May 24, 2014

Hello as we wind down here at Kudjip,

I have to say first of all is that life here since the hydro plant began working is easier for me- and I believe I speak for many others. No longer do I have to be on call for that window of having electricity ( and therefore water) in order to cook a meal and do laundry. As you recall we had power outages so often, we had to take advantage of power when we had it and try to be as ready as possible for when we might get it. We also don’t have to babysit electronics that are being charged to help prevent damage from a power surge. The quality of life has definitely improved in our homes and at the hospital as reported by the surgeon here (I hope you read that letter he sent describing the difference now).

Wouldn’t you know…JUST as I write this we got a knock on the door. It’s raining pretty hard and coincidentally the houses just below us have had a black out. Well, it turns out a small hole in the box on the pole allowed water to get in and result in a short to those houses. Bill and Jordan just worked on it so it won’t get worse tonight and tomorrow ,when it’s drier, they’ll do a fix they hope is long term.

I had a cultural experience yesterday with a PNG traditional meal called a MooMoo. It’s a meal they prepare for special occasions- weddings, special community gatherings, etc. a college Work and Witness group visiting here requested it. A PNG lady and her husband who live across the road from us prepared it and invited me as well. It is a meal prepared in the ground. There is a large pit about 5′ diameter and about 3′ deep. They heat large hot stones in a nearby fire for a while and place them on the bottom of the pit and then there are several layers of different foods separated by layers of banana leaves. The layers were 1)a mixture of greens finely cut, chicken, local sausages, ginger, grated coconut, 2) whole chickens 3) cooking bananas 4) larger greens and some edible ferns, 5) cau cau (pronounced cow cow and a type of sweet potato. (Often I understand that a pig is cooked as well which takes much longer, of course). Hot rocks were abundant in each layer and finally all the layers were covered with banana leaves and a tarp. After 2 hours or so, they began removing the layers and it was obvious the food was steaming hot. The food was served on pieces of banana leaves and eaten with the fingers. They also had sides of pineapple (yummy!) and cucumbers (both locally grown ).

See you tomorrow….

Mrs. Kilowatt