Thursday, November 15, 2012

Andrew's Blog

Have you visited Andrew's blog?  If you'd like to know about vehicle rescues, bridge crossing problems, international travel and many other fascinating topics related to being a missionary motorbike mechanic, visit and read stories written from Andrew's unique perspective.  As of this week you can subscribe by email, and have new entries come direct to your inbox.

For those of you who would rather see pictures of family life than of vehicles and machinery, here is a photo that you won't find on Andrew's blog:

Winter may be approaching for many of you, but that's certainly not the case here in Papua New Guinea.  While there is no chance of riding in a sleigh, Levi and Heidi are enjoying their rides in a one dog open wagon!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vegetable Morning

Everyday living is certainly different here from when we are in our home countries.   Here is a list of the jobs I did this morning, most of which I have never done outside PNG:

-Went to the morning vegetable market, buying from local sellers who go home again at 8am


-Planted parsley seeds (dried herbs and spices are expensive to buy here)
-Roasted and shelled fresh peanuts (with 'help' from Levi).
-Rescued Heidi from the hot red pepper she put in her mouth (though actually she seemed to be enjoying it).
-Washed dishes by hand (yes, I know that many of you do this too!)
-Soaked vegetables in a bleach solution to make sure they were safe to eat (as you can see, we have a good selection).


-Prepared and cooked 'veggie-bean casserole' using food bought at the market.

I also make yoghurt and tortillas on a fairly regular basis.   As you may know, I'm really not someone who is fast or efficient when it comes to doing jobs around the home.  Given the work that is involved in producing healthy meals from scratch, as well as the dust and mud that easily gets brought into our house, I'm really glad that we are able to employ Hana, who lives in a local village, to help with household jobs one and a half days a week.

I'll soon be taking on more responsibilities at Ukarumpa International School.  I don't see how I would be able to do this without Hana to help me at home and with the children.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Explanation of our Ukarumpa Food Basket

Here is more information, for those who are interested, about how I came up with the prices referred to in the last blog post:

A market basket is a collection of items economists use to measure inflation. I tried to gather a basket of goods that most closely resembled the market baskets used in the
US and the UK. Of course I couldn't collect exactly the same items that are used in our home countries. For instance, I used UHT boxed milk, as fresh milk isn't available in our store. I didn't include fruit and vegetables because oranges and apples (which I was planning to put in the basket) are out of stock here right now.

I found prices for UK and US items on supermarket websites. I chose the cheapest items; although these may not have been closest in quality to the ones available here, they are the items that we would purchase if we were living in our home countries. Here are detailed figures:

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Price of Food

One of the most common questions we get asked is, "What do you eat?" The photo below was taken in the store here in the Ukarumpa centre. As you can see, we are fortunate to have access to basic food supplies. We generally have an adequate range of key ingredients, though we can never guarantee that a particular product will be in stock at the time we need it! Since getting back from Home Leave, we've already gone through one week when there were no eggs for sale at all.

What might you expect to pay for these products? Here is what we would need to pay for them in various locations and at different times:

Cheapest US Price
Cheapest UK Price23
Current Ukarumpa Price51
2004 Ukarumpa Price

(For more information about how I came up with these figures, see our next blog post)

I won't pretend to understand all the reasons for these price differences. I do know that some of these items are imported specially because they are not items that Papua New Guineans would normally use. The increase in strength of the Papua New Guinean Kina against the dollar and pound has made a big difference to us over the last several months; this is one of the reasons that the basket of food above costs more than twice as much as it did in 2004, when Andrew was already living here and I was preparing to come. And of course all of you will have noticed the increase in food prices worldwide over the last few years.

Fortunately we are able to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and beans from local growers at an early morning market here on the centre. The prices are often lower than they would be in our home countries, and so we are eating a lot of market produce right now!

Increased cost of food is one reason why our expenses are significantly higher than they have been in the past. Of course we also have one more mouth to feed now. So far, Heidi seems to be enjoying food as much as the rest of us do!

Praise God:
-Levi has been healthy and happy since we sent out our January update asking you to pray.
-For financial support from a range of sources.
-For those who keep the store stocked with basic ingredients for cooking.
-I (Clare) am balancing my time and energy better.
-Two new Wycliffe members will soon be arriving to work at Autoshop.

Please Pray:
-That we will receive sufficient support each month to cover our outgoings. (Our positions are
non-salaried and so we rely on God to provide for our needs through churches and individuals).

Saturday, January 7, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR, one and all!

January finds us back in Florida, at Opa and
Oma Koens's house. We made it back here in time to
celebrate Christmas and New Year with them, which was
nice. As I (Andrew) write this, it looks like we are
finally done with our US travelling, and are taking a deep
breath before beginning our 6 day trip back to Papua New

We are doing well, overall, though Levi has been
struggling with a persistent infection of some sort. He
has had fairly high fevers now and then as well as
diarrhea and vomiting. We have taken him to a couple of
doctors, (one while we were still in Tennessee and another
here in Florida), and he is currently on antibiotics, so
hopefully that will get him sorted out.

This month's photo is of Opa, me and Levi all
building a gingerbread house together:

Here are some things to pray about:

--pray with us for healing for Levi
--praise the Lord with us for safety during the last two
months, in which we have driven nearly 7,000 miles!
--pray with us for safe travels during the next few weeks
as we fly back to PNG
--pray with us for the Lord's continued financial
provision as we return to Ukarumpa, where basic living
expenses for our family, such as food and utilities, have
increased by around $300/£200 each month