Community water tank

Setting the unused tanks up at our houses though seemed like a no-lose community project.
While the community closest to us benefit the most, the tanks are for people visiting us – available to everyone.
They’re supplied when our tanks overflow (every heavy rain!), they’re close enough for us to keep an eye on and they also don’t affect our tanks. There are no worries that someone will just leave a tap open and drain our tanks; they may well do that to their 250L tanks, but our big one is safe. We’ve got a spare sink we could even throw underneath the tap – but let’s keep it simple!

Our garden

Gardening is a huge part of life in PNG, and by Garden, we don’t mean manicured lawn and flower beds; gardens in PNG are a family’s food supply. Initially, it can be hard to tell them apart from the jungle, they cover a lot of ground and they are full of plants that we’re slow to distinguish but seem as different as black and white to people who grow up here! They, of course, can’t quite believe we’ve never seen how (or even thought about how) a pineapple grows and that we can’t distinguish weeds from edible greens. (I remember trying to help a guy weed his garden once, I ended up standing around not doing much unable to identify the food plants from the weed plants.)

Our first week back

I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to going back into Kovol. You’d think that the excitement of getting to go back and start with language learning would outweigh the downsides of bush living, but that wasn’t the case! Waking up on the morning and preparing to jump on the helicopter felt more a chore than a new adventure, but here we are!

DIY Furniture

It’s so much fun to be able to shoddily and quickly customise our house to fit our needs. Whenever it’s someone elses house (or the mission’s) the expectations feel higher. We don’t care a bit if we slop paint all over the floor while painting the roof, nor do we have the skill or drive to make all our furniture straight.

Buying for the happy meal

We’re going to be throwing an ‘amamas kaikai’, or literally happy meal, also known as a ‘wanbel kaikai’ or one stomach meal. The Kovol people have been hard at work with us for months now in house building. The men have been carrying all the wood we’ve milled back to the construction site, the ladies have been cooking for us and in general the community has been very, very hard at work to show us hospitality and make it known without doubt that they want us to be with them.