the Papua New Guinean people employed here.
#14 Ukarumpa has both a cow pasture as well as horse paddocks. This allows people to be able to own cows for milking as well as horses to ride.
#15 The river is the place to be in Ukarumpa for anything from Tubing to Baptisms. Last Sunday we celebrated 4 teens getting baptized in the river. It was a very cool experience.
#16 Burning our own trash is a daily event because we don’t have a garbage truck that comes by.
#17 Everyone walks barefoot here. To church, to school, even to work.
#18 Frisbee golf is the most popular sport in Ukarumpa.
#19 Everyone has a rain water tank in Ukarumpa. These tanks are used to collect rain to run our showers, sinks, toilets and washing machines.
#20 And finally, you know you live in Ukarumpa when you use a broom to clean off the outside of your house (because there is no such thing as a power washer or a Home Depot for that matter)
Holidays in Ukarumpa are a little different then what we are used to back at home, but at the same time very similar! This year was our first time away from our family, so what did we do? Invited our POC family (as well as some new cool people too) over for a big meal. We had ham, chicken, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes! I’d say thats pretty traditional!
Then on Saturday the store had its annual Christmas Sale, which a lot of people get really excited about. None were more excited than Evan who was 3rd in line! People like to treat it as their “Black Friday” and line up hours before the store opens, there was even some pushing and shoving to get the much wanted items! Here are some photos from today…
The line went all the way around the block!
Fighting the crowds! They had everything from coffee makers to grills, TVs and washing machines! All very pricey, unfortunately not like our Black Friday prices at home.
My favorite check out lady
Then we decorated our Christmas tree. We didn’t think we would have a Christmas tree this year, but God blessed us by providing a Christmas tree that was owned by the owners of our home! We were super excited to get to decorate it.
We made it to Ukarumpa last week and we are enjoying our new home. We moved into a house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, plenty of room for visitors! It is a nice home located next to the cow pasture and plenty of Papua New Guineans live across the street (which we love!). Today we hired a family to help us take care of our yard, they were so sweet and we are excited to get to know them. They told us to call them “mama” and “papa”. We are going through Orientation until tomorrow, and then Monday we will start our official jobs. Evan has already gotten to go to the Auto Shop and put all of his tools away, as well as meet the guys. I have met my boss and found my office in the Director’s building where I will be working. We are excited to finally get to work!
Well for those of you that are wondering, what’s it like to live in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea? I have some beautiful pictures and videos that I have found. Stay tuned for more for when we get there. You can also “like” their page on facebook. Just search for Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. These photos are from various blogs of people that have already lived there.
Their main drinking water tank is on the left. Used to collect rain water to drink. Non-drinking water they get from a reservoir just outside Ukarumpa and that is not safe to drink. But rainwater is fine.
Here is a fascinating video about the islands around PNG. So beautiful.
The Art Room at the school!
The Auto Shop, where Evan will probably spend most of his time