Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Daniel's village living pictures

Here are some of my favorite pictures from village living.

Outrigger Canoes

Many people in our village have outrigger canoes.  They are carved out of a solid log and are very light and nimble.  There are only 2 people in the village who have the skills to build them.  I went for a walk one morning and saw several men going out fishing on them.  One man showed me the mackerel that he caught that day and he told me they really put up a good fight.  Our waspapa gave Daniel and Michael a model canoe that he had made.  They love playing with it.


Daniel and I went fishing one morning and didn’t quite know what to expect.  A man from a nearby village had a boat with a motor on it so we went out at 6:00am one Saturday.  They don’t use poles but use a wooden or plastic spool to hold the line.  We decided to go trolling for Tuna so first of all we looked for where bird were congregating over the water.  The Tuna would chase little bait fish up to the surface and feed on them.  The bait fish would jump out of the water and then the birds would come and eat them.  We had 5 people in the boat all with lines out at the same time.  Usually all 5 of us would get a fish on at the same time.  We all would pull the line in hand over hand as fast as we could.  The men from the village would be pulling in the fish very fast while I would be struggling to pull the line in and would always be the last one to get my fish in the boat.  We all had a good laugh about it.  My hands and arms were aching by the end of the trip but I have never had a more fun fishing trip before.  They sure put up a good fisht.  I’m guessing the biggest fish we caught was about 15lbs. 


When we got to shore we counted the fish and we caught 28.  That night and the next day the whole village and our family feasted on fresh Tuna.  It tastes so much better than the canned Tuna. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Animals in PNG

We have seen some amazing animals, bugs and birds during our time in PNG.  We don’t always think to take a picture when we see them but here are some we have captured on camera.  The animal with the curly tail is called a Kapul and spends most of its time in the trees. I have heard several of the PNG people tell me that they hunt them with a bow and arrow and if they don’t kill it when shot that it will pull the arrow out of itself and use it against you.  I am usually prey skeptical but I asked several people and they told me the same thing.  The kids were able to see a large butterfly come out of its cocoon.  We saw lots of giant beautifully colored butterflies.


There were lots of great birds.  We never were able to see a Bird of Paradise, the bird on the PNG flag, but our was family gave us the feather from one they had shot.  They use these feathers as decorations when they have special celebrations. 


There are lots of wild pigs and pigs raised inside a fence.  A large pig is very expensive and when someone dies in a village the family of the deceased is expected to buy one for a feast after the funeral.  Also a custom not practiced too much anymore is that when a man marries a woman he must give the woman’s family a pig as the bride price. 


Our village had a pet parrot named Bobo that would imitate what I heard or people said.  When we first got to the village Jessica had a bad cough so the parrot would imitate her coughing. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

World War 2

The headman of the village we stayed at is a 78 year old man.  He is our was papa’s father and lived in a house next to ours.  Everybody called him Tambuna man which is the name for Grandpa.  I really enjoyed listening to him tell stories about the past.  Both his parents died when he was young and he was raised by his brothers and other relatives.  He was 15 years old when the war ended and remembered a lot of what happened when the Japanese occupied the area.  He was proud to show me he had several shells from Japanese anti-aircraft guns that were in the area.  He told me how he would watch American planes fly and when the anti-aircraft guns would shoot at them they would turn their wings so they would make less of a target.  He remembered seeing 3 American airplanes get shot down and seeing the pilots parachute out.  We saw lots of steel plates that were used during the war to make airstrips and bridges.  It seemed like every village we saw had found creative ways to use these like fences or they would fold them into a triangle shape and use them as fence posts.  One picture is of an old jeep tire.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Flowers in PNG

Here are some of the beautiful flowers we saw here in PNG.  The frangepanie was one of our favorite because of it’s nice fragrance.



Pictures from village living

Here are some pictures from our time living in the village.


The Garamut is a communication system used by many villages in PNG.  People have developed signals or beats they use to notify people in the village and it can be heard from up to 5 km away.  The garamut in our village was made in 1970.  A Kwila tree, which is known for it’s hard wood, was cut down in the bush quite a way from the village. They built a fence around the fallen tree and several men cut the log down to size and carved out the inside.  When it is finished they carried it to the village under cover and had a special celebrations.  They have a signal for emergencies, fights or wars, announcement of a death and as a way to communicate with men who might be working in a far away garden.  Each family has a signal or beat that they all know. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back from living in the village

What an incredible experience we had.  It was probably one of the hardest things we have done but well worth it.  We stayed in a village about a 2 hour drive away from our training center.  Garum is the name of the village and the name you might find if you look on the map.  It is made up of 4 smaller villages.  Mumuk is the name of the one we stayed at.  Here are the approx. coordinates if you want to try and find it on Google earth: 04 36.132’ E 145 33.289’



This is the house we stayed in, the kitchen house or haus kuk we used and the toilet we used.  They built the haus kuk and toilet for us to use.  We took hundreds of pictures and will be posting lots more in the future.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Butelgut was the second village we spent the night at on our 3 day hike.  We ate dinner and made popcorn for the family after dinner which they really liked.  This village had many more kids and Paul let them take turns pumping water with his filter.  After dinner we told stories and showed them pictures we brought from home.  We had a picture of David and Paul in front of Mt. Rushmore when they were kids.  It took a while to explain about how big the faces are and why they created it.  They asked if George Bush had his face carved on it.  They asked me to explain 9/11 to them and that took quite a while to explain. 


One of the big sources of entertainment was to take pictures of them and let them look at it afterward.  Every picture we took we would have a swarm of about 15 kids crowding around us and laugh.  There was one man visiting the village that they said was bush true.  I think that meant that he had never been to a city before.  He was fascinated when he saw his picture.  They also love to touch Paul’s head.  Several of the kids showed us how fast they can climb up a coconut tree.  Even the little kids seem very grown up and carry around very sharp bush knifes.  We brought UNO and they loved playing that.  Later in the evening several of the girls sang a few beautiful songs for us.


Here is a description of some of the pictures:

It is common for a man to offer Buai to someone when he passes or enters his house (I will blog about Buai or Betel nut later)

Women washing clothes and dishes in the river

One of the boys climbing a Buai tree

The village house we stayed in.  This one is 2 stories and is the biggest one we have seen yet.  The men all sleep on the upper level and the woman on the bottom level

A village house under construction.  The houses in this village use all materials obtained from the jungle

A man explains the process of growing and preparing rice to eat