I'm home! And more than anything....I am missing PNG. (more than missing PNG, I am HATING wearing shoes again...what's the point?) However, modern technology does feeling good....as does a real shower and not checking for spiders before entering the bathroom.
I had a wonderful trip. I learned a lot, experiences many new cultural adventures and have never smelt worse! PNG might have made it to my number one for places I have been.
On this trip we jumped around a lot and therefore, before pictures and explaining of pictures...here is a quick overview of the trip:
Day 1: leave for Tokyo on noon bus. 6 hours on bus. over night flight (8 hours) arrive in Port Morsby at 5 am.
Day 2: 6:30 am flight to Lae. Off to hotel. Stayed at the Polinesian hotel (no idea on spelling). Went to Rain forest Refuge.
Day 3: Boat was broken....one more night at hotel. Saw the Amelia Earhart memorial. Went to stationary shop and got to pick out books (way too much fun for the elementary teacher in me). Swam at hotel and relaxed.
Day 4: On boat. 10 hours! That was the day! Saw dolphins and glow in the dark algae. Stars were beautiful!
Day 5: Banana boat up the Waria Rive to our next stop-Saigara. This is where the group built a school last year. Welcomed with a threatening dance-little scary but so cool. Kids at the school sang for us. Yummy dinner and played UNO all night. We taught some of the kids UNO and one kid won 4 out of the 5 games....lucky!
Day 6: Finally here...PEMA! Stopped by school. Saw beginning of work. Small singsing at guesthouse and relaxing.
Day 7:Was sick today. Divided into clans. I am Bego. (I'll explain more later). Then off to school. Hiked up the mountain to the saw mill. Carried 2x4s down the mountain. Cards and hanging out at the guesthouse in the evening.
Day 8: Digging at school. HARD! Started to build a solar oven in the afternoon but never had enough time for anything to cook. Made friendship bracelets with the kids after lunch!
Day 9: Went to church. Hike in the afternoon to a waterfall. Played all afternoon!
Day 10: Last day in Pema. Went to school. Learned traditional weaving from everyone. Our leader Christian came down the river later that day helping to carry a pig (live-tied up on a branch like you might see roasting over a fire). He killed the pig (really made me appreciate where my food comes from) as part of the singsing. Many traditional dances were performed. We presented our donations. We performed the closing dance from our musical-everyone LOVED it (even though it looked horrible). Taught the kids silly dances like the chicken dance and electric slide.
Day 11: Back to Saigara. Relaxing afternoon. Had a bonfire. Traditional lighting of fire (literally-rubbing sticks until there was fire!) Then a traditional garden dance was performed. The kids also did a few dances for us. Played cards with the kids again in the evening.
Day 12: Back to Bau. Nothing exciting-swimming in the sea, relaxing and reading by the Solomon Sea.
Day 13: Stopped by Bau Elementary and then another school (name is slipping) and then to Bau Island for lunch. Went snorkeling. The coral was beautiful but it was so shallow. Relaxed at the guesthouse in the evening.
Day 14: 6 hour banana boat ride back to Lae. Sang on the boat. At at the Club (which killed every one's stomachs!) Relaxing night at hotel.
Day 15: (AKA-4 am) off to the airport for a long day home.
Sorry of the spelling and grammar errors.
This is just a short overview of the trip. I will post pictures with more explanation later but wanted you to have this timeline to compare pictures to.