Volunteering in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea Podcast

Volunteering in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea Podcast



Hey welcome to the travel inspired podcast for those that don't know me I'm Adam Constanza I live in Wellington New Zealand and I'm spending 2017 in Bougainville Papua New Guinea I'll be full time trouble writing and blogging so if you want to check out the blog go to WWE Travel inspired Co dot n Zed and from now you can find the Facebook page and Instagram too so let's get cracking my stomach grumbles unsatisfied by the cup a homemade Greek yogurt with fresh pineapple and a glass of water for breakfast just an hour ago the living room is cool there's a fresh breeze passing through the open front door the Sun is low yes deadly stretches it's raised across the wooden floor towards me the digital thermometer flashes twenty-eight point five degrees and steadily rising rain threatening clouds fill the sky his IP right from the louvered windows from the sofa this is all distracting me from writing the blog posts my signal must mobile and a cold bottle of water sit on either side of me there's a scattering a USB flash drive sprawled at my feet on the coffee table I can hear Ashley hammering old coconuts into mulch in the garden whilst chatting to the neighbor I checked my phone to see if the signal that has been dying for 48 hours is back yet it isn't my stomach churns again and the full afresh we begged wholemeal bread with avocado flushes through my mind I pushed the full of food aside for a minute and come to a compromise with myself okay forget the half-dozen paragraphs get the opening paragraph to the blog done then eat then we can crack on Ashley calls from outside dad can you come and check if I have any spiders or ants on me I smashed a coconut and they all flew into my face quick one just bit me on the eyelid I hop up from the sofa seems like a good time to take a break get that food and then crack on with the blog I feel settled I mean of course there are things I miss having close friends around talking to the family often daily exercise playing football watching football drinking flat whites however I guess there's things that fill the void as well snorkeling travel writing full-time having heaps of time to read watching new movies making homemade bread and the tropical fruit on offer is just incredible I guess I feel like everyday events no longer seem like such major events or major achievements I guess that shows that I'm I must be adjusting you know in the shift in environment and cultural changes I walk to the market a stroll to the nearby shop or a bike ride to the supermarket they feel more normal almost as normal as they would back in Wellington New Zealand don't get me wrong the 10-minute ride to the supermarket still offers its own set of unique events I greet people with good morning good afternoon non-stop a wave or at least 2030 times people wave to me people smile and people laugh and especially if I'm wearing a bicycle helmet they really don't seem like a thing here but they're definitely becoming more more normal walking into the air-conditioned supermarket a receiving nod and the two security guards at the door a quick glance at my mobile to see if the signals back no it's not so the card machines won't be working so I fumble around and discreetly as possible cane how much cash I have in my pocket passing the ever-growing collection of bulls and newly acquired stack of cocoa sacks I collect a basket and begin the supermarket quest it really is a quest the usual oats cake mixes cereals and crates of Coca Cola Fanta and coca-cola Pepsi replicas all at the entrance and ahead into the well stock pile of herbs spices source mustards and dry pasta and stock up on the staples I take a fleeting look through there the biscuit in crocodile which reveals the most well style in the supermarket however a resisted temptation of pre melted chocolate whiskey and continue on looking out for a new exciting stock I guess that's come in on the boat recently the most exciting part the regular supermarket experience which I really do look forward to it's got to be the fridges and the freezers which sounds weird but I'll try and explain how I saved this to last and I go in thinking there must have been a new delivery there's colorful ice popsicles that fill the chest freezer closest to me that's pretty normal I skip over the second chest reason knowing that it will be full of those loose bright red sausages that who knows what they have in them and people seem to like them but they're really not for me I catch a glimpse of them as I pass and yeah they're just loose and just not for me I guess I skipped the herd Teresa which is crammed to the to the top with chicken parts and I make my way to the back where there's a coca-cola and blazed fridge upright fridge checking out the dairy I guess and that the cold drink options and there's a normal round tubs of margarine there's the small fingers of butter that are on offer and cartons of mini tiny little chocolate milks all usual suspects there's a small stack of very expensive lonely sad looking cheese slices tasty cheddar light sitting in the corner of the fridge and then I see it there's the new new delivery and it's randomly cold cans of soda water tonic water and ginger ale filling one of the shelves organized in neat rows and drinking condensation and just looking very refreshing as