Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Tarzan has been hunting and gathering and most upset i haven't shared with the world.
We have been to Madang twice in the past few weeks, both times showing friends and family a bit of country side. Madang is a lovely seaside town. We stayed at a little resort called JAis Arben and it was great, ok the food was average, but the accommodation was great! I ordered catch of the day and got a massive calamari hood, un-scored, unsliced in a salty horrible unrecognizable sauce. *spew* I stuck to safe dished after that. ;) Food is not really something people do well in PNG, there is no real cuisine as such, Just food cooked in coconut milk with no fresh herbs and spices except some curry powder, stock and salt sometimes. It encourages me to do more cooking anyway so it's not all bad. When we don't have a takeaway food option....ever someone else cooking is a real treat, even if it is inedible rubber squid coated in a strange sauce.
Now where was i? oh yes. Tarzan, hunting. He wanted to go fishing but the fishing charter boat was busy taking people snorkelling. So Tarzan looked elsewhere. He found a local fisherman who had a banana boat. A tinny type boat with an outboard on the back.

Vincent goes out fishing most days to catch fish to sell to support his family. He uses hand lines and catches all his bait. To catch the first bait he uses hand lines with a plastic bag tied to the hook, or trawls with a small hook with a feather on it. Bait is usually a nice pan sized tuna or similar. Bait i say???? i'll just eat that thanks! Apparently not. So they then put this on a big hook, on the end of a hand line, and trawl. The first trip they got the biggest yellow fin Tuna i have ever seen......
I can't believe they caught it, let alone on a hand line?!

I thought it was a fluke, s when da came over they went out again with Vincent. This time they caught......

A freaking Marlin! My father spent years fishing at Bermagui trying to catch one and never did, now he comes to PNG and hooks one in a banana boat.

And on a HAND line?!

We didn't get to eat the fish, as it was Vincent's livelihood. But second time out, Tarzan asked Vincent if they could catch a few extra 'bait fish" for our esky. They filled it up!

So i cooked up my favorite..... Sesame seared tuna with a wasabi beurre blanc sauce served with a soba noodle salad. YUM!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bras, bras, bras!

So the call was put out for any unwanted secondhand bras and undies. The boobs around here are in serious need and they don't mind if they are second or even third hand. ;) A bra is a bra and better than none. Same goes for undies! I was blown away by the amount that were sent to mum and dad's. Mum and dad packed light and filled their suitcases with the underwear, Dad was a little concerned what he'd say if anyone looked through his bag, but fortunately it didn't some to that!
I sorted then into sizes with the help of my brother. He reckons he's an expert in cup size *rolleyes*. We packed them into bags and walked to the village next door. We set up on a big bag on the ground and the word went around that people in need could pop over. They started filing in, mostly too shy to come right over, but with a lot of encouragement we were soon surrounded by boobs of all shapes and sizes to fit all donations. ;-). After a quick assessment i guesstimated a size, there was lots of laughing a bit of trying on, swapping etc. and then they disappeared with their new goods!
The rule was one each, and no hoarding for your friends! There was certainly excitement in the air, people didn't stop saying thank-you, and kissing my leg, which was kind of weird........ but some strage way of showing gratitude here. Everyone was amazed that i had friends in Australia who would donate all this underwear to them and wanted me to pass on their thanks.... I'm not going to kiss your legs, but i will say thanks. :-p

So a massive thanks for all of you who collected, posted and delivered bra's to my mum and Dad's. Your donations made for some VERY happy Papua New Guineans. There is apparently more underwear waiting for me when i head home in three weeks, so i will bring that back and share the love in another village.

Bek- your kids undies were a massive winner. The boys didn't even mind having a pink pair!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I have so much to blog about, but i kind of feel like there is so much i don't know where to start..... just like the washing, i guess it gets easier once you start right?? Might just start with how shitty i'm feeling.....

It's harvest season here, they are harvesting the sugarcane to crush and the mosquitos that used to reside in the cane are now mobile and infecting victims faster than you can say "i've got Malaria"

Tarzan was first to drop, he started just feeling a bit off with a headache so he went down for a test. Positive, but i flew to Aus the next morning and let him ride it out on his own. He seemed to do ok. Then Lu was next. She presented with a fever, vomiting and crankiness, too her down for a test and it too was positive. She got over her very quickly, but managed to perforate her eardrum while we were on w weekend away at the beach. She was swimming and got hit in the side of the head by a big wave. That night she started screaming and wouldn't stop. I took her into the local hospital only to be told "Sorry we don't have an oroscope(thing to look in ears) , give her panadol and come back tomorrow, one of the other doctors may have one" ?! She was much better the next day, so we headed home and she was unhappy most of the trip saying her ear hurt, so we took her to the clinic here and discovered she had a perforated ear drum and an infection in the other ear. So a round of AB's and she's on the mend.

Tarzan came in one morning to tell me she had vomited again. I went in and she was fine. I then went in to LMS's room and discovered she was the cause of the smell. So we took her down for a test and sure as eggs she was +ve for Malaria. She couldn't keep anything down, not even breast milk, so she was given a course of injections and then admitted to the clinic for some IV fluids. She was limp and quiet. Very odd and disconcerting to see her like that. I was thankful that the clinic was there, but far out, you should see the state of it. For a tourniquet they used the end of a rubber glove. I asked them if that was their only tourniquet and they cheerfully replied "no, we have this one" While holding up a strip of tyre tube rubber?! At least all the needles and IV equipment was in fresh new packets and handled well, in a sterile way. They staff are great, but wow, talk about under funded, under equipped, under everything! When i first went to the drs for one of the kids the Dr didn't have a stethascope?! Her's broke and it was a lot of money to get a new one. So my rockin' mum bought one in Aus and gave it to her when she came over. They have an ultrasound machine, but no transducers, yanno, the bit that goes on your body and makes the pictures work? Kind of like having a car with no wheels. It was donated by rotary like that?! Not that i'm dissing rotary, but sheesh, surely you'd look a little more into what you were donating, rather than giving a useless box to someone? Super mum is looking into that too and hopefully can get her hands on some transducers for it.

Anyway, i digress, LMS is just finishing her last tablet tomorrow and has finally stopped vomiting. She had her first solid food after 5 days and is looking much better. Just when i though i might get a nights sleep i woke at 3 am feeling a little off. By morning my body felt heavy and i was weak. I thought i should go and have a test. By the time i got to the clinic my body was aching, my wrist felt badly sprained, my back was aching like i had done a disc, and i had a general feeling that all my bones might explode. Since testing positive and having an injection, i have been in bed, mainly feeling sorry for myself.

I started this post a few hours ago and it has taken 4 shots, between needing to feint and lie down or just spew it hasn't been my brightest day. Although i must be getting better because i'm getting bored of lying dawn, although that is the only position everything doesn't hurt.

Given all that, Malaria isn't as scary as i thought it would be, yes it can be fatal, but so can influenza. Most deaths are because people are not treated adequately or soon enough. Sure there are some exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions. Having Malaria around here is no big deal, infact i feel like a whinger just talking about it on my blog. Most of the Nationals get it a few times a year, take the meds, suck it up and go to work. Occasionally they have a sick day but not often. The Dr did tell me it tends to hit white people harder as our immune systems are weaker than people who grew up here. Maybe she was just trying to make me feel better.....

I can't get my brain to work well to incorporate some pics into text, so they are all just here.... this is the clinic. 3 beds available. hope you don't mind sharing. ;) (the last pic is of the tourniquet they used to put a cannula in LMS)

I'm going to lie down.