Category Archives: General Volunteer

Volunteer Story – Julian Lee

August 11, 2013

Adaptation from his newsletter.

Julian enjoying a beach day.

Julian enjoying a beach day.

I’m currently living in a dormitory with the single men who are either staff at the hospital or are training to become primary health workers.  In a community of one hundred regulars, everyone is more than friendly.  It’s a common sight to see a bunch of people sitting around and telling stories, ranging from the latest happenings around the hospital to just recounting good memories from back home.  There are over 800 different languages spoken in PNG, but thankfully, one of the main ones is English.  Just in Kapuna, there are four languages that are spoken regularly.

The weather here is certainly much better than I anticipated.  I was rather worried about the humidity at the hospital, since it is right on top of a swamp, but it’s not half as bad as the humidity in Hong Kong.  In PNG, there are only two seasons – wet season and dry season.  I came in during the wet season, and there are showers almost every day that turns the ground into mush.  On the other hand, it’s surprisingly nice waking up to the pitter-patter of rain on corrugated iron every morning.

There are many chickens here at the hospital, but they’re kept for their eggs.  Contrary to belief, roosters do not crow only in the morning.  They continue throughout the day and even start up in the dead of night.  It gets worse.  Once one starts, a whole chorus joins in.  Another volunteer knows only one sentence in local language – “I hate the sound of chickens.  Kill them.”

Julian, 20, Hong Kong