Papua New Guinea, Kambubu Adventist Secondary School

Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, SDA Church, Travel 2 Comments

Elevation Profile

As part of my trip to attend the Sonoma Adventist College Board meeting, I decided to use the opportunity to also visit the Adventist Secondary School in East New Britain. Fortunately a board meeting was scheduled for Kambubu for the day after the Sonoma board, so I joined the team to Kambubu for the day.

We were supposed to be picked up by the Kambubu 4WD truck at 8:00am in the morning. By 10:00am, the truck still hadn’t arrived. When we contacted Kambubu, we were told that the truck was stuck in the first river crossing of two river crossings, and the engine had died. It was therefore decided that we would take the Sonoma Truck (not a 4WD) to the first river crossing from our end, and that we would be picked up there by the Kambubu tractor. And that was how the adventure started!

I had been warned that I would learn the “Manus Dance” in the back of the track, and initially didn’t know what that meant. But as we got going, it became obvious very quickly. Although the first section of road was tar sealed, there are so many potholes, that vehicles find it easier to drive beside the sealed road. The “Manus Dance” is being bounced around in the back of the truck!


One of river crossing that has a bridge – all metal, and very loud. Notice the big hole in the middle of the bridge.


The road was windy and followed the top of a ridge. It was very scenic, and obvious that this area gets regular rain.


At one point the driver hit the brakes really hard – there was a another truck coming the other way in one of the tighter corners. It turns out they were from Kambubu taking Copra (the dried kernel of coconuts – used to make coconut oil) to market.


We then arrived at the first river from our end, and found the tractor with trailer already waiting for us.


As I walked down to the river, a truck was just coming through.


The government has already nearly completed bridge over this river, but it is not ready for use yet. However, it is OK to walk across. So we were told to walk across the bridge with our laptops – less risk. The river bed is undulating, and can vary in depth quickly (due to rainfalls upstream). One of the people travelling with us told of a time he crossed the river at night in a little Suzuki 4WD. They stopped at the edge, and he waded into the water to ensure it wasn’t too deep. The depth was deemed OK, so they started into the river. By the time they got to the middle, the river had risen by one meter, and the vehicle was swept downstream. They ended up spending the night in a nearby village.


Despite all that, the tractor had no problem crossing the river.


This is our team travelling on the back of the trailer.


In Papua New Guinea, no-one is ever alone. So we were accompanied by lots of students who were happy to come along for the ride.


When we reached the next river, we could see more students waiting for us – as well as the broken down truck in the distance. It had already been towed out by a tractor, but they were still unable to get it running. In the foreground you see a concrete structure, which was going to be a bridge across the river. It was funded by the Chinese government, but before it was even complete, it was pushed partially downstream by rising water levels. The students enjoy using it as a jumping platform.


The students in this photo were rushing through the water to bring a large rope to the tractor, willing to pull the tractor across if it gets stuck.


We were advised to take special care of our bags (due to our laptops) in case the trailer drops below the river level during the crossing. However, the crossing was uneventful.

As we headed out the other side, we came past the truck. It looks like they were trying to clean out the engine by the side of the road.


One of the plantation tractors followed us on the road to Kambubu.


This was our first glympse of Kambubu. The headland is the start of the property, and the water in front is the famous Rugen Harbour.


As we were approaching Kambubu, the Kambubu truck came racing up behind us. They had finally got it going.


The students were exuberant!


Arrival at Kambubu Adventist Secondary School.


Yes, this was the travelling party!


Kambubu is a very beautiful school. Just look at its lush green grounds, and location by the sea!


In the distance New Ireland can be seen (the mountain range in the clouds).


I then came across this propeller placed near the administration building. To get the full story of this, I am told you must speak to Bryan Paul, a lecturer at Pacific Adventist University Smile.


It appears that the steps on the back of the truck were damaged when it was towed out the of the river – nothing a quick welding job can’t fix.


This is where I met with the Year 12s to discuss university entrance with them.


After my meeting with the students, I went for a quick swim. This creek comes out of the mountains and is quite cool. It runs into the ocean where the mixture of cold stream with warm sea water makes for interesting swimming.


Some more photos of the grounds – it is absolutely beautiful. The palm trees are magnificent.


By the time we were ready for our return trip, it was already quite dark.


