Saturday, March 17, 2012

Little House on the Hillside


On March 7, we said “goodbye” to the muggy PNG coast, and flew back to Ukarumpa in the much cooler PNG Highlands.  <sigh of relief>  Waiting for us to take up residency, was this cute bungalow—our home for the next…well, however long we’re allowed to live there.

We’re very grateful to be able to rent such a beautiful home for at least the next year.  There are a limited number of homes in Ukarumpa, and most of them are owned by individual families.  Those who do not own a home (like us) sometimes end up moving frequently as home owners come and go from furlough or other assignments.  Fortunately, the monthly rent does not change since it is determined by family size and not the particular house you are living in.  Nevertheless, it is wearisome to have to move repeatedly.

Just a note on a couple of items you don’t usually see on houses back home….

1)  That table-looking thing jutting out of the roof is the the solar panels that provide our house with hot water.  Even when it’s overcast all day, we usually have some warm water, so it works pretty well.  The house also has an electric backup water heater, but we try to avoid using it since electricity is fairly expensive.

2)  That green mass under the right front corner of the house is a water tank to store our drinking water.  All the houses around here collect rainwater from the roof and store it in tanks.  When there is plenty of rainwater, we may use the water for everything—drinking, bathing, washing clothes and flushing toilets.  During drier times, we’ll usually just use the water for drinking and use piped in river water for other needs.

3)  Something you can’t see if that photo….  We have our own pineapple garden and have harvested six tasty pineapples already!


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