02 October, 2008

supper invite!

Tonight we got an invite to our good friend Donna's house for a Morrocan supper. Donna's a good cook who enjoys having her friends over from time to time and feeding them exotic food from around the world. I really don't know how she does it. Here's a photo of my lovely wife Clare, our friend Dan and the aforementioned Donna. Another thing I really don't know about Donna is where she gets all her Japanese house decorations. I know she gets a lot of stuff at second-hand shops in town.

A word about second-hand shops in PNG: you never know what you are going to find in them. They sell mainly used clothing from Australia and New Zealand, (I buy most of my clothes at second-hand shops), but they usually also have a delightfully random assortment of garage sale items as well and it is astomishing some of the stuff that turns up in these places. One of the MK's here even came back with a bowling ball once. I usually find obscure old sci-fi or fantasy books, which is great because other than Christian book stores, I don't think I've ever seen a book store in PNG. I got a very nice laptop computer bag once for $3. Sometimes people will go to a second-hand shop looking for old leather jackets that they end up making into motorcycle seat covers. Good stuff. Perhaps the greatest thing about second-hand stores is the prices--Donna is always on the look-out for silver stuff--once she got a nice silver teapot for about US $1.50, and has found other silver cups and sugar bowls, etc. Why silver gets sent to PNG with shipments of used clothes is beyond me. I once found a set of 2 silver cups, in a velvet presentation case and engraved as a reward for a tennis doubles championship for US $4. I think the thing that surprised me most about second-hand shopping was the time I bought a set of 6 mis-matched heavy silver forks for $2 and when I got them home I was cleaning them up and found that one of them had my initials stamped in the back! They had obviously been stamped there by somebody after the fork left the factory, which is a little bit weird, but how much stranger that that very fork should eventually find its way into a second-hand shop in PNG where it was bought by an American missionary with the same initials?

Anyway, supper was marvelous. That's one of the things I really like about living here in this community--none of your friends are very far away and it's easy to get people to come over for supper if you want to. I'd say that we get invited out or inivte others over to our place almost once a week, sometimes more often. Afterwards we hung out and socialised for a few hours--there was one couple there who I don't usually spend much time with, so I appreciated getting a chance to chat with them for a while.

Clare was feeling much better today, so that's a relief. Our paralysed dog at the work shop is still paralyzed, but was a bit more active today. Our stocktake is going well, hopefully we'll be done with it around noon tomorrow. I know that my Papua New Guinean co-workers are eager to be done with stocktake, and who can blame them? It can be really tedious. But from where I stand it looks to me like the guys have done a terrific job. Normally, stocktake is a terrifically mind-numbing and frustrating experience, but this time there seems to have been significantly less stress than normal. Maybe we're just getting a better handle on the process, now.

Well, it's just about midnight here, so I'm gonna call it a night.

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