When we got to the first river crossing, one of the boys jumped out and waded across. It was deep, but not too deep. So the truck drove into the river, only to be stuck spinning wheels about 5 meters from the other side.


The driver asked the boys to jump into the water and push, but it made no difference. The lights you see on the other side, are two trucks that were thinking about crossing, but as they weren’t 4WD, didn’t want to take the risk at that time.


After a few minutes, the driver remembered that he had forgotten to lock the front hubs, and that this was the reason the back tyres were spinning. Once hubs were locked, we were able to drive out without issues. Here we are passing one of the trucks was considering crossing.


We continued to the second river crossing, and after checking the depth, crossed over without incident. And then it was just another 1.5 hours of “Manus Dance” before we returned back to Sonoma Adventist College.


Needless to say, most directors don’t experience this level of adventure in the execution of their duties as board members. As for me, I loved my day out, and look forward to returning to Kambubu sometime in the future with Rebecca.

Gavuone, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, SDA Church, Travel 1 Comment

The Koiari Park Pidgin Church (Pacific Adventist University) organised a weekend trip to Gavuone, and I was keen to go. Unfortunately, Rebecca had an assignment overdue, so she was unable to go. At first I decided not to go either, but there weren’t enough seats on the organised truck to cater for everyone. So on Friday morning, I offered to go if that meant that more members could go.

However, I had some critical things that needed to be attended to on Friday afternoon, so I chose to leave at 4:00pm – three hours later than the truck. I ended up running late, and we left at about 4:20pm, and then had to fuel up in Port Moresby. Finding fuel at that time is always difficult, because of long queues at the petrol stations. By 5:10pm we finally left 6-mile.

We made great time for the first hour or so, but once the sun set, we slowed down. Despite driving very sedately, we still had some passengers getting car sick – especially those sitting in the very back. So we stopped three times along the way.


When we arrived around 9:00pm, we were offered dinner. The others had conducted the opening Sabbath service a the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and had just finished their dinner.


The plan was for the group to sleep in a classroom – two classrooms for the boys, and one for the girls. Although I had brought a tent, there was no good place to pitch it. So I was offered a mosquito net and a place in the classroom with the boys. Here the pastor is putting up the mosquito net for me. He also provided the mat for me to sleep on.


I stayed up late talking with some of the boys. There is a diesel powered generator for the region, and it runs all night. During the day there is no power.


Most of the boys were asleep by the time I got to bed.


The next morning I slept in, as I had little sleep the few nights before this trip. Most of the members were students from Pacific Adventist University, and they were asked to run the early morning devotion. The Gavuone Seventh-day Adventist Church has worship for all Seventh-day Adventists in the village every morning from 6:00-7:00am, and every evening from 5:00-6:00pm.


The church is the big white roof in the center of the picture above. Below is a picture of the classroom where I slept, and another classroom where two others had pitched their tents for the night.


The Gavuone Seventh-day Adventist Primary School is situated on a small hill surrounded by mangroves. The path below is the only access to the school – and it floods during King tides.


In the pictures above, you can see a ‘metal shed’ in the middle of the picture, directly in front of the church. This is the elementary classroom. Here is what it looks like inside.


When I arrived at church, it was still empty – but that changed very quickly, with every seat being filled and almost all the floor space used by people sitting there. Approximately 600 people worship here every week, two-thirds of them are youth and children.


This photo shows how almost the whole floor is covered by people sitting on the floor.


Lunch was prepared by the village women, who put on a superb spread. Given that Gavuone had 16 cholera cases in the previous few days, some people were a little anxious. However, no-one got sick, and nurses who were with us ensured good hygiene standards were followed.


While we ate, the ladies who had cooked the food waited outside. Once we were finished, they took the leftovers back to the village.


Following the afternoon program at church, we went for drive to see the village and the beach. Gavuone is situated at the mouth of Marshal Lagoon.

This is the national primary school.


Here the beach faces the open sea, and in about the center of the photo is where the lagoon meets the ocean.


Unfortunately many of the youth have little to do, so they sit around on the beach and play cards.


After dinner and telling stories, it was time for bed.


On Sunday morning I again slept in. When the others came back from the morning worship, we decided to go for a quick walk before breakfast. The mangroves looked very beautiful in the morning light.


The youth were busy practicing their volleyball. The village is largely divided into two halves – the Seventh-day Adventist side and the Uniting Church side.The Adventist youth were going to face the United youth in a volleyball competition – something that was a first in this village.


