I had the opportunity to serve at Kapuna for 2.5 months. To be honest, I wish it was longer.
My job here has been media and communications. Or sometimes just running random errands. From writing proposals for grants, to updating the website, to interviewing locals and staff for stories, to photographing events, I have gotten to cover the gamut of communications related projects.
More than getting to live out my dream job each day, I am in awe of the community. The staff, the students, the patients, and my fellow volunteers have taken me into their hearts and made me wantok (family). This is an incredible, uplifting environment to serve in.
Also, I get to live in the bush! Despite humidity, gecko poop, and obnoxious chickens, I get to spend each day in a profusion of tropical flowers and enchanting beauty.
Have I mentioned all of my dinghy rides to villages? I am certain that commuting to work via boat is the best. I also get to go to work barefoot.
There is adventure around each bend. I have ridden in a dugout canoe, been out hunting crocodiles at night, seen thousands of fireflies light up the night, and taken weekend trips to beaches. I highly recommend Kapuna…. your only problem will be you won’t want to leave!
-Erin, 30, USA
August 11, 2013
Adaptation from his newsletter.
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