We returned from house building on Wednesday and here is a summary of the first part of moving all the supplies. I wrote most of it while we were gone at the end of the day as a quick summary.
Saturday July 18, 2015
Woke up, finished packing. Jeremy picked us up with truck filled. We delivered the load to the Manam. I stayed with the load and Zach went back to get the next load and drop Jeremy off at Rukes shipping, who would handle the pick up of the timber and drums. Other load came, and we waited for timber. Soon rain came, which was the first rain we’d seen in Madang for a while! We moved everything under tarps and then in the boat. Still waited. We didn’t know a whole crew came with the boat rental…about 7 guys to help load everything…we could not have done this without them.
Lumber and drums came about 11 am, but cement came a little before. Lots of lumber. My first thought was…how is this all going to fit in this boat? I asked someone and they said it would. We found a fork lift to help us, which we later learned would charge us. It unloaded, and we and the crew started moving everything. The crew all went into the hull to arrange the timber…they had done this before.
I believe we got everything in around 4pm. The crew ate dinner, and Zach and I went back to eat as well as grab some food for Jeremy. We went back to the boat a little before 5, and left a little after 5.The first few hours of the boat trip were some of my favorite moments in PNG. Zach, Jeremy, and I all sitting on the roof of the boat, riding off into the sunset. We saw dolphins, and rode the huge swells. The last several hours were some of the worst in PNG. Jeremy got sick, Zach felt sick, and it took everything in me just to hold it together. I remember around 10 o’clock at night just laying on top of the fuel drums, holding on to the railing as the boat went up one swell and down another. It was kind of miserable. We stopped at Basamuk (a calm bay) around 11pm and stayed the night there. Zach, Jeremy and I all slept on the cover of the hull that night.
Sunday July 19, 2015
We woke up around 3:20am and left a little before 4. I slept the whole time…mostly because I didn’t feel sick when I slept. We showed up to Billiau around 7am, and started unloading the ship. Two dinghys came to help which we had arranged ahead of time. They loaded up wood and shuttled it to the beach where it was unloaded by lots of Maweroro people who came to help us.
We flipped a coin to see who would go back to Madang to get the next shipment, and I won the coin toss, so I headed back after everything was unloaded with two guys from Maweroro to get the next shipment. Made it back to Madang and got the guys settled. Slept the whole way home, along with everyone else on the boat…except the captain…I hope. I slept in my own bed that night, and felt like someone who had come back from war and should be out sleeping in the war with everyone else.
Monday July 20
Woke up, dropped Maweroro guys off at the wharf with the Manam. I went to get the lumber. Went to the trucking company first, then rode with the truck and driver to the lumber company. Located all lumber, didn’t think it was going to fit on the truck, but it did along with all the posts, and the last 6 drums of fuel.
After loading everything on the truck, we brought it to Mopi bridge where the Manam was waiting for us. There was no forklift this time to help, so we had to unload all the timber by hand. Later though, a fork lift came and helped us. We started loading everything on the boat, but it wasn’t fitting. They had to get gas, but the guy with the money went home, and the gas station closed at 7…plus no one could find the captain. By this time it was night and I realized we wouldn’t be heading out until the next day. I wasn’t sure if I should stay or go home. 6 drums of fuel and about 1/4 of our timber was still just sitting out, and it was dark already, and I didn’t want Cameron to come pick me up at this time of night…so I decided to stay the night. Slept out on a pile of timber all night. It actually was chilly and I wished I had a blanket around 3…but I did use my pillow. Guys were sleeping all over the place.
Tuesday July 21
In the morning, the boat crew unloaded everything from the boat, then reloaded and by around 2 or 3 in the afternoon they were done! They got fuel somewhere in there and came back. After coming back from getting fuel, the final lumber and drums were loaded on the side of the boat. They did this after getting fuel, because it covered up the spots where they actually had to put the fuel in. During this final loading time, everyone looked a little tense, or fearful about the amount of timber on the boat…but it all fit (kind of) and we decided to head out!
We left around 2:30pm and got to Biliau about 7:30pm. The Maweroro guys headed to shore, and I stayed on the boat. That night it rained pretty hard. There wasn’t really a dry place on the boat to sleep, but I tried. I’m not sure if the boat crew slept, it seemed like they stayed up all night playing cards. Around 2am, they woke me up and asked me if I wanted coffee…I said no….it was still nice though for them to ask. Didn’t really eat much during this time.
Wednesday July 22
Started moving stuff at daybreak. The same dinghies came, but we moved it to another location closer to the field. I stayed on the boat for the first part, then headed to shore to help carry stuff to the field. Met Jeremy, and saw all the Maweroro guys (about 30) who had come out to help us move! It was pretty sweet. We finished unloading everything off the Manam around 11am or so, and so I kept moving stuff to the field. While I was gone in Madang, Zach had flown into Maweroro to unload things that were flown in, and Jeremy had stayed in Biliau to manage the loading of materials. So at this point, I was gong to transition to loading the materials so Jeremy could fly into the tribe and start on the houses. Before he went, the pilots talked to us about needing more drums of fuel. We worked it out to send a dinghy to pick up four more drums of fuel and bring back some of the empty drums to Madang, where Cass (Zach’s wife) met him to oversea the hand-off. Jeremy flew into the tribe, and I stayed behind to oversee the flying in of the last loads of timber with the 3 pilots that came in from SIL.We finished the loads around 5:30pm, and I headed up to the Lutheran guest house for the night with the SIL pilots. Met with the administrator of the school whose field we had been using for the helicopter to try and resolve a conflict that had arisen over the use of the field. The last two nights I’d slept on a pile of wood, and on a deck of a boat, and this night I slept on a foam bed…so nice. And I was able to take a shower…or bath under a hose outside at least, and the 3 pilots from SIL and I had a good meal of rice and noodles.
Thursday July 23, 2015
Woke up in the morning at the Lutheran guest house, packed up. Found out Selmai(our contact in Biliau who we had sent to pick up the additional fuel drums) was still in Madang with the fuel drums. Paid for the house for 3 days…90 Kina. Went down to the field and started to measure everything again. I thought after making two more loads of 500kg that we had 3 loads left with me on one of them. Johannes thought we could spread it out, and we did so we only had 2! Tongue &groove was all together, we spread out posts to other places. Then 7 boxes of medical supplies came, which we put in the cab of the heli. I worked out with Jimmy(the captain of the Manam) the shipping of the empty drums, talked with Selmai about storing the empty ones, then moving to the Manam and storing full drums.
Went in the chopper with the last load after saying goodbye, and rode with the doors off…way better. Landed…kind of forgot what we were doing, hoping everything works out with the barrels at the beach. Settled in, unloaded, caught up a little, then started measuring houses. Setup the grid, but had problems getting all the sides right, but we made a right angle and worked from there. Came back , ate, so hungry because lunch and dinner were waiting for us(we missed lunch). Dinner was rice, noodles and green vegetables. We then met with some leaders and it went really well. Showered before writing this, so cold but felt great after. Stephan came and storied a little. Reading, remembered I didn’t give Cameron Jimmy’s #. Will send it tomorrow, but there is no cell phone network. I can’t believe the moving is all over. I can’t believe it all worked out! God, thank you that we are here…please help us to get the house done quickly.