Friday, March 30, 2012

A 30-Minute Hop

There is something deliciously satisfying in shuffling around the house in a pair of slippers, sweatpants, laplap (wraparound skirt), sweatshirt, and a hot cup of tea—and not be pouring sweat like Yanke Dam! About a week ago, I arrived back in Ukarumpa, moved into a new house, made friends with the resident dogs, remembered there is this thing called altitude (Ukarumpa is at approx. 5,000 feet), and dove into several days of linguistic software workshop. Now that the whirlwind seems to be dying down, I’m glad to curl up on my couch (bundled up of course—because I can!) and treat you to some pictures of the trip up to Uka.

Last time I arrived from Madang, I rode the Hino for over 6 hours, bumping over the mountains and swerving the potholes.

This time, I took a 30 min flight in the Kodiak. It was, to put it mildly, pretty awesome.

Here's a view of Madang. The Pacific Ocean is at the bottom of the picture.

In the co-pilot's seat was a very excited boy who revealed to me that racing outside during school hours to see the plane fly overhead is a practice common to all aviation families. (It was slightly difficult to maintain discipline when I had the overwhelming urge to do the same thing...)

 Most of the flight was skimming the tops of the mountains and pushing through clouds. But, I was delighted to have a clear view of the Ramu Valley and the large river running through it.

Mountains, mountains, mountains... no wonder it takes 6 hours by car! You might not be able to see it, but there is a tiny village on the right-hand side of the strut, about halfway up the visible mountain range.

Here is Kainantu, the closest town to Ukarumpa.

Ukarumpa itself!

The Aiyura airport, where we landed, and I gladly encountered the glorious temperatures of Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands.:)

I will now be in Ukarumpa for the next five weeks while the POC students are in their village living portion of the course. Once they are finished, I will travel back to Madang for a week to debrief them and grade their various assignments. Then it's back to Uka! Thanks for joining me :)