Saturday, 31 January 2009


So as you can imagine there's not a huge amount to do at night here on base. Usually we watch movies or play games, but once you've done that 3 or 4 nights in a row it tends to get a little repetitive. Sometimes the youth leaders here organise something a little bit different to do at weekends. Tonight we had a heros and sheros night. Each of the adults was supposed to dress up as a hero or shero and choose either to be a sitter, runner or hider. If you chose to be a runner your job was to run away from the kids all night trying not to let them catch you. If you were a hider or a sitter your job was to do exactly what it says on the tin, either sit or hide. Once the kids caught you they got points for their team and the winner was announced at the end of the night. It was good fun and and just something a little bit different. Just in case you were wondering, Martina dressed up as a geek and was a sitter with Annika. Simon and I were running ninja's. I wasn't very successful, all my points were given out in the first 15 minutes.

Everything else is going good. I've settled back into a routine after my parents left and am "enjoying" teaching.  On monday we all head to the local hotel to watch the superbowl (not that i even know what that is, but I'm going anyway). 


Emma x

Saturday, 24 January 2009


Today I had to say lukim yu (bye bye) to my parents who are heading back to the bright lights of Derry city after visiting PNG for a month. They won't arrive home until wednesday your time, which will be Thursday here but at least they're on their way. It was lovely to have them here and it definitely helped me to settle in a lot easier. I know that they found it hard leaving us (especially Nya) as they may not see Simon and Annika for another 4 years. 
Please remember to pray for me as I try to settle into a routine now that they are gone and for them as they adjust to life back home. 

For me it's 1 month down and 5 more to go.

Emma x

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


On Wednesday my brother, Dad and I went deep sea fishing at a little beach near the base. Simon has a local friend here, Robert, who invited us to use his boat for the morning. He said the earlier we left to go fishing the better because the brighter the sun got the less likely it would be for us to catch fish. We left at 5 am, but PNG being the way it is, we were not in the water until after 7 am. I was so excited, more about the possibility of snorkeling at an untouched reef than catching fish but nonetheless I was still excited. In the photograph below you can see our local volcano creating the perfect setting for the beautiful sunrise (although, in PNG the sunrise/sets are nowhere near as lovely as the African ones, just and observation). 

The catch of the day was a 10lb Spanish Mackerel. Most of the time our lines just got caught on the reef below. We fished at reefs that none of us had been to before. The ones further out are the most beautiful, the water is like glass so you can see the fish swim right by you. When you reach the lagoon's the colours are breathtaking. I couldn't believe it. 
Robert decided to take us to the "drop off". At this point I got a little nervous, the only time i had ever heard of a "drop off" was in finding nemo when he falls off the edge into the unknown. When we got there I realised it was just the edge of the reef but it was beautiful. You could just see the clear blue water of the lagoon turn to black as the reef disappeared and the only thing now below us was hundreds of feet of sea. We anchored to the reef and used banana leaves to tie reef rocks to our hooks. This is what the locals use as weights to make sure their line reaches the depths. 

We had a brilliant morning. I could have filmed a whole BBC planet earth documentary on the wildlife, it was that beautiful. Between finding nemo and fish that can fly (they are real), I think it would have been a pretty good episode. David Attenborough better watch his back. 

Wish you could have seen it in real life.


Emma x

Sunday, 18 January 2009


Yesterday i went to Dami beach with lots of people from the base and my new housemate Martina. Martina has just arrived from Holland and we are living in a new house together just up the road from Simon and Annika. I still go and see them lots and help them eat their food.
Martina has just graduated from doing a child psychology degree and is going to be working with the special needs children here at the school. I'm so glad she's here, i was beginning to feel a little bit lost with no one my age around. 

It still doesn't really feel like I'm in PNG even though I have been here almost a month. I think it's because I'm still inside this mini america most of the time. It's different from Mozambique in that I'm not constantly with nationals. I see them and have conversations with them everyday but I'm not totally forced to live in their culture if I don't want to. It's a different kind of relationship building you have to do here, It's weird but I'm getting used to it. Although, sometimes I don't feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to if I'm not in the middle of the jungle somewhere eating out of a banana leaf. Hopefully I'll get to make some more national friends soon.


Emma x

Ps: This is me and Martina at Dami beach.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


On Sunday, me and my family took a trip into the Mangseng tribe. This tribe was actually were Annika grew up and where her parents had planted a church. The church there was now completely independent as all missionaries have phased out. We left the base at 6am and arrived in the tribe at 9am. The 3 hour trip into the jungle was beautiful. We were in a small lorry/truck that just about made it there and back on the bush trail. We stood up at the back of the truck so we could see everything that was going on. The people here are so friendly, anyone we passed was so excited to see us and were saying good morning and waving, it was great fun.

