Sunday, August 17, 2008

PNG: The sequel

Hey Again,

This is the second post about my PNG trip. This is about the second island we spent time on: New Ireland. This time we stayed at a place that is basically several bungalows that are run by some Americans who have been living in PNG for about 20 years, the Clarks. It is a couple and one of their sons and his native wife who live there. The father is actually originally form Delta, UT. They are church members, so we were even able to have Sunday services with them. They love the country and are heavily involved in helping the government improve on how tourism is run. So, it was a great place to stay. They also cooked great food. It ranged from several fruits I've never seen to American dishes to chocolate cake made from fresh coco beans.

The place, called Rubio, also had a great location. They are set up right a the beach with a coral reef just offshore. One of the days we were there I got to go snorkeling right there. That was fun. New Ireland is an island made from old coral reef uplift and not from volcanoes, so everything is limestone. Rocks on top of the mountains are actually old chunks of coral.

This is a Sea Arch on the Clark's property:

Again we spent most of our time out in the jungle. There were several places near by that we went. This is a place with 2 large Kauri trees that have a river that emerges seemingly from the roots (due to the porous limestone). That spurred local legend to say these are the parents of all trees. The other photo is of another Kauri tree's roots.

We also got to see this flatbed truck with a boat on the back that has sat in the jungle for almost 35 years. It was left behind by an Australian plantation owner who thought the natives would uprise and kill all the foreigners when PNG received it's independence. So before that happened he took is family and left everything behind. Nobody has touched it since and besides this truck is a house, workers shed, and even a bulldozer that has since gone off a cliff due to erosion.

This is from the day we spent on top of the mountain to catch bugs.

When it was time to leave we had to drive back to the city Kavieng. It is a 3 hour drive from Rubio and basically the only city of any real size on the island. This is some children we saw that waved at us, for the people love to wave at everyone. One of the boys has blond hair that is a genetic trait common on this island.

This was one of several platters that constituted our dinner on our last night on New Ireland. Yum.

Before going home we had a few days in Port Moresby again. But this time we got to go around the city. We also did some souvenir shopping at a place that brings in art from villages all over the country. PNG is interesting in that its borders encompass over 850 language groups. So the art you can buy is very diverse.

We also visited the Parliament building and walked around the grounds. The man in this picture is Michael Bruder. He is a local who acted as our guide. He is a very well connected person and has a lot of family on New Britain where we first collected. He is also a member of the church and showed us several of the buildings in Port Moresby. There is even a stake in the city and branches around the country.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Something Delicious

So, we have a friend who would always make fun of the way people would say, "Time to make banana bread!" when the bananas turned gross and brown. "Because," he would explain, "no one actually makes banana bread, they just throw the gross bananas in the trash." To prove him wrong, the next time I made banana bread with the old bananas, I gave him some. But now we have a new reigning champion for delicious things to make with old bananas...

Banana chocolate chip cookies! Think, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, but with oatmeal and flavored like bananas, not spice cake. AND, the recipe only needs two bananas, instead of the six most bread recipes call for.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup shortening (I use margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 cups flour (I needed an extra 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (if you're into that)
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl. Beat until well blended. (That's what it says) Drop teaspoonfuls of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. (My oven runs hot, so I cooked them at 350 for 12 minutes and they turned out nice and soft. Mmmmmmmm.)

Monday, August 11, 2008


Hey Everyone,

This is a short record of a trip that I (Dana) recently came back from. I went to Papua New Guinea (PNG) with a team of biologists from BYU and BYU Hawaii. Most of us were there to collect insects and the others were there to do marine collecting; as well as a photographer and a videographer. This kind of trip is something I have always wanted to do and now I finally had the chance.
We left on July 17 and came back on Aug 3. Our flights brought us from SLC, on Thursday, to LA and then on to Fiji. It was Saturday when we got there. We were supposed to go straight on, but our connecting flight in Fiji was delayed for almost 6 hrs. The nice thing is some of us got to go down to the beach in Fiji for a few hrs. It was beautiful. There were mangrove trees and really cool crabs and fish.

Eventually we flew out of Fiji and I was able to have a window seat. The view was amazing since we flew over several small islands and coral reefs.

We were scheduled to make a quick 45 min stop in the Solomon Islands, but that turned into a multiple hour stop due to a toilet blockage on the airplane, but eventually we were on our way again.
When we finally got to Port Moresby, PNG's capital, we had long missed our last flight to our final destination. Air Nuigini put us up in the Crowne Plaza for the night with promises of a flight the next day. The next day we learned that that flight was cancelled and we had to stay another night. These shots are from the hotel and the beach that was near by.

We finally got to Rabaul on the island of New Britain on Monday. This was once the main naval base for the Japanese during WWII and latter became a huge tourist draw for the region. But in 1994 the city was devastated by the eruption of Tavurvur, which is still active today. Before we left we had the opportunity to see the old center of Rabaul which is now covered in ash. The stairs are where the movie house used to sit in down town. The road is on top of ash that buried 3 villages.

We stayed at a place called Kulau Lodge, and it was great. It is right on the beach and the lady that runs it is a great person. From there we went out each day to different locations to do our field work. And the last night we were there the locals held a sing-sing for us where they sang songs and performed some of their traditional dances.

This is from a museum that we went to that displayed old WWII things that were left behind all over the place. Most things have been found in the jungle or on plantations. And also the volcano up close. I will be adding a post about the 2nd island we went to and one with some pictures of the bugs and other animals I saw.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Baby

My sister had her new baby, Anna Rose, right on her due date, 8-8-08. When the rest of the world as getting ready to have the opening ceremonies, Emily went to the hospital to have Anna. They are both doing well and home from the hospital and introducing Matthew to his little sister. Congratulations to the Guptill Family!