12 June 2013


Paul landed in Papua New Guinea an hour and a half ago after flying his first official flights in the PNG government’s Falcon 900. After closing down the airplane and heading to the hotel, he gave me a call before heading to bed.

“I am having a ‘What the hell did I just do’ moment,” he said as he was explaining the state of his living situation and how he had to buy his own bottled water because the hotel where he is staying did not provide any.

“It’s OK,” I reassured him. “I had that thought when we moved to Singapore and then I got over it in about five minutes.”

We talked a bit about his living situation – he is in a hotel this evening that is different from the hotel where we stayed on our last visit. His more permanent housing has not yet been arranged because I am told the staff waited until Paul landed in PNG to really do anything.

Paul is accustomed to working in third-world countries. The biggest key, he says, is to just keep following up. According to Paul, the lower-paid workers work their butts off, doing whatever it is they are supposed to be doing for very little income. The higher-paid individuals who are supposed to be giving the orders seem to drop the ball all the time, leaving Paul or someone in his position to waste time and frustration calling twice a day until something happens.

The next week will be interesting as Paul sits in the land of seemingly non-existent Internet speeds. Our phone conversations are short because we are either cut off or there is such a lag that we get frustrated speaking over each other.

Paul’s next scheduled flight is a week away so he will need to find things to keep him busy. With slow internet speeds and not a lot of television options at the hotel, he might actually go crazy but we’ll see.

In the meantime, I am in Ohio, taking each day for it’s own. I have had some fun family experiences the last week including a family barbecue when it became clear just how not sporty I am and just how high a bottle of wine will spray if the cork gets jammed into the bottle’s belly as opposed to pulling the cork out the top.

We are just over a week away from Paul’s sister’s wedding. I didn’t think it was possible but Chelsy might be even more relaxed that I was. She’s doing really well.

Father’s Day is Sunday and I predict a day in pajamas watching lots of Duck Dynasty. A year ago, I had heard the term but I never really knew what it was. Was DD a video game? A cartoon like the Duck Tales adventures I had watched as a kid?

Turns out, Duck Dynasty is the hilarious life of Louisiana duck call makers who make working fun and not working even more entertaining. Our family has come together around the television like no other time before to watch the southern shenanigans of one very blessed family. 

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