So, stuff about Lae, Papua New Guinea.
There was unrest here about two weeks ago and a State of Emergency was declared. We left and went to Kokopo. Actually we were doing this anyway, so it was pretty good timing. Kids missed a week of school, except the school was closed the whole time so they’d have missed it whatever happened. People got killed – many of them by the police – and the whole place was in lockdown for about five days. Still rumours going around that it will flare up again. It wasn’t actually very serious for us at all, it mostly happened in the settlements arond the town, but we are all still looking forward to going back home in December for a break. Xmas is a notorious time for breakins and carjackings anyway.
I’m sitting in the freezing cold offfice at the security firm waiting to get a panic button installed into my car so if anything happens I can get it GPS tracked and set off the panic alarm.
Our hausmari managed to fight off her evil brother only have her former husband reappear and start hassling her for similar reasons. Years ago, he ran out on her for another woman, but then when she starts earning money he shows up again and starts laying claim to her becuase they were never propery divorced. I think he has gone now as well, she got a restraining order. Her life is fricken unbelievable.
One other thing – when people here get sick they think it is sorcery. First they go to the western doctor and if that doesn’t work straight away they assume someone has cast a spell on them. One guy I was talking to got someone called the ‘Doctor of Doctors’ to reverse the spell on his wife so that her symptoms (abdominal pain, fecal blood, vomiting) woud be transferred onto the person who had cast a spell on her. I’ve heard similar stories from others: “oh we thought it was sorcery but turns out it is just cerebral malaria.” Phew.
Our malaria meds were miscalculated and we have about a week here with no protection before we go back to get more. Time to break out the Aerogard.