23 April 1985

Letter: Out of Australia

Letter from PNG 23 / 4 / 85

Here we are in PNG! Had a rough time getting here. The plane from Murray Island was delayed several hours after it took a nose-dive as it landed on Yorke Island - without casualties - and we had to sit around first on Murray airstrip and then on Yorke airstrip while they checked it carefully. Then we had to board said doubtful plane!

The flight to Cairns was very cold - James turned blue, and then soaked his seat, Jo threw up all over me so I was cold and wet too, Alison developed a fever as we left MI and so was the only one who didn't suffer from the cold.

Getting to Port Moresby

We had a day in Cairns, with Alison really sick and vomitting everywhere, then off to Cairns Airport for 8pm flight. More delays, mechanical problems, we had to wait in the International Lounge ‘til about 10.30pm. We got to Port Moresby about midnight and were very relieved that an SIL bod picked us up and let us in to "Mapang" (mission hostel - we had been warned the proprietor locks the doors at 9pm and opens to no one because of recent civil unrest) for a few hours sleep. Then on Thursday morning we went out to the JAARS (SIL mission) plane, only to sit around in the hangar there for hours waiting for mechanical checks.

Kids in care

Alison is improving at last - eating today, first time in 6 days. We have a lovely house to stay in here. James loves pre-school. Alison and Jo are cared for in the morning by a very busy lady who has a 2 year old and 6 month old of her own. The first morning was a bit hairy - Alison was still quite unwell - but today was more encouraging.

Good workshop

The workshop looks like being very worthwhile too. We feel like we are in the right place, people actually know what we are talking about, and our consultant works in a closely-related language on the PNG coast.

Cold weather

Its very cold here (21 degrees!) and we have a fire roaring in the hearth. This house has a huge stone fireplace the house is built right around. It heats up and stays warm, even right around the back side of the chimney where our bedroom is.