26 February, 2012

Back Into the Swing of Things

Well, we've been a month back in PNG now and you can hardly even tell that we were ever gone. Motorcycles, chainsaws, generators, big airstrip mowers, small lawnmowers, ATV's, and other small engine powered machines are pouring in and I'm beginning to feel like I need to slow them down again somehow.

Clare is adjusting to having two children in the house now, Levi is about 90% done with potty training, and Heidi continues to radiate good will towards all with her big smile. Here she is posing with our duffel bag, which got lost somewhere between Tampa, FL and Brisbane, AUS and arrived here just over 1 month after we did:

In other news, I offered to go pick up the Language Survey Team from an area they were surveying near Lae. I took a friend with me and we left a day early so that we could get some shopping done in Lae before picking up the survey team. We had a productive trip, we got very nearly all of the things we were looking for (which is surprising) and all was going well. On the morning that we were to pick up the team, we found that we had one last errand to do before we could go, so off we went to do it. We were headed to a business that niether of us had ever been to before and had only vague directions on how to get there. While trying to find it, this happened:

Yup! While slowly driving through a fairly busy neighborhood, a group of several men tried to hold us up. One ran out in front of us with a rusty old revolver and started waving it around, while another stood on the side of the road with a big slingshot. 1 or 2 more stood near him, waiting for us to stop so that they could rob us. I think that the one with the gun was supposed to distract us from the real danger, the man with the slingshot.

I long ago decided that in cases like this, nothing improves if you stop, so I mashed the throttle to the floor and held down the horn button to warn the man with the gun that he was in danger of being run over. Eventually he jumped out of the way, but not before his buddy with the slingshot managed to damage our windshield. I labelled it "Attempted Hold-up #2" as this is the second time that I have driven through an attempted hold-up in PNG. It's the third time I was in a car that somebody tried to hold-up, but only the second where I was the driver.

Thankfully, the whole thing was pretty much over in about 20 seconds and nobody was hurt. I was more annoyed than anything, especially as the insurance on our rental vehicle carries a $500 deductible that my passenger and I have to pay!

These things happen from time to time, and not just here.

In other news, my parents have sold my old Ford Ranger, which has featured a time or two in this blog. I'm a little sad, as I did rather like that truck, but also glad because now I have extra bills to pay, (like half of the $500 insurance deductible).


liz said...

I'm so glad the bag made it to you safely. Sorry about writing on the bag itself but my other attempt at a label just peeled off too easily.

Andrew the Mechanic said...

No problem! I had written our name on it once before, (well, it was just my name back then), but they tend to fade off over time anyway. Thanks for all your help!

Andrew the Mechanic said...

humbugtru--I didn't publish your comment because it had somebody's name in it--I know about the event you refer to, and I can only say that I took a calculated risk. I've decided that nothing improves when you stop for raskols. I would really like to talk to you, to hear more of your story, but I can't seem to figure out any other way to communicate with you. I hope that you get this, please feel free to write to me, a.koens(at)sil.org.pg