Today I’ve been in Indonesia for 4 weeks! It’s certainly gone fast!
I’ve been exploring a bit of Sentani & Papua in general, trying to work out what my new home has in store for me! I’ve been to a few different shops, and I’m trying to work out what sorts of things/food I can buy here. I basically need to get a whole new set of recipes. There are so many foods I’m used to buying that I can’t buy anymore.
The structure of the town is that there is one main street and everything else comes off the side of it. It’s basically a long, skinny town. I’ll take a photo of it when I remember! It’s double lane both ways. The town doesn’t really stop when you travel towards the west. It just eventually stops being one town and starts being another. Towards the east is a bit different. It becomes very rural. We went that way to go to the beach yesterday. Oh the beach! I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s first talk about the roads. Well, calling them roads is being very generous. It’s more like some (crappy) concrete that sort of is together in parts. It’s all single lane in both directions and has more pot holes than not. It’s not always concrete, it can just be a dirt path. Also, in a couple of places the bridges had washed away so we just drove through the river. There are bits of it that have been built up so they’re shallow enough to drive through.
Now to the beach. WOW! This is where we went.
We drove about 45 minutes to a place called Depapre. When we got out I was disappointed. The place was really ugly and there was rubbish everywhere. It didn’t look like a place you could swim. But… we got on a boat and drove 10 minutes out to a stunning bay. That’s where we spent a few hours, swimming, chatting, lazying around. Soooooo wonderful! There were a few families who went and another few who met us there. What a perfect day! Considering that it was BUCKETING with rain in the morning it turned out to be a stunning day.
The picture on the right is of someone’s house in Depapre. It’s very common to have houses built out over the water like this.
The panorama below is a picture of a fresh water pool about 50m behind the beach. Lovely! When people go camping here they often wash in this. I think I’m going to go camping with some people in August-ish on a beach like this. Can’t wait!
Annoyingly I’m very sunburnt now. I put on heaps of sunscreen, but the anti-malarial medication I’m on makes me very sun sensitive, so I resemble a lobster today. Booooooo!!! When I go to Singapore to get my visa I’ll get some different medication that won’t have this affect on me. I can’t get the stuff I need here.
On the visa front I have no news. I’m getting my tourist visa extended for another 30 days because my work visa still isn’t ready and I have no idea when it will be. Hopefully not much longer!
I’ve put my hand up to play in a band at church here. I need some music in my life! In a couple of weeks I’ll play piano & sing here for the first time. I got given the music today and I know ONE song! I’ll actually have to do some practice!
I think I’m acclimatising to the weather here. The only times I still get all hot & sweaty is when I go walking outside, and that’s because it’s ALWAYS hot! Although it’s really the humidity rather than the actual temperature that’s the issue. Sometimes it feels like I’m breathing in an actual cloud.
I recently went without hot water for a few days, as did my next door neighbours. All that’s sorted now, but these are things I have to get used to. Also, there are blackouts almost everyday, but because we have a generator at school we’re never without power for more than a few minutes before that’s turned on. It’s different for those who live in town. They regularly go without power for hours. Not good for the food in the fridges!
I have to keep my kettle in the fridge because otherwise I have to clean the ants out of it every day. Also, I have geckos in my house. Lots of them. They’re tiny and I don’t mind them because they eat the ants and other insects. I just have to check my toaster in the mornings to make sure I don’t actually cook one up for breakfast!
I’m really glad I came here. It’s been a great experience so far. I’m enjoying being immersed in a different way of life and a different culture. It’s certainly been a huge adjustment, but I’m getting there. I’m looking forward to knowing people better and forming some real friendships. I’m enjoying my job and the people here. I can’t wait to be more settled in and know both my students and other adults better.
God is looking after me!