Field Note: Papua New Guinea Expedition
The trip is going great. The team is fabulous. We have traveled an enormous amount as it takes so much time to get to the more remote areas…yesterday it took 4 hours by boat and 5 hours by road to get to Wewek from the Sepik River. We have lots of plants…the villages have been overwhelming in their response to us and are eager team with us. Could there be a better response to the beginning of our teamwork ? Everything from sap to leaves to roots…. to bugs that they kill and use for cough. One isolated village..we were the very first white people to come there…they were sooo welcoming- and so so friendly.
For 3 nights we slept in a more marshy area… Which meant dealing with certain critters. At night the rats would come out. One night rats got into my bottle of biodegradable soap, and then bit through one of my dry bags to get to my trailmix. (Atleast they had great taste !) They bit through Celine’s water bottle and John’s bag..Josh’s water bottle, as well as having a midnight snack with Tibi’s cereal. The next night …just as I was drifting off to sleep I heard one…turned on my headlamp and there was one a foot from my head. !#*@! (Its one thing to love creatures in nature, I just don’t want them sleeping with me or messing with me while I sleep.) No sleep that night. My machete was close but the light from the headlamp helped to keep them away from me the rest of the night. (I would never harm a creature, especially since we were the ones invading their home…unless something was harming one of my team !) And truly the only experience I have with a machete is cutting plants.