Saturday, June 6, 2009

Papua New Guinea Adventure

Today, I am very excited about our trip to the Eastern and Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea . We leave very early on Monday morning, and need to have our bags packed in our friend's car tomorrow afternoon, so I am rushing around madly trying to gather things together to pack our bags tonight. Besides the traditional costume I will be wearing for our friend Frank Goi's wedding ceremony in Gunn, a village in the highlands west of Mt Hagen, I will wear Rotary T shirts and trousers. The rest of my luggage will be supplies of wool for the women in Mando (a village in the Eastern Highlands, near Goroka) , so they can make bilums (bags) and children's clothes. Last year, I taught about 50 women in the village to knit and crochet blankets and other wearable items for their families. In the Highlands, it gets very cold at night, so woollen items are much needed. Of course, we are fully stocked with the usual array of travel essentials when you are going to live in fairly primitive conditions - a torch that doesn't need batteries, gel sanitiser, basic first aid items, sun screen, insect repellent, baby wipes, inflatable pillows and even a plastic shower bag which you fill with water, lay out in the sun, and voila - a warm shower! Without the plastic bag shower, it's under a waterfall or in a river!
We are really very lucky because we will be in two villages, where the locals have built us special houses - traditional houses made of woven bamboo. We found these to be very comfortable last year, and weren't too stiff sleeping on the sleeping platforms with our old Paddy Pallin sleeping bags. We also left some inflatable mattresses at Mando last year - perhaps they will still be there in the house when we go back there next week?
Jim, my husband, is also frantically getting prepared. He is the chief packer and is looking quite bewildered at the array of stuff I have put out for packing. The mystery photo below is one of the gifts we are giving the village as a repayment for their hospitality - part of it anyway. It is a stand for keyboard we are presenting to the village for their church. Fortunately, someone else in the group is carrying the keyboard.
It should be a great adventure again ... but I will not be in contact with the world of technology for at least another two weeks. The next blog post will not appear until after 20 June.

1 comment:

  1. Have a wonderful time Wilma, will talk 'clay' when you get back.
    Tracy

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