Friday, October 5, 2012

Life in PNG- Daily Routine

I'm beginning a series of blog posts about our life here in PNG.  I thought it was only appropriate that I begin with our daily routine.

After months of unsettledness, moving, and just insanity, we have finally settled into a routine and home here in Ukarumpa.
Our home!
What a blessing to finally have some sort of routine, even if it isn’t completely normal!  I thought we’d give you a glimpse into our daily life.

Every morning, I’m up with the sun at 6:00am.  The first order is to get this cutie pie outside, so he doesn’t think it is time to play.
Timbit- the newest member of our family
Andrew, the early bird, has been very gracious the last few days to get the dog outside before I get up!  This has given me a few precious minutes of sleep, but here in PNG the son is up and shining at 6:00am, so it is time to get the day started.

Then it is on to making coffee and starting my morning off in the Word before the day begins.  Some things never change!

The morning swings into full action around 7am when everyone else comes out to join the fun.  The kids get ready for school while Tim is either getting ready for work or doing our morning trip to the market.  Yes, I could make it sound like we are all about eating healthy, supporting the local economy, and eating only the freshest fruits and veggies around, but that would be a lie.  We go because that is the only way we can eat cheap and get fresh fruits and veggies.  Trust me, I think Tim would much rather have those extra minutes of sleep!
You'll have to use some imagination. Picture people around these tables selling their fresh fruits and veggies.  C'mon, you didn't expect me to actually walk down there just to get a picture????
Quick info on the role of the bell in life in Ukarumpa.  We live and die, or so it seems, by the bell.  The bell rings at 7:45 to signify 15 minutes to work, then again at 8:00 to signal work begins.  It rings at 10:00am and 3:00pm for tea time begin and 10:15am and 3:15pm for end of tea time.  It rings at 12:00 for lunch, 12:45pm to head back from lunch, and then at 1:00 to start work.  The best bell of all is the 5:00pm bell.  (That’s the one to go home).  So, yes, that bell rings 10 times a day, and I’ve come to rely on it to tell the kids when to come home, etc.

Tim has to be at work at 8:00am.  Because we don’t have a car, he must walk to work.  In order for him to be on time without rushing, he leaves no later than 7:55am. He timed his walk home the other day.  It was 2 minutes, 45 seconds.  Of course that is downhill to get home. 
Tim's office is in the back left corner.
The kids are rushed out of here between 8:10 and 8:15 to be at school.  They are a bit more spoiled and get to use their own personal vehicles- their bikes. 
Bekah outside of school on her bike.

Andrew was being silly and pretending to park his bike in a car parking space.   
Finally after they are gone, I rush around and am out by 8:29 to be at work by 8:30.  Yes, it is a hard commute.  I can see the door to the office from my dining room table. 
I'm standing at the edge of our driveway.  See that blue building? Yep, that is where I go to work.  
Are you tired?  I’m tired and the day is just beginning.

Tim & I work “ordinary” jobs.  Tim is working in the Communication and Technical Services department (CTS), and I work in the Director’s Assistant to Personnel (DAP) office.  Right now Tim goes into the office and assists with the telecom (telephone) side of CTS.  I really don’t understand what he does. I just know that I like to talk on the phone, therefore his job is important!  My job involves working with people that are here, are coming here, or are leaving our group in PNG.  I’m still not sure what I’m all doing, but I learn something new every day! 

Tim & I come home for an hour lunch break.  Many days that is about the only time we have together without the kids.

Sometime between 2:30 and 3:00, I leave work to come home to meet the kids.  They are usually home by 3:30pm for a brief snack and then outside to play until 5:00. For some reason it takes them a lot longer to get home from school than it does to get to school.  I’m pretty sure it has to do with waiting for every single friend to get out of school. I hear them LONG before I actually see them coming over the hill. So, it looks like I just get the afternoon of quiet.  Not hardly.  I’m scrambling around trying to get ready for dinner, cleaning up, and just getting the house back in order.

Confession- typically, I only work 3 days a week- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  So, that must mean I sit around the rest of the time, eating bon-bons and watching tv.  HAHA!  The beauty of life in Ukarumpa is anything that has to be done, is done between the hours of 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.  So, on Tuesday and Thursday, if we have work that needs to be done at the house, I can be here.  I do my store shopping on those days.  I do pretty much anything, including cleaning on those days.  My favorite mornings are Thursdays.  I am in a Ladies’ Bible Study that reminds me it is not all about living and surviving.  It is all about thriving in Him!

The sun goes down a little after 6pm, so most outdoor activities and traveling around usually ends by this time.  The kids come home at the 5:00 bell to begin homework before dinner.  I like to think that most evenings are peaceful and relaxing, but most are just crazy.  At least 2-3 times a month (sometimes more), we have a family over for dinner.  Then on Tuesday nights, Tim & I are in a couples’ Bible study.  We have the kids in bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm.  Some nights we do watch a movie together, but most often we are trying to catch up on email and handling things back home while trying to stay awake past 9:00pm. 

Many Friday nights during school, there is Hamburger Night at the Teen Centre.  This is the highlight of my week because it means I don’t have to cook!  Many of the high school kids make money by working Hamburger Night.  We have hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs (not your American hot dogs), and sometimes chicken sandwiches and salads.  It is so nice to be able to have a break from cooking, to enjoy a meal with friends while the kids play together. 
We all line up under that covered shelter.  People begin lining up before 5:00pm most Friday nights.  

You must read the board to know what changes there are.  This is PNG, Land of the Unexpected, so you  learn to expect the unexpected. 
Our weekends do tend to be a little bit more relaxing.  Usually Tim is working on some project around the house, while I work on other things, or just read a book and relax.  We have plenty of neighbors with kids, so frequently I’ll have different kids in and out of my house.  Sometimes my kids aren’t even in the mix.
On Sunday we have our church service with many of the other missionaries.  The kids go to Sunday School, and we all go to service together as a family.   Our Sunday evening tradition has become eating popcorn for dinner and watching a movie together.  It is a nice way to end our weekend.

This is the Meeting house, which is where we have our church services.
That is our basic daily routine.  Just remember, it rarely happens just like this.  

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