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 understanding....my 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 idea...it'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