maybe moving to PNG

We might be moving to Papua New Guinea.

My wife had a promising interview for a 2- or 3-year position as an advisor. We think she’s going to get the job but are waiting for definite confirmation from the powers that be, who are taking their sweet time. So we are kinda nervous.

The position is in Lae, which is apparently a lot like the previous place we lived in the Pacific (Honiara), but the criminals have guns. Security is a big issue there, but we’re told it’s safe if you are careful. Last time we had guards and lived behind barbed wire fences in a compound, so I am guessing this will be much the same, except you also need guards when you go out, sometimes.  

We’ll be going over for a scouting tour in May maybe, and then unless it looks totally unliveable, moving over there in June or July. I’m hoping we can delay it until August or Septeber, because I had a conference lined up in July, in Greece, and I don’t want to miss out on that.

If she gets it I’m going to do an online masters degree in social research and business ethics.

If she doesn’t I’m gonna, um, do that anyway, I think, part-time.

Anyway I wish they’d let us know because not knowing if you are moving to a new country in three months time is kinda stressful. I have a feeling they are going to tell us in April and then say “position starts in June.”  Because that is the sort of thing they do.

So that’s what’s on my mind lately.

This entry was posted in Education, Ethics, The Law, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to maybe moving to PNG

  1. k- says:

    Wow. That is some big news. And when you say ‘advisor’ do you mean for the government? Your wife must be damn smart. Good job landing that lunch ticket. Sexist blabbering aside, that is pretty nerve wracking having such a big question mark looming on the horizon. And won’t that put quite a damper on the musical performances?
    Also, I fucking hate those barbed-wire gated compounds. They scream ‘We’re Expats and we’re scared!’ But it must be bad if you need a guard to travel around town. You sure you want to go to PNG?

  2. Great Southern Steve says:

    Sorta working for the PNG government but paid by the Australian one.

    Yes my wife is damn smart.

    My thougts on the sexist blathering could be the subject of another post. I know you’re kidding. Other people in my life aren’t.

    The music stuff is only sporadic anyway so I will continue to do it when we come back for reunion visits (they pay for those once every 3 months or something, otherwise people go crazy).

    I don’t really like the “scared, gated expat compound” thing either, but in reality, if we lived undefended, we’d be pretty likely to be robbed, and maybe worse than robbed if we were home at the time.

    Yes we do want to go. We have had to work through a lot of “pros and cons analysis” to reach that decision, though. But we have done this sort of thing before and it was awesome and really helped us grow as a family. So this is a big new challenge for us, and, the work is really important, and she’s really good at it.

    Anyway it hasn’t happened yet but it might.

  3. Great Southern Steve says:


  4. janet5 says:

    Whoa. Cool. Although I think the gated compound issue is scary. But I’ll take your word that the alternative is not really an alternative.

    And to give you a sense of where my brain is, I thought K- was being ironic, not sexist, since from what I can determine you do not have to be too sharp of a tack to work for the US government. Although I guess that makes me a reverse xenophobe.

    Now for my geographical ignorance: how long does it actually take you to get from Adelaide (presuming a stopover/change of plane or two) to Lae? Um, yeah – I could look at a map. But I have no real sense of distance, in any event. When A**hole Colleague #1 moved to Singapore, she told me that she felt she’d be “so much closer to home” (Marshall Islands) since it was only a seven hour flight. This upended my brain for a little while. And actually she is from Connecticut but I did not press the point.

    I still remember that photo you posted to PP of a shipwreck in Honiara. . .

  5. steve says:

    You have to be pretty smart to work for the Australian government overseas. Any old stooge can work for the Australian government in Australia.

    Flight to Brisbane is 2 hours. Flight to Port Moresby is 2 and a half. I think you don’t actually leave the Port Moresby airport if you can help it. Customs will take forever. Port Moresby to Lae is about half an hour.

    The road from Lae airport to Lae town is quite long and badly potholed. That’s one of the places you need the guards. The ‘raskols’ set up road blocks along the highway and try to carjack people. Eeek.

    I wish they’d tell us soooooooon!!!!!

  6. Costa says:

    Considering how fucking batshit Greece is these days, consider it a sort of blessing to maybe avoid that?

    Also, holy shit sounds rad.

  7. steve says:

    fair point. I have been to Greece before and it was awesome but that was 12 years ago.

    and yeah it does sound rad but FUUUUCK I wish they’d hurry up and let us know.

  8. steve says:


    They just rang me from Canberra to ask for my wife!!!!

    She’s at work!!!!!!


  9. steve says:

    she got it.


    OK, no more updates until we go an a reccy mission to see if its liveable.

  10. janet5 says:

    Congratulations. I have just been Google-earthing it. Of course, I started this about an hour ago and am still roving around the South Pacific. Fascinating.

  11. Alex says:

    Congrats! I guess that means I should probably finally get around to sending you that mix I promised you all those months ago….

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