Just six days after arriving in Papua New Guinea, we are starting to feel settled in our new home. Its definitely different than living in the United States! For those of you who are curious about our current living situation, we made this blog just for you to answer some of the common questions we have been getting lately from friends and family back home.
New Time Zone: Papua New Guinea is 14 hours ahead of the east coast time zone, 17 hours ahead if you are form the west coast. Thankfully, our time in Australia basically helped us get over our jet lag before arriving to PNG.
New Neighborhood: We currently live at New Tribes Mission’s Regional Center, a center dedicated to administration and the support of NTM missionaries throughout the Islands region. There are over 80 people living on the center, and we will be living here just for the duration of our national language and culture study. Every morning we wake up to the sounds of roosters, squealing pigs and tropical birds. We smell the morning fires from the houses around us and hear the mothers yelling at their kids. 🙂
New Neighbors: The missionaries who live on center come from all over the world. There are some Americans, but there are also British, Australian, Dutch, Irish, Canadian, and others I can’t remember at this time. There are also a few Papua New Guinea citizens who live on the center as well.
New Apartment: Our apartment is the perfect size for our little family, with a living room area, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Yes, it has a toilet and a shower… although no hot water, but who needs it in this heat! Outside we have a washing machine and Beth hangs our clothes to dry. We share the apartment with tiny red ants and geckos. 🙂 Our house is right by the road so as I brush my teeth in our bathroom I can see women carrying huge loads of coconuts and water on their heads. We have a GREAT view of our area from almost any window so it’s great for learning!
New Weather: It is pretty hot. I set the thermometer outside, just to see how hot it was (not considering humidity) and I wasn’t surprised to see it read 107 degrees! Its ok, though because inside our house it only gets to a little over 90. We’re doing alright with the heat, honestly. Its not felt as bad as we thought it would before arriving.
New Food Sources: We get our food from various sources. On the center there is a place called Center Supply (actually we live above it), where food can be purchased for those of us who live here. Thankfully we can charge food to our account so we do not need to be stocked up on PNG Kina (the currency of Papua New Guinea). The convenience is nice, but the prices are very high, simply because everything is basically imported. For example: a jar of peanut butter can run you about US$9.00 or eggs for almost US$4.00 per dozen!
We can also get our food from local PNG citizens who bring fresh produce from their gardens that we can purchase for dirt cheap compared to the US (options limited). Lastly, there is a town about 45 minute drive from center where we can get a lot more variety than what we can get here. The only down side to this is that it costs about $50 to drive there and back. So… we will see how our grocery bill and our stomachs feel at the end of the month!
New Jobs: This coming week we are looking forward to officially beginning our national language and culture study. This will be our full time job for at least the next six to ten months, because thankfully PNG’s national language is a comparatively simple and very easy language to learn. We’ve already started practicing. 🙂
So this is a little bit of a peak into our world these days. We love answering your questions, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!