As you can tell from the photos below, the professor's house that I'm staying in in PNG is nice beyond my wildest expectations. It's like a villa! We also have 2 security guards, a maid, and a driver!! Unfortunately, though, that's really what you need to be safe in this country.
The plane ride here was good, although the man next to me had me even more nervous about my stay. I asked him if he had been to PNG before, and he said yes, and I asked him how he liked it. His response? "I hate it. It's dangerous as hell." He gave me some good advice about staying alive, and warned me not to leave the terminal alone under any circumstances. He said being white and blonde makes me stand out, and the beggars would waste no time. Great.
When I arrived, I got a visa at customs, was questioned a bit excessively, but then was released out into the terminal. It truly wasn't that scary. I stood inside and kept my eye out for Tess. We had a hard time communicating about my arrival, so it was really Prof. James who ended up picking me up.
We got in his car, he took The Club off of his steering wheel, and we locked all the doors. The atmosphere here is very strange. People are randomly walking everywhere! They sometimes cross the road dangerously, too. They are also hanging out in fields or just chillin in the shade. I've never seen so many people outdoors.
It was a beautiful day, though, and they said that nearly everyday is like that- blue skies and sunny. I'm a little sad, though, that this island is so beautiful, while nearly everyone is living in slums with graffiti covering everything and dogs wandering around. I'm sure it is going to be quite an experience to fully learn about how people here live.
After a harrowing drive to the house, Prof and Henrietta (someone who is like a daughter to him) dropped Tess and I off for lunch at a very Westernized hotel. The water was safe to drink there, and we relaxed and got caught up on things. I ordered a Veggie burger, which turned out to be just that: veggies on a bun- not even a fake patty! For dessert, I got fruit salad with strawberry ice cream in top. The ice cream was literally hot pink and it had a funny texture, like Floam or something, but it was good. Tess got mango cheesecake which was delicious. The restaurant called a taxi for us. Tess has the inside scope on the safe taxi companies, and everything was perfectly fine on the ride back home.
We spent the evening chilling out; Tess watched tv, while I was just mesmerized by the sunset on the deck. After the sun was gone, I turned on the outdoor lights and read a little bit. That ended quickly, however, when a bird started chirping loudly from the ceiling.Wait, birds don't hang on the ceiling!! It was a gecko!!! EWWW! Two of them! Huge! I ran back inside. Tess assures me that they eat mosquitoes and won't jump on me, but it's going to take some time to get used to them.
Tess showed me this neat little boiling apparatus for the water, and then I went and brushed my teeth, took my pills, etc. I watched some episodes of Lost on my portable dvd player (it's funny to watch the show from an island myself!) and then went to sleep.