Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our Super Store

Produce Department

Hand Bag (aka Bilums)/Jewellery/Art Department
Store Hours: Mon, Wednesday, and Friday 6am-8am

Saturday, July 26, 2008

our walkabout

We went to see 'ukarumpa village' yesterday. It's on the other side of the river. This 'pikinini man' (little boy) stole the show. It's unusual to see them in their traditional dress. That is his great-grandma beside him on the left. Four generations living together in one house!

To see more pictures from Ukarumpa Village visit our picasa site:

Friday, July 25, 2008

William em e go long school astay.

(William went to school yesterday)

That's the phrase I learned today from Opa. I wrote it down as I heard it, so my spelling won't be accurate. At least I'm trying!

Billy boy went to preschool yesterday for the first time ever. I suddenly realized, "this is a pretty big deal!" and got out the camera. This is him with his 'bilum' and security blanket ready for his big morning. With all the new places and people these days I kinda wish I had a blankie.

This is the beautiful school yard.

Monday, July 21, 2008


This is Mama Opa's daughter Stephie. She has the biggest smile and cutest dimples.....such a sweet spirited girl. She came to visit the other day while Opa was working here (along with her brother Bill). The boys had fun having horsie rides.

To fill you all in....Andrew has started work. He is currently organizing the workshop and putting the finishing touches on his new office that he will share with 2 other guys. His supervisor arrived on Friday (he hadn't been here until now), so now it feels like his real job can begin. He's definitely ready to start!

We will be leaving on August 26th for Madang where we will be taking a 3 month course (mandatory). We will be learning Tok Pidgin, learning about the culture, and then living in a village (all alone!) for 5 weeks. I look forward to taking Tok Pidgin so I can communicate better with Opa and my other hausmeri, Nato. They are both determined that I learn! And I'm determined too.

My latest culinary adventures....I successfully made yogurt. My other attempts have failed. I added some strawberries and let me tell you... I was in heaven! I didn't share with anyone...not even with W. That's the food I'm missing the most since we've been here. Andrew misses chips...a lot. The other day he wanted to go home just so he could eat chips.

Today is Andrew's birthday. He is now 31 years old. He always thought once he was 30 he would have his life together and know what he's doing. My question is, when do you ever feel grown up? Here we are - living a world away, raising our two children (trying our best anyways!) and I still feel like I'm a kid myself! Well, maybe Andrew and I will 'have it figured out' by the time we're 40. Life is an adventure. That's for sure.

our web album has been updated!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mama Opa

I met Opa today. She's an old friend and 'hausmeri' of our dear friends who lived in Ukarumpa many years ago. I thank Bikpela God that I found her. She is officially named our 'PNG Grandma'.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

almost an old fashioned good time.

We read lots of books.....(so many that Drew almost lost his voice)

We play with blocks.......

We also make our own bread and yogurt and go everywhere on foot since we have no car.


We watch Bambi on DVD on a laptop computer. Well, Bambi is pretty old fashioned.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


We live in 'R4' now. It's quite different from living on Chestnut Bay and even more different than living at the M&M Hotel. There are many things that we like about it....the view for one is fantastic. We also love the dark hardwood floors. I love my kitchen. It's very spacious. The only thing it's lacking is a dishwasher. I'm the new dishwasher. (I know...I'm very spoiled.) The main difference is that we're not surrounded by our loved ones. sniff.
As you can see from the photo Bill & Jester love Ukarumpa livin'. Mud, rocks, bugs.....hissing bugs...they're in their element.
I appreciate that a treat is really a treat around here. A coke is a treat (not so at home), popcorn is a treat (not so at home), pretzels are a treat (not so at home). I like that. I've also discovered the 8th wonder of the world - the pineapples. Juicy, sweet...I've never ever had something that's tasted so wonderful. I'm not exaggerating.
As I said the view from our front window is so beautiful. We can see the horse stables which we've visited a few times now.

