Friday 22nd April - Saturday 7th May
The last two weeks have been very busy.
Buk Bilong Pikinini - Shivani, Leanne and I have spent heaps of time going to the libraries of Six Mile, Lawes Road and the General Hospital. I've taken a stack of photos of the kids which I will add to this blog as soon as I can. I love spending time with these kids because they are so excited about learning to read. Last Thursday we spent two and a half hours at the hospital doing an activity with the kids. We laughed and laughed and laughed. A lot of the parents of the children came over and were colouring in also. Such fun.
I have been invited to fly up to Garoka to visit the library up there. Garoka is in the middle of PNG. I have been told that it is a great place to visit and to take clothes for cold weather and an extra bag to bring back the local fruit and vegetables. Apparently the markets up there are spectacular, so I will be visiting them. It's very exciting.
Canoeing - I have been really slack about going to canoeing. It's been a long time since I last went so I filled out my membership form and went down on Thursday afternoon. When I got to the yacht club, I discovered that most of the rowers were going to do a some onland training. I didn't feel like doing that (because I am generally a very lazy person) so 3 of us went out in the single canoes. I was doing very well for ages and then I fell out. Not once but 3 times. The water was very rough from the strong winds and I really struggled to get back into the boat. I have since decided that I need to do lots of weights on my arms to build up that upper body strength. It takes a lot out of you to have to haul yourself out of the water and back into the canoe especially when if you don't balance correctly, you just get tipped out again. I have bruises on my arms, legs, upper stomach area and the skin ripped off two of my fingers. I was totally exhausted by the time we got back. At one stage, while I was out trapped against the rocks and feeling so very tired, I almost gave up and stayed there but with the constant encouragement from the amazing trainer, I kept struggling against the wind and current and made it back to the dock. Anyway, I'm feeling a bit scared of the single canoes now but that just means that I have to try them again. I'm really hoping though that we will be using the big 6 men boats next Tuesday when I go again. I have
to fill out another membership form though as the one I had done, got saturated when I was dumped out. So funny.
Luckiness - I have already said about winning the key draw at the Yacht Club this year. So we make sure to go down each Wednesday night for the draw just in case because you have to be in it to win it. Anyway, last Wednesday night, Remington Technologies was at the club doing promo work and they had a heap of prizes to draw out. All you have to do is put in a business card to enter. Well, Steve won this huge printer. Such a laugh. What a lucky time we have had here so far. And we are loving it. Because the printer is too big for us to
use here at home, we have decided to donate it to the Buk Bilong Pikinini office as they don't have a printer. I know that they will put it to good use.
Our House Renovations - we have been watching the renovations happen slowly in our house. They were supposed to be finished yesterday and I had lined up Maggie and her sons to come in over the weekend to do the cleaning and for the boys to help move the big furniture, but that has had to be posponed because the bathroom is not finished yet. Hopefully next week.
Baking - As I have since arriving here, I have been baking all sorts of muffins, cakes and biscuits for everyone here in the compound. The workers who are doing our house, the guards at the gate, the office staff in the head office, and on occasion, if there is enough, the staff down in the branch office. Well when I was driving one afternoon back into the compound, the guards asked me to stop and they gave me some of the local peanuts. So cool. They said it was thanks for the biscuits etc. Now the peanuts are usually picked so they are still green or something because they are not the best tasting but I threw them into the oven to roast and they turned out great.
I baked coconut macaroons this week and I have had two requests for the recipe. Very cool. I also baked a loaf of bread for one of Shivani's friends who is gluten free also, and she really enjoyed it so I sent over the recipe and a packet of xantham gum as you can't get it here. I brought a heap of packed up from Australia so that I have some.
Birthday Party - Leisa who lives next door to us had her birthday yesterday. So her husband organised a mexican birthday party for her last night in the haus wing. We had all sorts of mexican food and some lovely margaritas. Steve and a couple of the other guys got into the lick, sip, suck routine with Tequila. OMG. Steve and Les were soooo drunk. In the end they were doing the shot, sniffing salt up their nose and squeezing the lemon in their eye. Lunatics. I ended up getting Steve to leave at 11pm. He could hardly walk but it was a fantastic night. Lots of fun.
In the last two weeks while driving around, we have spotted two cars who lost their number plates. Now in Aust, you have to go to the Dept of Trans and get a new one. Not here. You get a piece of cardboard or wood around the same size and write/paint the number on it. And then you have the new plate. Very funny.
Ummmmm.......well I can't think of what else to write about for this fortnight. So stay tuned for next time.........