Our building team from home–our first visitors from America–arrived today. We are thrilled for the help and happy to see friends from home. Here are Ryan’s impressions of the trip…
Getting to Papua New Guinea was quite the experience for our 4-man team. It took us about three days and five flights to make it approximately 8,600 miles to Menya. Carrying 10 checked bags with about 500 pounds of supplies for the Osborns made the 15 hour layover in Manila a little more complicated than we’d planned, but getting all of that luggage and the four of us into a small hatchback taxi was quite funny.
After a shower and nap in Manila, we ate dinner at a local restaurant where we found out that “crispy danggit” is fried fish heads. They were a bit on the salty side and a little too chewy for our liking, but hey when are we ever going to have a chance to order some “crispy danggit” for dinner again.
On Monday night we boarded Air Niugini in Manila and began our final commercial flight into PNG. We arrived in PNG at about 6:30 AM on Tuesday morning and made our way through customs. Carrying as much luggage as we were attracted a little bit of attention in both Manila and Port Moresby, PNG but for the most part we made it through unscathed and pleasantly surprised.
Upon arriving in Port Moresby, PNG we were met on the other side of customs by a New Tribes representative who was going to escort us to the charter flight we were taking into Menya to meet-up with the Osborns. Steve and Donnell took us back to the NTM housing in Port Moresby while we waited for our Charter flight. The time at the NTM housing was a great few minutes to catch our breath, drink some coffee and let it sink in that we were actually in PNG.
The charter flight into Menya was one of the highlights of our travel, as it provided amazing views of the PNG coast and highlands; and gave us a great perspective on how spread out the people of PNG are.
Upon arriving in Menya, Joseph was waiting with water and freshly picked bananas. We then had a 10-15 minute truck ride to the Osborns house, and it is safe to assume that riding in the back of a truck in Greenville is not at all like riding in the back of a truck in the highlands of PNG. We were riding with some of the locals as Joseph followed on the 4-wheeler, and the truck was full of lumber and our bags as it bounced along what they referred to as a “road.”
After arriving at the Osborns temporary house we unloaded and had lunch. It was great time to catch-up and get some understanding of what lays ahead for us as we begin the building process for their new home.