Monday 6th June - I woke this morning with sore sinuses and a sore ear from swimming yesterday. I thought my ears were used to swimming up here now but not apparently. I think it must be the new pool. Anyway, no water aerobics this morning, just resting at home, then lunch with the book club I have been invited to. The book that we had to read for this lunch was called Guernica by David something - will find it later and put it in properly. It's not a book I would normally have picked up because I just don't like
reading or watching war stuff. It's too depressing. But this book was fantastic. It's set in a town in Spain called Guernica in the early 1900's , and follows a family over the years. Very interesting. And I couldn't put it down until it was finished. A bad habit of mine. So lunch today is to discuss it and find out what is the next book. I am very excited. And then I have to go to HD compound and resort the books that we put together for Alotau library, as I remembered when we originally sorted the books into boxes, we
hasd multiple copies of some and wrote new library on all the boxes, so we have to mix up the boxes a bit more than we have. It shouldn't take long hopefully. All good. Steve is flying out to Lihir this afternoon for another week. I will be very glad when they finally employ a parts manager for up there so that he doesn't have to fly there so often but I'm told that this takes time with getting visas etc. Yay. Steve Lock n load flies out tomorrow also to go to America to see his wife for a month so for the next couple of days, it's
just me in this unit. I have to make an effort to get out each day or I will go crazy. I won't be able to go out at night now that I have to drive up Lawes Road to get home. It's not worth the risk. Oh well, keep the days busy.
Tuesday 7th June - Friday 17th June
Sick, sick, sick. I haven't really been anywhere or done anything as I just couldn't be bothered. My head has been pounding, my nose running, my ears hurting and no energy. When I dragged myself to the doctor, she said that I had an infection in my sinuses, and have been on antibiotics ever since. Does flem have babies? There is just so much and it doesn't matter how much you blow or cough out, there is always more to replace it. Yuck, I know, but that has been my thoughts of late. Maggie came in one day to do her usual magic on the unit, and she looked after me all day just like a mum would. It was very comforting. Steve has been dragging me down to the sauna to try and sweat this awfulness out, and Shivani has been on my case about eating more meat to boost my immune system.
One thing worth mentioning about this two weeks. Maggie and I were sitting eating lunch one day and there was a huge bang. We walking around investigating and discovered that the brand new dryer that had been installed only two weeks before, had fallen off the wall, brackets and all. Interesting. After laughing hard and putting it upright (and using it again), I phoned the maintenance guy to casually explain what had happened. Such a funny thing.
Saturday 18th June
Today I am feeling almost human again. Steve and I went out in the morning to get a few bits and pieces, drove around etc and then spent the rest of the day watching movies. Lazy but good.
Sunday 19th June
We went to the yacht club to look for a car. Since moving out of the HD compound, I have had to drive Steve to work everyday. Steve said he is a bit scared about having to wake me up each morning. He jokes that he has to stand back and throw things at me or else he could be in danger from a wild angry woman. Funny. But we found a car. It's a 1996 Black Honda CRV. It is older than what we were initially looking for but it wasn't expensive and it is in good condition. We have to go to the bank tomorrow to get a bank
cheque as (surprise, surprise) we still don't have internet banking hooked up.
Monday 20th June
This morning I picked up Ririn and we went to the Botanical Gardens to have a look at an area for our Buk Bilong Pikinini Teddy Bear Picnic that we are trying to get up and running. The space is spectacular, so now it's down to the organising side. Lots to do. Afterwards, Steve and I went to the bank to get a cheque for my new car. We met Phill at the yacht club after work, gave him the money, got paperwork signed and it was done. I was the owner of that lovely car. I drove it back home which in itself was a process.
To get through the gates to our new compound, you have to have a special sticker on your car or permission to enter. Well I didn't have a sticker yet as we still hadn't organised it, so Steve drove through first, told them I was following and that it was our new car. Fun times.
Tuesday 21st June
Today, I got up early to pick up Maggie before heading down to the yacht club to meet the BBP bus of Six Mile kids and librarians. We were going to Fisherman's Island with Miss PNG (Rachel) to talk to the kids at the school there about the "Go Green" program that Rachel is heading. It's all about looking after the environment, making sure that rubbish is picked up and the ocean is looked after. So after finding numerous life jackets for everyone, we boarded the POMSAC boat and went out into the harbour heading for the
island. Most of the kids had never been in a boat before, so there were some anxious looks, but we arrived safely. The island village is very tidy and it was great to be able to walk through. A lot of areas in Port Moresby are not safe to walk through like that, so it was nice to have that experience. We met the community leader and the paster, who keep a close eye on the behaviour of everyone. It's a great place, and very safe. So we headed through the village to the school where there were over 100 kids aged from 6 to 16 waiting for us. We organised some activities for the kids to do and spent time talking to everyone. Mr Moko who is the head teacher has been on the island teaching for 14 years. He was very interesting to talk to about island life and the school. One of the older teachers had been teaching for over 40 years. Incredible. There is no fresh water on Fisherman's Island, so other than the few water tanks there,
all water had to be bought from POM. And it is apparently very expensive. Sometimes I wish I had unlimited funds or influence because with just a few more big water tanks, that wonderful little community would be able to support themselves. They have access to heaps of fish which they sell in POM at the markets to get rice and veges to take back. The people are so very friendly and welcoming, you just want to hug them all. When we first arrived, there was two men sitting in a boat on the water edge cutting up a
huge shark they had caught that morning. They pushed their boat over to ours and let everyone get into it and up on the shore so that the kids didn't get wet. So generous. There were pigs in cages and chickens and dogs roaming around. So very peaceful and after the smoke filled Port Moresby, the air there was sensational. When we left, the community leader gave us a bucket of fish to share. It is their traditional gift to visitors. The fish was very fresh, caught that morning. So when we got back, we were able to share it amongst everyone who went. Agnes, head librarian at Six Mile, had never been on a boat either and couldn't swim, so she was really nervous about this trip. She made me promise weeks ago to go with her as I could save her if she fell in. She is so funny. But on the way back from the island, she was feeling so comfortable, that she moved to the back of the boat and was waving her hands in the air and hooting. It was so much fun to see. Some of the children were not so convinced. A lot of the people who live at
Six Mile are from the highlands and most have not had a lot to do with the ocean, so this trip was a real experience for them. Ali was waiting with the bus when we got back and I took Leanne and Nara home before heading home myself. Exhausting but exhilirating. Maggie had done her magic on the unit (I really am going to struggle with housework when I get back to Australia because Maggie does such a great job and I haven't had to worry about it - very nice) so I drove her home and then met Steve at the yacht club so that he could give me the sticker for my car. Yay, now I can get in and out of the gate without hassle. We got some chinese takeaway for dinner and spent the evening chilling. I'm flying to Cairns tomorrow morning to get Monique for the holidays.