On Papua, New Guinea, Indonesia, at the Freeport job site, spouses of mine employees are not permitted to work or drive. Since there is only one place I might be qualified to work, at the school, and since there is really no place to drive to, this is not at all hard to understand. Sharing this information with others, however, inevitably leads to the question, “So what are you going to DO?” Or, “So what are YOU going to do?” The last six or seven times that I saw someone preparing to pose the question, I plugged my ears and said, “La la la la la la.
The question is valid. Ideally I’d love to continue teaching university level German online, but, again, this is Papua, New Guinea, Indo., and who knows how reliable the Internet is? Plans are in progress to bring a fiber optic connection across the ocean, so we are optimistic that it will at least be possible to video chat with loved ones…sporadically. I’m curious to see whether there are fellow actors and musicians there.
I also have me a beautiful coloring book and a bunch of books on Audible. There’s the language Bahasa Indonesia to learn. I’m taking my wonderful Yamaha digital piano in the sea shipment, so in 4-6 months when it arrives, I’ll start learning a new Chopin Polonaise or something. And I will offer to volunteer at one or both of the K-8 schools in town.
In the “Guide for Ladies Moving to Jobsite” (they’re presuming a lot using the term ‘ladies’), it states there are at least two fitness centers, one with a pool, and there’s an outdoor pool and bar in the lowlands, if one wants to take the bus down; and an 18-hole golf course there as well. A weekend golf bus is available. My golf game stinks, so perhaps now’s the time to hone my skills. At 6,500 feet there’s the Lupa Lelah Club, a library, some mosques and some churches, where services are held in Indonesian. An English service is held weekly at the library. There are numerous annual events such as Halloween party (better take the Ozzie and Sharon costumes along!). There’s a women’s luncheon at the Lupe for viewing the Melbourne Cup horserace live. They have events to celebrate Indonesian Independence Day and to honor a leader in the fight for women’s rights. There is the Tembagapura Ladies Club for community involvement and cultural exchange, and craft classes, fitness classes, a creativity group, a book club, quilting and Bible studies.
Acquaintances from our hometown were back from Tembagapura recently, and came to our house to answer some questions. And to drop off some food items for us to include in our sea freight. Food cannot be shipped by air. Alcohol, batteries, cell phones, clothing over $250, electronics, explosives and cleaners, prescription drugs and PRINTERS are also verboten; just to name a few items. Also no porn or toys. What? No toys?
The last two weeks, I have been giddy shopping online and going to stores for things we just MUST have over there. Like bedding that fits the non-American sized mattresses and a dehumidifier. I also bought a cocktail dress for the formal affair in October.
I am going to miss these two !!
Part of my brain is already there, dreaming of setting up a new household, exploring the few gravel roads in town, meeting more of the ladies there, forging friendships and seeing our old pals Brad and Sandy! It’s easy to get lost in the dreams until the joys of Spearfish, friends and home reel me back onto this continent. Like playing for the wedding of Tracy and Nate today at our church, and looking forward to the next June wedding of friends. Like grabbing diminishing opportunities to meet up with good friends one last time: the piano ladies, the college ladies, old friend Muriel, cousins and nieces. Like planning for Mom’s care; and the realization that our daughter still has to undergo ACL knee surgery before we leave!