18 March, 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR! (belated by time zones!)
Okay, so maybe my Happy New Year's wishes haven't really been delayed by time zones--I mean, if the Earth were a million miles in diameter or if it were turning REALLY slowly, then maybe people might be able to live 3 months' worth of time zones apart. Instead of just 15 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time, which is the last time zone I lived in before coming here.
So every New Year's Eve at around midnight, all the kids who have bikes, (and a lot of the adults) go for a 45 minute ride around Ukarumpa. we try to hit all the roads that aren't dead ends, and we try to spread a little holiday cheer in the process. We do have a few rules--we have a tech inspection before the ride to make sure that everybody has some sort of headlight and tail light and also to make sure that nobody has removed their mufflers. We're not hooligans, we don't tear around at top speed. We get approval from the administration beforehand and we make sure that people are aware of what is going to happen so that nobody is surprised by it. It's usually a lot of fun. This past New Year's Eve it rained for the whole time, which means that we all ended up really muddy, but a good time was had by all nonetheless. The photo here was actually taken a few years ago when I was more active in the Ukarumpa Motorcycle Club, (in fact I was Vice President, as my temporarily tatooed knuckles proudly show). I'm not sure what that light running across my helmet is--maybe photographic proof of tiny UFO's?
Way too busy at work these days. I'm really glad that help appears to be on the way in the form of my friend Evan. Evan was here before as a short term guy with WA helping out at our training and orientation course in Madang. He was the mechanic and general handyman. He's also an ace welder. Anyway, we just got word that he has been accepted in the organisation, so tjhat's really good news. Looks like he'll be working at AutoShop, (YAY!), doing whatever we need doing, like motorcycle/small engine stuff, (double, nay, quadruple YAY!), and some welding. I imagine we'll find some training for him to do as well.
Finally! Relief appears to be on the horizon! For 8 years I've been the only motorcycle/small engine guy we have and over that time the work load has increased steadily as more and more people are riding bikes. Evan's not scheduled to get here before 2012, (BOO!), but there's always a chance that his support could come in sooner than expected and he could get here before that.