Taking a full working day to go food shopping? Welcome to missionary life in PNG! Well I suppose it’s not just a normal food shop.

The first Kovol build trip starts this week and we’ve been preparing for it morning, noon and night for the last few days, there’s so much to do! Today was our last chance to go to town to buy the little odds and ends we need. Two 5/16″ socket bits so we can screw our roofing screws in, another tarp for covering ourselves with while working (rainforests live up to their names!) and other bits.

Essential purchases, but the main goal was to prepare for the flight coming to pick us up on Nov 4th. The chopper comes in empty to pick us up, so why not fill it? We’re calling it our pantry flight, we’re stocking up our pantry.

On the way in Gerdine was just wishing she was home, where shipping is so much simpler.

I just want to go home where if you want something you can just go and get it and be back an hour later. I’m tired of thinking “what kind of cake do I want to bake in January, what ingredients do I need and how much do they weigh?”

We’ve got 105kg we can take in on Nov 4th, and the food we take will need to last us 3-4 weeks for our initial time in Kovol before we can be resupplied. Gerdine is weighing every tin and carefully planning every meal.

Snacks for our build team. 30kg 😀

Gerdine misses the simplicity of shopping at home, I miss the anonimity. Oscar draws attention constantly, everyone wants to touch him, everyone wants to shake his hand and everyone is always watching us. It gets tiring, but at least on the bright side it’s going to be really hard for Oscar to get lost! Not all the attention on us is friendly either, there’s always people watching to see if there’s a chance to steal something.

We had a box of nappies stolen out of our car a month ago. We just have to assume here that our Land Crusier has no lock – theives can break in in no time and so every shopping trip is a scheduling challenge. We have to make sure we’re in the riskiest areas for theft when the car is empty and make sure the car is watched when we’re in the stores.

Our personal security guard we recruited

And here’s another aspect of trips to town, askims. We’ll get at least a few every trip. People asking for money, people asking if we’d like to buy things (gold, meteorites, baskets, animal skins, carvings, puppies and phones to name a few), people wanting to give us CVs. You never know. Today we had a money request, which we were able to turn into security work. Watch our car for us and we’ll pay you a bit. Nothing went missing, bags were carried and I had a personal reversing guide. 🙂

Oscar finds the toy section

Things didn’t go smoothly at first. Our cards were declined 4 times due to communication errors. The banking network was down. After trying in several stores (and leaving boxes of supplies packed up ready to be purchased) we decided we’d just have to go home and get cash from our mission account. So much for being back for lunch!

Chips and burgers. Yum yum

Not too bad it turns out as me and Oscar do love to eat out at Papindos.

Loaded with cargo

Car full of supplies it’s time to head home for stage 2 of the process. We need to box everything and weigh it. Then we need to drop it in tribal supply at Lapilo and they’ll make sure it all gets on the helicopter on Nov 4.

Someone couldn’t make it without a nap


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