Friday, February 27, 2009


Buai is a huge part of PNG life. People will sit around for many hours telling stories while chewing it. The ingredients include the buai nut, lime (kambang) and mustard stick (daka). The lime is made either from crushed coral or from shells that has been heated over a fire. All three ingredients are chewed together and it gives the chewer a stimulant effect.

I don't know how somebody thought up mixing these ingredients together.

Buai only grows in the areas near the coast. It is a huge cash crop for the people from our village.

When they spit it leaves a dark red spot on the ground.

The trees are very tall and skinny so they send the young boys up to harvest it. Daniel and Michael learned to climb but never got high enough to reach the nuts.

Many of the people who chew it have stained red teeth and lips. PNG women call it PNG lipstick.

Here is a video I took of a man demonstrating how to chew buai

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Laura and I have pages on Facebook and have been having a friend of ours upload pictures there, thanks Dave.  Not sure what to think about it but it seems to be extremely popular.   I read that there are 150 million users now. Check it out under Paul Dokken and Laura Dokken if you want to see more pictures and videos of us here.



Monday, February 23, 2009

6 months in PNG

Today we have been in PNG for 6 months. The time has gone by so fast.

We are finishing up our first newsletter from PNG and will be emailing it out soon. If you aren’t getting our newsletters and would like to be on our list just send us an email.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bridge to Kainantu

There are 2 bridges between where we live and the closest city Kainantu.  On the second one someone decided they wanted to take the steel plates that are part of the decking on the bridge.  Now you have to be really careful when you cross the river or else…

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day Dinner

We celebrated Valentine’s day by going to a special dinner that the high school students put on.  It was nice to have a candle light dinner with just the 2 of us.  There are no restaurants here so this was a real treat for us.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Paragliding trip to Oroge Mountain

There are several men here at the center that like to Paraglide.  It’s a cross between a parachute and a glider.  We headed out for Oroge Mountain, up a steep rough road in 4 wheel drive but found out when we got to the top that there has been a lot of fighting between 2 villages so we turned around and went to another place. 


In case you’re wondering, no I didn’t fly but Daniel, Rachel and I (Paul) went along to watch.  It looked like a lot of fun.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Driving in PNG

Driving in PNG is so much different than in the US. We didn’t think we’d be driving while we are here but some friends of ours who went on a furlough before Christmas offered to let us use their 4 wheel drive Toyota Hilux diesel truck. It has an extended cab and has a bench so we can actually seat 8 people. It has turned out to be a huge blessing to us and to others.

Technically you drive on the left side of the road but everybody drives down the middle of the road because there are no shoulder and you don’t want to hit a pedestrian.

I have never seen a speed limit sign or road signs for that matter. There are some road signs in the large cities but you better know where you are going if you drive somewhere.

Lots of potholes and ruts in the road. Sometimes the road will be washed out completely.

There are not always bridges over rivers and sometimes you have to drive across the river. Diesels are good for this because they are less apt to stall since they don’t have an ignition system.

No drivers test, all you have to do is pay K60 which is a little less than $30 US.

If you hit a person, dog or pig you don’t stop. You drive to the nearest police station. Often if a person gets hit their friends or relatives will retaliate against you.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Village feuding

There is a village just outside the fence here at the mission center.  It is generally a peaceful area but one family has been causing trouble for quite some time.  Two weeks ago some of the villagers were fed up and decided to action against the troublemakers.  The man’s house was burned and three men scaled the fence and came into the center to try to find safety from angry men. They were armed with homemade guns and bush knives and eventually others were near the fence with bows and arrows but were turned away.


 We have an alarm that sounds like an air raid signal.  It was sounded alerting everyone to get in their houses and lock the doors.  We weren’t truly afraid  but it was unsettling to not know what was going on.  The mission center has an online message board and we checked it every few minutes.  After about 20 minutes there was information about the situation and after a while we were told that the men had been escorted off center.  They had no intention of harming anyone here but the directors wanted to make sure no one was caught in the middle of the fighting if it moved on center.


There are a lot of great safety measures in place here to keep us secure.  We have a 24 hour security team that contracts with the center  as well a team of missionary men that are on call at all times.  We thank the Lord for His protection and that we can rest in His good care regardless of what circumstances look like!



Friday, February 6, 2009

Computer class

Paul and another man have been teaching a computer class to a group of about 30 PNG adults.  These men and women come from all over the country to receive training in leadership and literacy work.  For almost all of them it is the first time they have ever seen let alone used a computer. 


They start at the very basics like how to operate a mouse.  They demonstrated how to move it forward, back, right and left in the air but assumed the students knew to keep it on the mouse pad.  They chuckled as most of them were waving the mouse around in the air.  These students have plenty “save” (knowledge) about lots of things that we don’t have a clue about but computers isn’t one of them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Preparing for living in the village for 5 weeks

We used to think it was a big deal getting ready for a 3 day camping trip but 5 weeks was quite a challenge.   We spent a whole day shopping at stores in Madang getting ready for our 5 weeks in the village.  Some of the things we needed to bring besides the food pictures were: mosquito nets, foam pads and sheet sets, Coleman kerosene lantern, 30 liters of kerosene, dishes, pots and pans, utensils, water containers, water filter, clothes, medicine, and lot of other things I can’t think of right now.


All the food we ate was made from scratch except for some crackers.  We brought 8 dozen eggs with us and found out if you turn them over every day they would last up to 5 weeks.  We had no way of keeping food cold so we everything had to be dry or in a can.  

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dinner Guests

Our house here is next to the men’s dorms where PNG men come and stay while they are working on translating.  We invited 3 men over for dinner and it was good to learn more about what they do.   They had just finished up translating the first 4 books of the New Testament and were having their work checked for accuracy.  They are from a remote, tiny island.  Between the 3 of them they have 15 children.  They wanted to talk in English so they could get some practice in.  It was interesting to talk with them and learn a little about them.  After dinner we showed them the first disc of the Planet Earth DVD series and they were very fascinated.