Life here is very laid back and very simple. It's a nice change from the ordinary....if only my heartache would subside...
I've finally updated my picasa album...check out some more photos of our new life!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

ukarumpa livin'

i'm not even sure where to begin..... we have enjoyed the first few days in ukarumpa. my initial feelings are that our family fits in here and that we will love living here. i really love our house. it is beautiful inside and has a beautiful view of the hills. things are way more 'normal' than i thought it would be as far as food goes. it's true that there is little for convience food, but i can make pretty much anything i could make at home.

this morning i went to the market for the first time. the market is mon, wed, and fri from 6am-8am. i bought some yummy fresh veggies and fruit. we were surprised to find out that they have strawberries year round here. they aren't nearly as good as vanhepp strawberries. if vanhepp strawberries are a 10, png strawberries are about a 6 or 7. i bought 4 litres today for $3.50 canadian. a bit cheaper than in manitoba! i was very ambitous and made some strawberry jam this morning (agatha suderman style). can't wait to have it on my toast in the morning! The market is a neat place - many locals walk for up to 2 hours to set up shop....i wish i could buy from everyone!

ukarumpa runs on a cashless system (except the market). at the store you just shop for your groceries, the lady scans everything and you sign a paper with your account number. you pay at the end of the month. it's kinda nice! the store is about a 10 minute walk from our place...downhill....and of course it takes longer coming home. the nice thing is that the store delivers your groceries for you. it'd be too hard to walk with all your stuff.

the boys are doing great. they are sleeping much better. they are up around 6 - 6:30, but they are also going to bed earlier. it feels normal...not too early. the boys have made friends with the kids beside us. they play together constantly. Julia is 5, emily is 4 (and will be 5 in november just like madi!) and john is almost 2, but he's tiny for his age. jesse is being a bit of a bully with john but i've been very strict with him and discipline him immediately. poor john. Jeanine is the name of our neighbor lady and we have a bit of an boys are allowed on their side (and in their house) and vice versa...we just send the kids away when it's time for them to leave....or just correct each other's children if they're doing something wrong. it makes life easier for both of us. this morning she took all the kids on a walk so i had 30 minutes alone. later her kids came over to play inside so she had some free time. Jeanine is very laid back and will be a great friend.

we have a little playground close to our place and we can also see the horse stables from our front windows. it's very picturesque. we went to visit the horses yesterday before supper. the boys loved it. if we want we can join a 'horse club' and help take care of the horses. i kinda think we'll just watch from our window for now.

i miss my dishwasher already. i definitely spend a lot of time washing dishes. life in general takes a bit more time. washing produce properly takes time...doing laundry takes more time....but I don't mind so much. I'm definitely going to look into hiring a 'house meri'. Jeanine has a girl come in once a week for a morning and pays her 9 Kina (about $3) to clean the house and help with anything she wants her to. I think this would be a great's really inexpensive and will help with my increased work load.

andrew is not sure when he'll be starting work yet. we'll take one day at a time. we're still settling in so it's nice to have him home for that. tomorrow we go to the clinic to get our malaria orientation and also to make sure that we're taking the right stuff.

we've already found some really nice accomodations for anyone wanting to come and visit us. they have some nice apartments for short termers. let us know and we'll hook you up asap!

some of my favorite things so far....fresh squeezed lemonade (this is the drink of choice here), seeing the boys have a great time, seeing andrew begin to live his dream, the smell of the air, the sound of the birds in the morning.....

that's all i can pick my brain for right now. keep in touch! love, Lisa

Saturday, July 05, 2008

we're baaaad - we're REEEAL bad.

a little background....this beautiful picture was my Omie's and ever since she died me and my bro have been fighting over it. Petty theft has been involved. There would be an empty nail left were it was hanging in my home after Chris came to visit...and yes, I stole it back a few times. And now me and Drew have pulled off the biggest heist ever. If you want it, come and get it! mwa haha hahaha!!!

We've decided to start up a picasa web album so you can share in our adventures. Please check it out! I've been posting albums on facebook, but I think this is better!

Friday, July 04, 2008

green island

We visited Green Island today....a 'must do' in Cairns. The Great Barrier Reef is right off of Green Island (one of the 7 wonders of the world). We only got to see a small part of it by taking a ride on a glass bottom was pretty incredible. Bill was disappointed that he forgot his fishing rod. A glass bottom boat is even better than a fish finder. Yes, he has his father's blood flowing through those veins of his. We spent a lot of time on the beach while on the island....just chillaxin'.

The good Lord's creation is pretty incredible. I'm so thankful for this experience!

Bill is really taking on the Australian culture....he's using terms such as 'rubbish' (instead of garage) and seems to have a slight aussie accent. He's also got a very precise countdown going of how many more sleeps until PNG. 3 more, Bill!

sorry no images to look at....uploading them is not working right now!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

we visited the Cairns Tropical Zoo

Koala's are my new favorite animal. You wouldn't believe how soft they are. They're so cuddly and sleepy and cute. I didn't want to give it back. I figured Jester kinda resembles a koala...he's soft and cuddly and sleepy and cute too. He'll do.