We have arrived at our final destination in Papua New Guinea and we wanted to give you a small taste of what life is like in the Eastern Highlands Province.
Here are a few things we’re adjusting to in our new home!
1. We buy all of our produce from local farmers here 3 times a week. The ladies and men hike up from their villages in the dark with their produce and market opens at 6am and runs until 8:30am. A typical market haul for our family probably costs us about 30 Kina (approximately $15 Canadian dollars).
2. We have one store where we can buy all of our non-produce needs and housewares and it’s a 2 minute walk from our current house 🙂 The store manager and staff here do an amazing job especially considering they are dependent on groceries coming in via large shipping containers from port cities. New groceries to stock the shelves can take awhile to arrive so we are learning to improvise in our cooking based on what’s available. We are also learning to appreciate prices of groceries back in Canada as certain things, like almonds, will cost you almost $50 Canadian for a bag compared to peanuts which cost 1 Kina ($0.50 Canadian equivalent) for a small bag. As you may have guessed, our kids are getting peanuts as snacks, not almonds 🙂
3. We walk everywhere and nothing is all that far (unless you’re walking with Elliott and then it all feels far away). In our current house, the primary school, high school, church, teen centre, market and store are all a maximum of 10 minutes away by foot. Even if we are moved around centre, from end to end of centre, is probably only a 15 minute walk.
4.We have washing machines but no dryers so the sun is our dryer. So far, this works fairly well but we are learning to keep our ears open for changes in weather, wind and thunder so that we know when to pull the laundry in off the line. Rainy season is also on its way so we are prepared to try to learn quickly how to get our laundry to dry even when it rains every day.
5. We go to church in another language. Coming out of our language and cultural training, we really wanted to continue to improve on our Tok Pisin (the trade language of PNG). There are plenty of opportunities to do this here at Ukarumpa – whether it be talking to National staff members or going to the Tok Pisin Lotu (Tok Pisin church). We have thoroughly enjoyed going to the Tok Pisin service and we hope to continue to attend, often with a Tok Pisin dictionary in hand 🙂
6.We live in a rented house belonging to another missionary here in Ukarumpa and will continue to live in rented houses during our two year term here. There is an awesome department here that organizes the giant puzzle of where to put everyone amidst the numerous people coming and going to/from furlough. Right now almost every home is full (a VERY good problem to have) and the house we are living in is up for sale so we will be moving soon and probably a few more times over the next two years. We love our current home, as well as our neighbours and have been told by Jon’s Aunty Joy that she even remembers when it was built so it’s a classic 🙂
7. We are surrounded by Bible translation. We live on centre with numerous National staff, support staff and linguists. Many translation teams are based out of Ukarumpa and go out to the villages for their language group for 3-6 weeks at a time. There is always information here about New Testament dedications, courses held at the local training centre for National translators or linguists you can invite over for a meal after they’ve just come back from their villages. We are thoroughly enjoying connecting with all kinds of missionaries here at Ukarumpa.
8. We (and our kids) have ample time for being with people. One of the things we love about here is that, with everything being close by, there is increased time for people and increased time for relationships. On many days, Ben and Jacob, will choose to only come in for meals and play outdoors with our neighbours kids until the sun goes down. The extrovert in all of us, SO appreciates this community feel to our current home!
9.We send our three oldest to the Primary School Campus about a 10 minute walk away. Ben goes full days and is in Grade 2 here, Jacob goes half days until January and is in Kindergarten and Elliott goes two half days a week to preschool, called Puk Puks here (Puk Puk is a Tok Pisin word for crocodile). All the teachers are wonderful and we are blessed to see how they’ve made new friends and are adjusting to the new school environment.
10. We have dial-up internet. We are really fortunate to have internet access here but it is definitely an adjustment as we pay per MB transferred so it can add up very quickly. Translation – no unlimited internet for these missionaries 🙂 We are getting used to this new normal and we do love the fact that this means that our internet use is naturally limited which maximizes our time as a family. We also have a new email address and accessing just those emails is free for us so, if you’re trying to reach us quickly, send us an email at email@example.com. If you want to send something our way, our mailing address is:
Jon and Anita McCarthy
PO box 1-44
Ukarumpa, EHP 444
Papua New Guinea
We’d be happy to hear from you!
So, we’re here and now you have a bit of a picture of our life here but WHAT ARE WE DOING?
So glad you asked 🙂
Jon is helping fill a need for a PE teacher at the Primary Campus this upcoming term.
I am continuing to get the kids adjusted as well as helping out as a Mentor for an Initial Skills course for National Translators at the local training centre. This involves helping National translators as they learn English grammar, pronunciation, reading skills, critical thinking and basic computer skills.
In January, Jon and I will both be sharing a job at the Secondary Campus, teaching a mix of PE and Science while trading off on taking care of Elliott and Lucy.
We are enjoying getting involved in community life here at Ukarumpa as well – whether that means helping out with Sunday worship, getting connected with a bible study, playing a drop-in sport with our colleagues, attending coffee house afternoons or just meeting new people – there is plenty to do!
Jon and I are both appreciating the numerous opportunities around us to get involved directly in Bible Translation in our spare time – from volunteering for village visits with the clinic, to mentoring other courses for National Translators, helping take the Jesus film to various nearby villages, packing up newly printed mini bibles of 11 Milne Bay Languages for an upcoming dedication or supporting a village translation family or couple, there are no shortage of ways we can get involved here with those who are doing the important work of Bible Translation. We look forward to taking advantage of these opportunities and to finding more ways to connect to and support Bible Translation as our term continues here in Papua New Guinea!
Thank you SO much for keeping us in your prayers and for your continued support!! We appreciate you more than you can know 🙂
Jon, Anita, Ben, Jacob, Elliott & Lucy