PNG, Independence Day at Pacific Adventist University

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September 16 is Independence day in Papua New Guinea, and arguably the greatest celebration on the country’s calendar.

At Pacific Adventist University the day started long before sunrise.  Some of the students stayed up all night preparing for the day’s activities.

This is the stage where the celebrations were to take place – but it is still an hour from sunrise.  The next picture is the first person getting ready for the festivities.

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There was a parade soon after dawn.

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Some students dressed up as mudmen and joined the parade.

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One of the students getting his lunch.

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It was indeed a very joyous occasion.  Being in Papua New Guinea on Independence Day is indeed a great experience.

Crystal Rapids, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea

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On Sunday, July 6 the Graduating Class of the School of Business organised a picnic at the Crystal Rapids in Sogeri.  It was a casual event that was relaxing and lots of fun.

As can be seen in the distance photo, Crystal Rapids is a very scenic swimming spot.

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The students cooked their own lunch, though this photo shows that calling it “cooking” is probably an exaggeration.  This food was “well done” to say the least!

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We saw a tiger snake swimming across the water, it was really keen to get to the land, but it was also concerned because of all of us on the shore.  It finally hid under the grass by the edge of the water.  I found out towards the end of the day that there are actually freshwater crocodiles in these waters.  However, they are not aggressive, and they shun away from noise.  No-one could think of an incident where someone had been harmed by the crocodiles.

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Getting thrown into the water is part of the fun.

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And after being thrown in, everyone was still friends.

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I was asked to be part of the photo, but the students were really fussy.  They had particular ideas about the way I should be facing.

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This map shows the trip from Crystal Rapids back to Pacific Adventist University.

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As can be seen in the elevation chart, it is a mountainous region.

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Papua New Guinea is such a beautiful country.  Every time I venture out I am in awe at its beauty.

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Living at Pacific Adventist University – Papua New Guinea

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For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Rebecca and I have moved to Papua New Guinea (PNG).  I am working at Pacific Adventist University (PAU) as Dean of the School of Business and Rebecca is studying full time towards a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Last year the opportunity presented itself for me to travel to Papua New Guinea.  I visited our long time friends David and Carol Tasker, both of whom were Deans at PAU.  They had tried for many years to get me to come and “have a look”, and in mid 2007 I took the time.  The outcome of the “look” was that I ended up seeing the need in the School of Business.  As a result, Rebecca and I decided to take up the challenge of providing the people of the pacific with an opportunity to receive an education that will allow them to compete on a global basis.  I therefore resigned from Microsoft in October and took a well deserved holiday.

While we were waiting for Visas, Rebecca and I travelled through Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar on a motorbike (see posts on this site).  We then headed to Brisbane and spent Christmas with our families and drove down to Sydney for training on how to live in another culture. We finally arrived in PNG early February.

We live in a wonderful place.  As you can see in the photo below, we live on a hill, with a great view far into the distance.

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From the house we look over the most lush valley.  The photo below is early in the morning.  I am still in awe every morning while having my breakfast, because it is so beautiful and soothing.  The environment on the university campus is truly calming.

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As you can see, we don’t have conventional windows, but a mixture of glass and steel louvers.

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We get the most amazing weather.  During the rainy season, there is usually rain in the hills every afternoon, but the sun comes through just before sunset.  As a result, we see a lot of rainbows.

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Here are two photos of the back of the Pacific Adventist University Church.

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This is one of the lecture halls.

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This is the front of School of Business.

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The following photos are taken from the Sunday morning markets.  Hundreds of cars come from Port Moresby (a 20km drive) to buy their fruit and vegetables.  The university operates a farm and the produce demands a premium over other suppliers.

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We also see the most spectacular sunsets on a regular basis.  Here is a sample.

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This photo was taken through the fly screen, as I was too lazy to walk outside to take yet another sunset photo.  I have so many of them now, because the sunsets are different every night.  This photo was special, because the sun was setting directly between the two hills in the distance.

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As you can see, we really live in paradise.  Up until recently, we had a lot of rain, though usually just showers late afternoon or during the night.  But the rain stopped really suddenly two weeks ago, and now the dry season has started.  It is still up to 31 degrees Celsius during the day, but has been as low as 17 during the night.

Why not come and visit us sometime?