 When we arrived at the tribe we first went and met a few people that Annika had known very well. We saw her work meri that had worked for her family for 15 years and another lady that used to look after Annika, her brothers and sisters from time to time. This ladies name was Emma (she is the lady in the 16th picture down with the stick through her nose). She was so excited to meet me and called me her  “one name”. She would have done anything for me just because my name was the same as hers, such a lovely lady.

 We then went to the tribal church. Ladies sat on one side and men on the other. Church lasted for what seemed like ages. We couldn’t understand one word and it was so hot but we still enjoyed just seeing how they did things. It great to see the church surviving independently after all the missionaries had left. This is exactly what New Tribes Mission (NTM) is all about. Their motto is “ teach one to reach one.”

 After church was finished we met some of the locals. My favorite was spread toe. Believe it or not this is his actual name, spread toe. If you have a look at his picture (9th picture) you’ll understand why. He was such a funny wee man. He just shook my hand with a huge big grin on his face and said “monin, name belong me spread toe.” Which means, morning, my name is spread toe. He was great. I liked him.

 We went to a couple of peoples houses for lunch, I thought I had a hard time with Mozambican food. Nothing had prepared me for PNG tribal food. I had some sort of root vegetable that is pounded, wrapped in a leaf and then cook under the ground in a “mau mau”. You can see it being cooked in the pictures, it’s a hole in the ground with hot rocks and then huge big banana leaves on top. You just had to smile and swallow, we managed ok though.

 One of the houses we went to for lunch was Emma’s house. As we sat and chatted we could see that they were just so happy to have Annika back to visit. When Annika had last seen Emma’s children not even all of them were born. Emma now has ten children. Her youngest you can see in picture 7, his name is Ten Man. He got his name because he is the last child, number ten. As you can see from the names mothers give their children, the people of PNG are very literal. They say things how they are. From hanging out with them for the day I noticed that they love to laugh. They were making jokes and playing about all day.

 About 3 o’clock it was time for us to head back home. We said goodbye to everyone and as we were leaving the whole village was out to say goodbye, waving and shouting after us.  We had a great day. We were a bit nervous about the journey home as if it rained we may have been stranded, because the bush roads here become a mudslide very quickly. It hadn’t rained all day so we were sure it was just about to. Thankfully it held off  just until we reached the tarmac.

 I really enjoyed my time with the Mangseng people, I will hopefully visit them again before I leave. I am also hoping to get into a few other tribes in the next few weeks so I’ll let you know how that goes.

 Some other news :

School is going well, I am enjoying it so far. The kids here are lovely and have helped me settle in quickly. One of my housemates arrives on Friday so that will be nice to finally meet her and get moved into my new place.

 Internet has been slow here the past few days but seems to be working again. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep you more updated now on what’s happening around the base.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.


Emma x

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Saturday, 10 January 2009


Today I went into the market in Kimbe town. It is about 40 mins drive from the base (at least i think it's 40 mins, I'm rubbish at calculating distance and time.) We just went through the market and some second hand shops looking for a bargain. I found lots of nice things, a few dresses and some meri blouses (a type of top that all the nationals wear here.) 

We had lunch in a Papua New Guinea version of KFC. The only thing that was similar in this KFC to the one back home was the fact that the sign outside was red. I'm just glad we ate there and didn't wait until we got right into the market. You can see from the picture below what was on the menu there, chicken toes. LOVELY.  

I'm just about to go to bed now, it's 10pm here. We are all up at 5am tomorrow cause we're heading into the bush to visit a tribe. We're going early so that we can go to church and have lunch afterwards with them. I'm really looking forward to it, should be a great day. I'll take lots of pictures so you can have a look at what went on.


Emma x

Monday, 5 January 2009


So, I start school tomorrow. I teach PE in the morning, that'll be a laugh and then English after that. I'm teaching MAP 4/5 as it's known here, which is 15-17 year olds in the high school. Really not looking forward to it. I'll blog tomorrow and let you know how that goes.

These are some pictures from the tribe my brother and dad visited this weekend. They really enjoyed their time there and have lots of stories from the trip. I hope to visit a tribe really soon so keep an eye out for the pics.

Thanks for all the comments. 
Keep them coming.

Emma x

Sunday, 4 January 2009