And on Monday, the famous canoe race was going to take place, so people were busy getting ready for that also. People from all over the country come to watch the canoe race.


This man is busy working on his canoe for next year – the shell you see on the left, needs to be ‘doug out’ further, until the wall is just 1cm think (currently it is still almost 3cm).


A few houses are built over the lagoon.


Getting a haircut!


Everywhere I went, children were looking at me – I guess they don’t see tall white men very often.


The house below had these two children look out between the cladding.


And, of course, people were going about their normal business. This woman is weaving a basket.


Here is a shot across the lagoon fro one of the highest points in the village.


The main street of the village.


The school where we stayed from the distance – this makes it easy to see how it is one hill surrounded by mangroves.


The beauty of the mangroves is that it attracts many herons. Here are two landing on the water.


Yes, everyone helped where required.


After we finished breakfast, we were told that the church had put on a farewell feast for us. We were expected to eat again! When we arrived at the church, sure enough, here was a long spread with lots of food. Notice the bowls for hand washing? Just making sure no-one gets cholera.


While we were eating, the ladies sat on the lawn and sang – they sang for more than an hour without stopping.


After the extra meal, there were some short speeches and then it was time to leave.


And here are some shots showing some of the terrain we saw on our way back to Port Moresby.


One of the little churches along the way.


We spotted some locals processing sago by the side of the road. These men are cutting up the palm with hoe like instrument.


The ladies then take the shavings and wash the starch out.


A common sight in Papua New Guinea – washing the car (and everything else) by the river.


We passed the truck, and shot ahead and looked for a nice spot to take some pictures of it passing.


And some more photos of the varying conditions of the road.


Just before we reached Gaire, the truck driver decided it was time for a short stop. For some reason Papua New Guineans must sit in the middle of the road (Magi Highway), as sitting by the side of the road is clearly not appropriate.


When vehicles come, there is a quick scramble to get off the road.


Our nurse, Annie, who made sure we were safe.


And then we were on the road again.


Arrival back at Pacific Adventist University.


Day 06 – Friedensau (Germany)

Friedensau, Germany, SDA Church, Travel No Comments

I once again left the bike in the shed, and travelled with my aunty and uncle by car to Friedensau, the Seventh-day Adventist University located near Berlin.

It was a beautiful morning, and the fields were in full bloom. Around Berlin the roads are very straight, as the land is very flat.


My uncle commented, that Friedensau must be the only village in Germany that has a sign advertising church services on Saturday.


I was surprised by the size of the campus, as there are only approximately 200 students. However, they do offer three bachelor programs and 5 masters programs. I guess each program is comprised of a rather intimate class.

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This is one of the key buildings – it houses the administration and also the chapel.


The inside of the chapel.


The new library.


Some of the staff and student accommodation.


The old and the new fire station.


A post office, which doesn’t open on Saturday, but opens on Sunday mornings.


Adventist youth from around the northern part of Germany had a camp at the time I was there, and this was their main meeting tent.


There is an adventure course and climbing wall for use by the youth.


And finally, there is also a retirement village – all in all, Friedensau is a well thought out community. I think it would be a great place to study!

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Day 04 – Heiligenblut to Haage (Austria, Germany)

Austria, Bogenhofen, Germany, SDA Church, Travel 1 Comment

Elevation Profile

The view from my balcony was superb … the sun was shining and I was thrilled to be heading over the Hochalpenstrasse today.


But I was wondering if I would encounter a similar scenario to the day before, when the snow closed the Fluelapass. Both of the following photos were taken from my balcony also.


Even though I was the only guest, they put on a splendid breakfast for me! Notice the forest visible through the windows.


As I was riding out of Heiligenblut, I took one last photo. While this photo was taken from the road, it is an almost identical view to what I had from my room.


And just out of town I passed the start of the Hochalpenstrasse – I was finally at the point which was the original attraction for taking this detour to Haage (near Berlin).


This is the first hairpin (or Kehre in German), or the 27th if you are counting from the other end!


And then I arrived at the toll station … and how short-lived one’s dreams can be! It turns out that there was a storm at the top of the pass, with lots of snow. Only vehicles with chains were allowed up. They were not sure if it was going to open that day, but certainly not by mid-day. The black VW Golf you see parked there also had to turn around – they didn’t have any chains. As for the bikes at the toll booth, I didn’t hang around, but I’m sure they were soon turning around also. Frankly, looking at the weather, I’m sure it would have been very unpleasant, even if the road had not been covered in snow and ice.


