Sunday, May 23, 2010


A few months ago I (Rachel) borrowed some knitting needles and decided that I was going to teach myself how to knit. I've crocheted for a several years and I wanted to try something new!
After knitting random trapezoids and a lopsided bag that took me WAY longer than it should have...I was ready to quit! UNTIL Gail Dooley came back from furlough (a four month assignment to America) and saved my knitting future. Apparently, she had learned to knit while she was back in the states and brought back, not only her knowledge, but an amazing stash of knitting supplies! She taught me how to make a hat and let me borrow all her stuff and now I've been knitting like CRAZY (just ask Jordan...I'm insane!) So far I've made 9 hats, 2 slippers (not a pair of slippers, two different slippers...I used scrap yarn and now can't make a matching slipper for either), and a mitten. I'm currently working on another hat and my first sock! It's fabulous!! :)
Some questions you may be asking yourself:

You live about a mile away from the equator and about two miles away from the sun...why are you making stocking hats?
-Three reasons...they are super fast and easy to make! For some strange reason, Papua New Guineans where stocking hats?? I guess it does get a little chilly in the morning?? AND I know other people who live in a land of ice and snow for 4 months out of the year...what better gift than a hat custom made for them!?!

Where do you get yarn?
- Yarn (or rope as it's called here) is sold EVERYWHERE! Every woman I know uses yarn to make things called bilums, which is basically a purse or bag. They use all different types of colors and patterns! Unfortunately, it's a very thin, cheap, acrylic yarn. When it's used to making a bilum they twist two strands of it together to make it stronger. BUT I've adapted my knitting to make it work...using two strands of it at a time as well.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures of my projects!! I used my students as my models. :) Oh, and this guy in the picture...his name in Pastor Dan. He works in maintenance with Jordan. He came over for lunch I gave him a choice out of 4 hats and he chose this one...I think he liked the pompom on top...go figure?

Thursday, May 6, 2010


If any form of digging where in the Olympics Papua New Guinea would bring home the gold every year. And as long as it was a summer sport they just might have a few medal sweeps (I don't think a PNG native would handle the winter to well).

Before we arrived in PNG I considered myself to be pretty handy with a shovel, spade, or any digging utensil. But digging next to a national, I feel like a one armed third grader. Using a spade is simply part of any Papua New Guinean's lifestyle. They are particularly good at digging what they call a barret, which is a square ditch to drain water from a garden, house, or anywhere you don't want excess water. When I say square ditch I mean square. There is great pride in digging a barret with strait sides and a flat bottom.

The picture above is from a project I started a few weeks ago. The hole is for the footing of a small building to house a new generator for the station (CAT Gen Set, all the way from Illinois). Before the ditch filled with rain water I took my framing square and set it on the bottom corner of the hole. Though I was impressed, I was not surprised to find that the ditch was perfectly square all the way around the 7meter by 6meter building. Just to humor them I took the level and checked several points in the ditch to find that the bottom was perfectly level (amazing since the only tool they had was a spade).

Normally the hole would have been dug by our backhoe, but since it is out of commission it had to be dug by hand. To my surprise it only took two days and three guys to dig out for the footings.

Whenever I am supervising a project I try to "get in there" and do the work with them as much as I can. But when it comes to any form of digging I just get out the way so I don't embarrass myself.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


So the other day I was doing a little digging with some of the maintenance workers and realized the names of the fellas I was working with. Simon, Peter, Paul, Matthew, Mark, and John. Except for Luke, we pretty much had the whole New Testament.
That's all, nothing to merit a long post but worthy of mentioning.