Everything up until now has been a bit random and hectic. Today has been what I consider a normal day. (Note: there are activities planned for the evening, so my opinion on this may not last.)
I tried to sleep late (7:30) this morning but remembered that Leo must be home by now, so got up a 6:00 to give him a call. In case you don't know about a free program called "Skype", it allows you to call another computer anywhere in the world for free, or a regular telephone or cell phone for a small fee. I called from Skype to Leo's phone and we talked for an hour for about $2! It was so very nice to hear his voice and to chit-chat without being in a big hurry. He sounds VERY happy to be home.
After the phone call, I went out for breakfast so my room could get cleaned. In case you haven't read my posts elsewhere, I am paying about $235/day for a VERY basic room. The view out my window is a concrete wall, the room is small and a bit cramped (considering I'll be living here for 10 days), but the location is good and the bed is comfortable.
At breakfast, one of my new business associates from the Southern Highlands region happened along and we had a nice visit together. After breakfast, I went back to my room to take care of some homework and get ready for class. I attended class (online) from 10:00-11:30. We tackled a new topic, something that I am eager to get started learning more about, so it was a very good class. After that, I did tackle some work projects. I am a little "hamstrung" today since I remembered to bring my printer, went out yesterday to buy some paper, but noticed last night that I don't have a printer cable with me!
In the early afternoon, a 5-minute DOWNPOUR passed through the city. It was amazing how quickly it came and went! After things cleared up, I packed my roll-up raincoat in my bilum (a traditional string bag) and went for a walk.
The beach is just across from my hotel, and because the wind was blowing nicely, I didn't realize just how far I'd gone in the hot sun before turning around and having to come the same distance back. Although I saw no other Caucasians on my walk, I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly the people I encountered were. No one bothered me, but when I stopped to look at something or gave any indication I was curious or wanted to talk, most of them were eager to engage in conversation.
A concrete seawall lines a long stretch of the beach, and there is some kind of program going on to encourage city youth to paint scenery on the wall as a beautification effort. The effects are really outstanding. Some of the graphics are simple and colorful, while others are detailed and quite artistic. As I walked, groups of young men began to set up along the wall to begin their painting for the afternoon. They were friendly and inquisitive, occasionally asking me questions, and always eager to answer mine. By the time I got back to the hotel I was red-faced and sweating, but it was an absolutely glorious day for a walk and I don't regret it. I can't wait to get out in the city more.
So far, here are the outings I've been on:
- I set up a checking account at ANZ bank
- I visited a grocery store and stocked up on bottled water
- I visited an electronics store just to check out the options
- I took a drive out to Waigani to look at a 6-bedroom house as a possibility for a room rental
- I have eaten EVERY meal here at the hotel and am READY for a change :-)
- I visited 2 locations, one in the city, and one further out, that are available as office rentals
- I have been invited to attend church with a man who sometimes serves as my driver and his family
- I have been invited out for a 3-hour drive into the surrounding hills to see more of the country than just Port Moresby
I'm working hard, staying busy, and still encounter a heck of a lot unknowns here, but I am also having a BLAST exploring this beautiful, friendly country!