First Month

Lae Travel Blog

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Village water suply

I have now arrived in Papua New Guinea my home for the next stage of my life.

 

The PNG’s are a friendly bunch, helpful and soon to smile. The school, Unitech where I am teaching, is located a couple of miles outside Lea (PNG’s second larges city and a big seaport) in a tropical garden setting. Strolling around the campus you’ll see a plenitude of exotic birds, plants orchids and fruit trees. We also have a rainforest habitat on campus where a big crocodile supposably is lurking around. I have yet not seen any crock so I have to take the local’s world for it.

Nico, Nex door nighbour
However we are in no short supply of crocodiles here. There is a big crocodile farm down the road from us, so it is possible to get cheap crock meat whenever one is in the mood for it.

 

My living condition could not be better. Due to the slowness of the system I have not hitherto been able to move into my house; the university is supposed to provide me with a small two-bedroom house with a garden here on campus (feel free to pop by anytime). However during the delay I am staying in the campus guesthouse, getting my cleaning and laundry taken care of, and getting three wonderful meals a day. Ben who is running the place is an excellent chef. (Ben is also the well-informed source behind the prize of croc meat.)

 

As for any social life (a la west) Lea has not so much to offer.

The Mongkas fottball team on the way to the game
Some international hotel and a yacht club (I yet have to visit) and a couple of organizations run by ex-pats are the whole scoop of it. However I have not been without leisure activities. Approached by one of the premier division soccer team here (the Munkas) last year’s runner up in the state tournament. I am now coaching both their men and their women team. The men had their first league game this Saturday and we won 1-0. not an impressive game but a good start. And due to their second position in the league last year we are already qualified to the playoffs held in the resort Medang in June. I think we have a good chance to form a really strong squad.

 

Now you should know that a premier league soccer team in PNG has completely different economical recourses than for example a team in Sweden or the US. The team own two soccer balls and a couple of cones. But we have no vests, and no tactic board, no means of transportation and no net in the goals.

Graduation at Unitech
Some of the new players still don’t even own a pair of cleats (shoes) but play barefoot. Which unfortunately prevent them to participate in the games. However grass grows extremely tropical climate and the training pitch has a turf worthy any premier league team. And the team budget was enough to by the whole squad, me included, a soda after the victory. 

 

That the team has no means of transportation is obviously a big drawback; travelling to the Saturday’s game was in itself a peculiar experience. When our bus, for some reason, did not arrive the Munka Club President (also called the chief) went and got his small 2-door pickup truck. With the chief, me and the team captain squeezed into the front seats, (going through the game tactics and line up) and the rest of the16 players in the back (flirting with ladies on side of the road) we drove the 6 miles to the stadium.

Bring your own snake.
Arriving the stadium a good 10 minutes before the kick off. I just wish had my camera with me - a Kodak moment for sure.

 

So coming to PNG is indeed a chock to the system. Although prepared from previous travels in the tropics I am still somewhat floored by the fearsome tropical sun and the high humidity. The sun will burn you in 10 minutes flat and the humidity and the heat makes all your clothes dripping wet in approximately the same time. On top of that we have the tropical rainstorms passing by frequently. I woke up a couple of night ago thinking a train was passing my house just to find out that it was pouring down. One has to be in a tropical rainstorm to understand the mighty force of the nature involved here.

 

Another thing one has to get use to is the slowness in operations involving any bureaucracy what so ever. Unfortunately bureaucracy seems to include everything: getting a house, getting an office getting a computer and getting the same computer to operate on the network (now finally after weeks of agony it works, I am hocked up). A network, which by the way, has the same capacity as an old modem. The whole band-with out from the country is equivalent to that of a normal Swedish household connection. Witch makes any communication a little tricky. On out of five attempt sending mails is a success.

 

Lokimju samlataim (Look I am you some other time)

 

 

 

 

mellemel8 says:
pictures where are the pictures!??!?!! am planning on going there around 2009 :)
Posted on: Jul 19, 2007
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Village water suply
Village water suply
Nico, Nex door nighbour
Nico, Nex door nighbour
The Mongkas fottball team on the w…
The Mongkas fottball team on the …
Graduation at Unitech
Graduation at Unitech
Bring your own snake.
Bring your own snake.
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Lae
photo by: JohanGranberg