Monday, April 10, 2017


In learning more and more about the education system in Papua New Guinea, and also having experienced different sectors of the American school system while on furlough in the US I am in awe and also so very grateful for the school my children have the ability to go to here in PNG.

Our oldest son, Liam, attended two years of preschool here in PNG. He still talks about and recognizes his first preschool teacher, Mrs. Raube. In his 4 years of schooling he has been “the new kid” 5 times.  Evan and I are learning to help guide our boys through each new transition with the insight and support of fellow parents of MK’s, adult MK’s, and a myriad of media resources now available to parents of Third Culture Kids. 

This is part of our continuing education as adults.

Ukarumpa International Primary School is where both our boys are where we send our boys. I have written before how much I appreciate all the hard-working staff and the welcoming students who make up the body of the school. There are fun school events that bond the community as well as make learning fun. 

One of these is the annual book fair. Two weeks of reading goals and activities, culminating in a “book parade” and carnival type day for the kids and their families.

The book parade is the highlight for the students as it allows them to dress up as a favorite person or character from literature. Each year there are characters ranging from real life people who have been written about to completely fictional individuals. This year was the first time our boys were old enough to participate.

One of my favorite things to do is sew and create things for my children. I am also a “bookworm”, one who loves reading, literacy, and helping others to enjoy reading and learning. To be able to combine these two interests was a real pleasure. It was quite the challenge, however, as I didn’t have my sewing machine here (it is on a container hopefully arriving and being released by customs very soon in the port city of Lae) or very much of my crafting items unpacked yet. But, my boys had chosen their characters and were eager to participate. So, on the community forums and through friends and with the aid of trusty safety pins, I begged, borrowed, bought, cut, glued, and “sewed” together a Buckingham Palace Guard (Liam) and Paddington Bear (Julien).

Julien is front row, second from the left

The book parade and similar community events reminds me that there are opportunities to help my kids to learn how important reading is to their lives. Being able to read and write well will serve them their entire lives. Learning new skills, being able to share stories and information are all vital to successful and enjoyable work and play.

I am having another snapshot of the school life for our boys as I come in three mornings a week to tutor Liam in the Barton Reading & Spelling System. It has been challenging for both of us but he is progressing and getting more confident in his reading. We are trying to stay on track during the month long school break. I am also grateful for the assistant teacher in Liam’s class, Miss Natalia, who has generously volunteered to meeting with Liam over break to be able to keep him up on all of the new concepts he has been tacking since our return to PNG. [An update on this. A spot has opened for Liam to be tutored by one of the teachers. I am very grateful for this as it gives me more time and energy to be mom.]

In an attempt to get a handle on what jobs here would be a possible fit for me, since I have not worked in my field since university (10 years next month) I am going through some career guidance newly offered here by some members of our human resources team. It has been an insightful and interesting experience. I hope at the end to have a more specific direction to set my sights on. It may require some satellite education but being in school was an enjoyable experience for me so I wouldn’t mind. (:

I will get to “go back to school” for sure in another way at the end of July into August. There is going to be an anthropology course open to the community that I am eagerly anticipating,
Here is the write up for it:
Did you know that your grammar and phonology studies can lead to a deeper understanding of your colleagues' worldviews, resulting in more effective and rewarding teamwork?

The Applied Anthropology workshop will focus on linguistic and cultural emersion, a synergy-like aspect of cross-cultural experience. 
Speaker: Dr Eloise Meneses
                 Theological and Cultural Anthropology
                 Eastern University (USA)

I am sure some of you just banged your head on the keyboard as you fell asleep. But I am just thrilled to bits to get an opportunity to expand my knowledge in an area I have been unable to really pursue in earnest since university days. I miss “getting my hands dirty”.

Drooling over the restoration room in a Roman museum on my honeymoon in Germany 

I am praying that the course will help me to be able to direct me in how to better serve here in Papua New Guinea. I am also praying that is will not be overwhelming for me as it will be the first time that I have been back in the school setting for a number of years and I am also already having struggles with maintaining a healthy schedule and boundaries.

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