Saturday morning provided a rare sunny day in Tembagapura, so Todd and I canvassed the entire town top to bottom to top again.
Here are some images from our trek.
It’s all about the adventure:
In a country where tribes still war, before the freight has arrived, before Wi-Fi is installed in your apartment, and without a TV you have to improvise. This manifests itself in a variety of realitites:
Realizing there probably won’t be a bus to Timika this weekend for golf or shopping because of the TRIBAL UNREST!
Accepting that you are the wife and will NOT be given legal access to the bank account.
Tethering your phone to the computer in order to create a Wi-Fi hotspot
Using superglue from artificial nail kit to plug the ant path and to fix the knob on the bathroom drawer
Transferring cleaning liquids from pouches to used water bottles so they don’t spill
Going without a nightcap because the bar closes at 8:30 – every day.
Learning how to put money on the phones in a SIM card system wondering why your call got cut off when you appear to still have money.
Where to get mail and send letters
Accepting that there will not always be Internet
Trusting that the lake in the back yard will subside
Buying jeans at the Hero store and hemming with a motel sewing kit
Ordering pad Thai and chicken soup at an Indonesian restaurant because you can’t read the menu.
Rejoicing at 14 boxes at the DHL office that we have to get ourselves without a car
Walking everywhere – uphill
Shopping at the store
with your face buried in your phone for translations
Reheating food on the stove and toasting bread in the oven.
Buying UHT (ultra pasteurized milk) because there’s usually no fresh milk.
Snacking on Crab Crackers in place of tortilla or potato chips.
And tolerating the high-decibel aerobics class from across the alley: dance music, screaming and all.
AND LOVING IT!!
Flying without an unexpected delay is unusual for me, but again, as in February, we avoided one. Though, instead of a three hour layover in LA, we had to race to our Hong Kong flight, because construction at LAX caused us to delay departure from Dallas/Ft. Worth. Once snugly buckled into our Lay Z Boys on a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777, champagne in hand, plane far from being loaded, the 14 and a half hour flight to Hong Kong was much the same as in February.
Certainly the fact that we are moving half way around the world is exciting. But often focusing on the small stuff along the way is just as entertaining and makes the whole concept less daunting. For example, I get to delight in the simple action of using the restroom on a Cathay Pacific 777. Before takeoff, I set out for my usual trek to the lavatory. The one on my side was occupied, and I waited what I thought was very patiently. The young male Chinese flight attendant apparently saw the slight level of discomfort on my face, and rushed to the lavatory on the other side, returned with an enormous grin, and reported that it was indeed vacant. He ushered me there proudly (it was 15 feet away). A short time later when the same attendant came to deliver the evening’s menu, he again apologized that I had had to wait. He has no idea.
Perhaps you aren’t as interested in airplane loos, but I spend a lot of time there, so I also enjoy the fact that these are cleaned after each use; and that there are live orchids in them. I know from experience that this will not be the case in Indonesia. There one should bring one’s own toilet paper, and the floor is likely to be wet from all the spraying with the kitchen-like sprayer that is used in lieu of TP. As Jimmy Fallon says, “Aieeww.”
There’s another important difference between flying Economy and Business, and this is the airport lounge. Yes, we each had a shower in Hong Kong in a luxurious private shower/bathroom. The guilty conscience was not enough to deprive me of relishing this rare pleasure on an international flight. The free buffet wasn’t bad either.
Was it Snagglepuss who said, “Exit stage left?” We are allowed 1,000 pounds of airfreight, and a “reasonable” amount to send in a sea container. The movers came two weeks ago to pack our boxes and load the sea items. Once they arrived, someone remembered that, though 1,000 lbs. would easily fit into 4 large boxes of 250 lbs. each (which is what they brought), each box is only permitted to be 65 lbs. So those 4 large boxes wouldn’t work, and someone had to bring some smaller ones from Rapid City. This, along with the fact that two of the men were on their first day on the job, and didn’t see any problem with just placing the items in boxes with barely any cushioning. It will be interesting to see what makes it in one piece. If you recall, you cannot just go shop for new things in Tembagapura. There is only one store (do you remember the old Gambles stores?), and the stock varies each week.
I feel we can live without a lot of the comforts of home for a time. The airfreight may arrive within a month. The sea, on the other hand, could take up to 6 months. And that is where we stupidly put the microwave. And my piano!
On July 14th, Todd and I sped around town filling last-minute prescriptions to last a year, making a bank run, and quick stops for rushed good-byes. I was determined not to allow myself a “snot fest” (I pirated this from another Tembagapura blogger), and was mostly successful. All the while daughter Lizzy packed up her car for return to East River South Dakota, where she’ll finish therapy on her knee, on-line courses, and gaining flying hours. She was very brave and only dropped a tear or two in our presence.
Our friends Kris and Woody Hayes helped send us off, and Woody drove us 50 miles to the airport in Rapid City.
So-long for now. We are very excited and positive about this trek, fully aware of the challenges that face us.