The Secret Garden

The oldest three kids have been exploring the station with their friends and frequently come home insisting we accompany them to see the latest discovery.  The most recent outing we went on was to a garden area.  At first they called it the prayer garden and then the secret garden.  I’m not sure if has an official name, but it is beautiful whatever it’s called.

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There were two ways to the garden . . . two ways if you’re a child.  After some debate they decided we would get to the gardens by way of the stairs.  It’s a somewhat steep climb down, but lined with banana trees on one side and flowers and bushes of different sorts on the other.

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This was on the way back up since I was too busy watching my footing on the way down

Rock paths meander throughout the main part of the garden and on the other side of one fence is a big white cow.  It was quite important that we see the cow, but he was a bit hard to get a picture of.

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And instead of dainty potted plants, the poinsettias are beautiful bushes.

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We had company bringing us dinner that night, so it was soon time to head home.  Since we entered the garden by way of the stairs it was decided that we needed to exit through the other path.

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“Wait a minute,” I said as our pikinini (children) started climbing over a metal fence.  “How hard is this path to climb?”

“Oh, it’s not bad,” they assured me.  And they would have been right . . . had I been two feet shorter, not juggling a baby on one hip and been part billy goat.  Not bad at all.  But, we made it over the fallen down banana trees, up the slippery mud slope and to the top of the hill (slightly out of breath) without (much) incident.  The view on top was beautiful.  It’s what all our friends on the other side of the station see out their windows everyday.  Everywhere on station has beautiful views, whether looking out over a valley like this or the amazing vegetation that surrounds everyday life.

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We will see what other discoveries the kids will show us next.

Handy Man

Cooking with an open flame on a gas stove made me nervous with little ones running around.  Especially with a little guy who learns by touching . . . absolutely everything within reach.  In one of the boxes that was sent ahead, we included a baby gate to block off the kitchen to help keep curious little hands safely away from the hot stove.  The gate, though, ended up being far too short for the doorway of the kitchen.  Not to fear, my handy husband came to the rescue.

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Standing with Daddy by the safety gate

After finishing medical school and residency he actually had time to think about hobbies and one that he took up was woodworking.  He was always coming up with ideas to help around the house or ways to repurpose old wood.

Woodworking was one of the things he knew he’d have to give up when moving to PNG   . . . or maybe not.  Turns out there is a workshop here to help with all the maintenance that goes into the keeping up the houses and hospital.  Moving around the world has now given him the opportunity to use woodworking equipment he never would have had in our garage in the States.  And the project ideas are flowing.

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One of my favorite of Nathan’s creations and is proudly hanging on our wall here

 

Playing at the Hydro

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The Dooley family is our mentor family as we settle into life at Kudjip and they have been wonderful.  Our second week here they took us down to the hydroelectric dam to play in the water.  This power source is a huge blessings and I’ll blog more about that later.  It also creates a fun play place as well as kaukau (sweet potato) washing station and rock collecting resource for various projects around the hospital station.  Next to collecting bugs, gathering rocks is a favorite activity for our young Masons.  Between the water and the rocks I’m sure visiting the hydro will become a favorite activity.

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Nathan and I also got to drive for the first time.  While the hydro is within walking distance from the house, in the afternoon sun it’s a longish walk, so we took the Land Cruiser (a necessary vehicle to make it over the bumpy roads in PNG).  The driver’s seat is on the right side of the vehicle and we drive on the left hand side of the road.  It’s a little strange and I kept grabbing the door to try and change gears before remembering I needed to use my left hand.  But I successfully drove on the left side of the road for the first time! (Going 10 miles an hour on the station and never meeting another vehicle, but that’s only a minor detail, right?!).