So I decided to take an alternate route, and headed back to Lienz and then up to Mittersill.


I’m not sure what this building was, but it looked unique!


The road to Mittersill headed directly north from Lienz, which took me into the same mountain range as Hochalpenstrasse, except on the left hand side of the Grossglockner.


However, as I headed higher, I was starting to worry. Although the road was listed as open, the weather ahead looked just a bad as on the Hochalpenstrasse. And as I kept climbing, it looked like I would have to pass over the top anyway.


One of the advantages of being on a motorbike is that it is easy to park and take photos. I have often wanted to take photos of these covered roads, and on this occasion was able to do so.


Looking out from the covered road, this beautiful waterfall was visible.


And there were more roadworks. The roads in Europe are really good, but you do pay for it by having to stop all the time for road works.


As I headed up the mountain, I finally worked it out – I didn’t have to go over the top of the range, because I was able to take a tunnel!


I was relieved, because the weather at the tunnel entrance was pretty poor – and we weren’t even near the top of the mountain.


And so into the tunnel I headed!


After 5.5km of perfectly straight road, this was the view that struck me. Snow was falling very heavily.


In case you can’t see the snow falling, check out the close-up of the little hut. Did I mention it was cold?


I counted myself very lucky – to this point, I had pretty much been in dry conditions despite having rain forecast every day. What I didn’t know, is that I would ride the next 750km almost constantly in the rain (this day I travelled 986km, and at this point had covered less than 100km).


Around lunchtime, I could see a huge wall of rain come my way, and I thought that this made an excellent opportunity to stop for lunch. I quickly parked the bike and went into the restaurant for a nice hot Rösti.


The weather cleared up a little after lunch, but rain was never far away.

This photo is take at the boarder between Austria and Germany. I cut across Berchtesgaden (Germany) and then back into Austria.


I always had to smile when I saw this sign – it can really be interpreted two ways:

  • The passing restriction does not apply to passing tractors (ausgenommen means except)
  • The passing restriction does not apply to tractors (i.e. tractors may pass other vehicles).


After re-entering Austria, I dropped in on the Seventh-day Adventist College in Bogenhofen, as I had not been there before. I must say, I was surprised by the state of the facilities. This campus is definitely state of the art.


The main drive and cafeteria.


Also in the same building as the cafeteria is the administration (upstairs).


The old castle (Schloss), including hallway upstairs and visitors room.


The old chapel.


The new church.


One of the classrooms and the gym.


The library.


Staff and married student housing.


An unused greenhouse in the background.


From Bogenhofen, I headed up to Haage, near Berlin – but it rained a lot, so I took no more photos. Also, my aim was to reach Haage at a reasonable time – and it was still exactly 700kms away. It was 4:08pm when I left Bogenhofen, and I arrived in Haage at 10:55pm (having stopped for fuel several times and once to call my aunty and rest for 30 minutes). Average speed: 112km/h (including petrol stops, but excluding my 1/2 hour stop). Not bad given that some of it was country roads and that it was raining most of the time. I promised my aunty that I would be there by 11pm, and I kept my promise :-).

Day 13 – Hastings to Oputama

Motorbike/Motorcycle, New Zealand, SDA Church, Travel No Comments

Elevation Profile

We got up early the next morning, because the friend at whose house we were staying drives trucks and was doing a run up to Gisbourne. As we were going the same way, Rebecca decided to take a ride in the truck.

I left about 15 minutes after Rebecca, and did a quick trip up Temata Peak to get some shots of the sun rising over Hawkes Bay. I also had to fuel up, but my aim was to catch up with Rebecca by the time she got to Wairoa. When I got to the service station in Havelock North, they were still shut. So I headed up to Temata Peak first.


Hastings being illuminated by the first rays of sunshine.


It was fairly clear – I could see as far as the Mahia Peninsular.


After my descent I fuelled up and then headed towards Wairoa.

Meanwhile, Rebecca was enjoying her ride in the truck.


While I didn’t quite manage catch Rebecca before she got to Wairoa, as I didn’t want to get any speeding tickets – though I did enjoy the windy road. I arrived about 5 minutes after Rebecca arrived, to find my friend just having started to unload the truck.


