It is a beautiful morning here at Kudjip Station. The sun is up but I cannot see it for the blanket of clouds and mist that is heavy in the sky. The birds are singing a happy melody from their perches in nearby trees. My children and husband are sleeping in a little later than usual and I am able to just sit and be. This does not happen often as life here is constant activity of one kind or another.
Our days are filled with Randy and I juggling who has work that needs to be done and who will stay home and take care of the home-front. There are meals to prepare, arguments to referee, dishes to wash, laundry to do, walks around station, dishes to wash, trips to the river, floors to sweep, playtime with friends, dishes to wash, owies to kiss, neighbors to greet, and lots of fun and laughter.
The norm is that there is always something different. This week for example we are going to Barnabas House to have dinner with a visiting Work & Witness team from Missouri on Friday night and we are hosting Jordan and Rachel Thompson for dinner on Saturday as they pack up and prepare to leave PNG for a time. Yesterday Scot Dooley and Randy took our combined 6 kids down to the river for an afternoon of fun in the sun and water.
Our work "normal" has changed here as well. I work at the Melanesia/South Pacific Field Office as the Field Treasurer for these two fields. I had learned in Port Orchard that as the kids got older it was too difficult to try to do my work at home so when it is my turn to work I walk down the road past 3 or 4 houses to get to the office. The accounting system we use is on-line which may not seem unusual to the average American, but it has significant implications here in PNG. Here the power is very unstable and when the national power goes out and the station generator has to kick in, it knocks out the internet everywhere on station except the Field office that has a back-up power supply. Then there is the internet itself which is brought to us via Satellite, but is the equivalent of dial-up service. Again, not so bad until you learn that there are some 30 registered users that must all share this service. You can see how all this complicates trying to do all the accounting on-line!
This is where Randy's job comes in! His main project right now is fixing the existing station networking and internet infrastructure so that the lower end of the station doesn't end up without any internet for months at at time anymore. Then he is working on trying to upgrade the service and manage the use of what we do have so that critical processes like e-mail and the online accounting and Facebook (probably not REALLY critical, but when it allows you to keep in touch with the folks back home it sure does seem that way) can happen at all times and things like YouTube, streaming video and uploading massive amounts of pictures has to wait until there is extra bandwidth available. The most common comment is that the internet is screaming fast at 2 am!
Well, the rest of the family has joined me, and while they are watching Dora instead of enjoying the quiet beauty of the morning, I think I will sign off and spend some time snuggling!