Debrief

Tonight–our team’s last here–I asked the guys some questions about their trip. Here are their responses. Warning: the subject of diarrhea comes up in this post. The most surprising thing from the trip Steve: We are building a normal house Harry: The Filipino airline refused to let us sleep through a meal Ryan: How much…

Building Team–Installment #2

From Steve Carson… I didn’t really have a frame of reference for what we were getting into coming to help the Osborns build their new home. I had seen some vague references to the native people of Papua New Guinea and fully expected to build something between a grass hut and the Swiss Family Robinson.…

Building Team–Installment #1

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…

Curses

This morning, when Wes and I arrived at our milling site we found a group of men gathered around the end of one of our logs. They were examining the tethered leaves in the picture above. No one would touch the bundle–at least not with skin. The group explained that an old-timer capable of sorcery…

Milling Around

The mill for slicing our trees arrived Monday. It’s been a week of slow progress with a steady supply of setbacks. I have ended each day with the thought, “But now we are ready to roll and tomorrow we’ll kill it.” I was wrong every time.

The PNG Way

Yesterday we cleared the grass where we plan to build our house. We saw–and killed–one death adder. Meanwhile, up the hill there was a dispute. Based on the shouting and the report from guys working with me, a woman chopped her daughter’s foot with a machete because of a disagreement in the garden. The daughter…

Waiting for a Mill

  Our trees were cut down about three weeks ago, but they still lie where they fell. I’m trying to figure out how to mill them. Here in Menya we have two options for slicing trees into lumber. The first is a chainsaw in a frame. As you can see from the stack, it cuts…

Making It Home

Yesterday we flew back to Menya after two days of frantic preparation. Our third time flying in with the whole family was also my third time scrambling through flight-day-eve delivering supplies to the hanger, cutting items from our load to meet the weight limit and toiling past midnight with last minute tasks. My least favorite…

Plywood Week

Last week was home school week for Elizabeth and the kids. For me it was plywood week which has stretched into plywood week and a half. My first task was painting our future plywood floor with two coats of polyurethane, sanding in between. I applied the polyurethane in the COC painting room–familiar turf. You can…