Rebecca really needs to grow a little if she wants to make riding in the truck a regular occurrence.


This is the lighthouse and bridge at Wairoa.


And a couple of shots of the truck.


Loading at Nuhaka.


We took our gear out of the truck at this point, and parted ways. The truck headed up to Gisbourne, and we went to Oputama. The Mahia Peninsular was looking at its best.


We camped on the site leased by the Napier Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is a beautiful spot under large pine trees.


After we pitched our tent, we went for a ride to Mahia and a little bit inland on the Peninsular.


The peninsular has a stunning coastline.


It also has some interesting rock formations on the coast.


Towards the evening we headed to Nuhaka to have some dinner. We saw this fire engine creating a great waterslide for the kids.


Day 12 – Hastings and Napier

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Elevation Profile

Early in the morning, Rebecca went for a walk. This photo shows Temata Peak in the distance.


We went to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Napier, and caught up with lots of friends whom we hadn’t seen in many years.


After church we drove into the heart of Napier and had a relaxing lunch in one of the many cafes. Art Deco is a key attraction for tourists.


Later in the afternoon we went up to Temata Peak. This is a “must visit” location for anyone passing through the Hawkes Bay.


The ride is simply stunning.


Looking at the road coming up the hill, with Hastings in the background.


The hills facing south-west have great character.


One of the many wineries in the Hawkes Bay.


There is significant pressure to keep New Zealand GE (Genetically Engineered crop) free. This farmer obviously supports the stance.


And a few more shots of taken from the road heading back down to the plain.


Papua New Guinea, 17-Mile (Port Moresby) – Waigani SDA Church Camp

Papua New Guinea, SDA Church 2 Comments

The Waigani SDA Church held a church camp at 17-mile over the weekend of 30 October to 1 November 2009. The camp was a time for spiritual renewal for all who attended.


The location for the camp is very scenic – it is a beautiful park that is well maintained. The children (and some of the adults) really enjoyed swimming in the river.


On Sunday morning, a traditional Highlands Mumu was cooked.

Collecting the firewood.


Peeling the vegetables.


Banana leaf on which to cook the food.


Heating the stones.


After the stones are hot, they are made level and banana leaves are added. The food is then added on top. Pipes are added, through which water is pored in to speed the cooking process. You can see the steam coming out through on of the pipes here.


About an hour and half later, the food is cooked. The man standing on the left is the head cook!


Here the food is ready for removal.


There is still a lot of steam when the food is taken out. It is very hot!


You can see the sticks that were added to support some of the weight. The greens are edible too!


The food is layed out next to the Mumu on top of banana leaves.


This is about half of the food that was cooked in the Mumu.


As I am a vegetarian, I didn’t try the beef that was added. However, the kaukau was very soft and tasty! This is good food indeed.

Day 23-27 – Christchurch (5 nights) to Hanmer Springs

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<<Maps to come>>

Pictures of the South New Zealand Conference (Seventh-day Adventist Church) bi-annual camp meeting.


In our promotions shirts for Pacific Adventist University.


Our tent site at the camp – right next to the ADRA vehicle.


After the camp, we rode to Hanmer Springs, where we spent one night in a motel.


The view from our motel room.


Day 05 – Cave to Hakataramea Pass

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We packet up early and made our way to Timaru Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church.  Despite the fact that we took over the library with our motorcycle clothes, and despite the fact that we didn’t have any good church clothes (or normal shoes), we were welcomed unreservedly.

We had a great church service, and stayed for lunch in the hall downstairs.  A nice surprise was the fact that Ben met a student from Pacific Adventist University who there visiting their parents.


After lunch we headed west,through spectacular farmland to the Hakaramatea Pass.


These photos were taken at the McKenzie high country, and shows the backdrop to which most of this trip takes place – stunning, snow covered alps.


At the top of the pass.


There were always lots of gates to open, as stock are grazed here in summer.  And the snowy alps are a backdrop once again.


Doesn’t this look like the perfect camp site – we thought so too.


The crystal clear stream was a little chilly though.


Our campsite for the night – no-one around for miles.


PNG, Independence Day at Pacific Adventist University

Pacific Adventist Uni, Papua New Guinea No Comments

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.


There was a parade soon after dawn.


Some students dressed up as mudmen and joined the parade.


One of the students getting his lunch.


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

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