much as I'm not a big fan of soda water just having a different from water plane water I go for it and stock up on half a dozen cans I head to the tail try my card just in case it doesn't work so I hand over a hundred kina notes get my change and leave the shop with a thank-you and a nod to the security guards and a backpack full of soda water tomato paste tea bags cinnamon hand soap all the normal things I guess my stomach is still rumbling I moved the very warm laptop from my now overheating legs and head into the kitchen to fill the kettle another distraction I'm guessing whilst he boils slowly on the stove I spots some rat droppings on the counter and flick them to the floor as I'm doing this I think I really should just get the dustpan and brush and brush them up but it's too late they're on the floor out of sight out of mind I guess we've had this resident rat for the last couple of weeks now he's paid numerous uninvited and unwanted visits to me and one particular occasion in bed recently not where you want a rat to be not where I want a rat to be anyway I could hear the scuttle of small feet on the wooden floors waking me up early in the morning as ratty as he's now being referred dives under the bed and makes a right racket he's playing with her empty contact lens box and I wake up leap to the middle of the bed sitting upright on my knees and just hope for dear life that he's not gonna appear and chew his way through my mosquito net and attack me which I'm sure he wouldn't but yeah in the moment who knows meanwhile Ashley's reaching across to the light switch and I'm just asking her can you see him can you see him she can't see him she can see what I can see and that is the light for us and right like cheap flickering on and then ratty speeds I threw the bedroom door towards the kitchen and I guess to on my kitchen counter before departing into the night anyway where was I yeah preparing this snack wholemeal bread meant for a Russian chunk of our vintage crumbly cheese which fellow volunteer brought me down from ER from Booker as we've been short on cheese in arawa fer four weeks or so me the avocado at this point just sound a little too labor-intensive and they're always a little bit here miss here they're quite often quite watery and quite tasteless but yeah the cheese is always good her never glance in the thermometer reveals it's now thirty point three degrees the the rays of sun have disappeared from the wooden floorboards and the Kleins no longer defined just a blanket of gray still threatening to rain I get distracted from writing once again which is pretty usual of late and what episode of Breaking Bad it's pretty good on obviously well many years behind the trend of watching Breaking Bad but at least I can watch it all episode after episode and distract myself when need be I eat and I sip my tea with powdered milk there's been no UHT milk fur for a long time too I hear voices outside and I can hear the neighbors hanging and I stuff on the line I can hear Ashley nagging holes and spreading mulch she's planting lemons passion true in orchids which she got from the market i Paul's Breaking Bad and I investigate the activity from the vantage point on my balcony above the garden I also check on the garden progress and it's looking good and have a little chat with the neighbors and then before long I'm assigned a driving activity of transporting jugs of water from the house into the garden to water the newly planted plant eventually I pull myself back to the laptop and I think Ryan must continue with the blog I quickly checked my phone for a signal but the phone's night died I think I is there any point in charging it as it's been down so long I tried it anyway Justin just in case it comes back he I guess you never know as I'm doing this I think about that the highlights over the last couple of weeks and I guess yeah there's two two highlights that spring to mind the first is put pork island it's not far from Arawa and it's where I spent New Year and the second is the area of Road Turkish which is north of Arawa cypher then yeah just I have Booker and it's where I went trekking for three days put pork island a place that it's easy to relax you can do nothing cor as I experienced a place where you can do everything you want snorkeling on a nearby coral reef taking a boat to an outer reef and snorkeling swimming to a tiny Sand Island boat trips to the surrounding islands including the the places where the film mr. pip was was located you can go trekking up the hill through the forest to the top of the island where I spotted hornbills and eagles floating high above us and also spotted huge giant clams three feet wide while snorkeling and heaps are fishing upon returning back to the mainland I contact one of pngs Airlines era New Guinea and I suggest a potential article about my experience on public island after a few e-mails back and forth you know in between the signal being up and down I'm quickly typing a 600 word article for the regular out there column which will be included in the latest edition of the in-flight paradise magazine so if your honor our new guinea flight anytime in the next four to eight weeks okay for the article and this article challenges me in in many ways although they're all enjoyable challenges I was given deadline I had seven days to prepare the article and get the finalized version to the editor surprising how quickly young seven days can pass when you you're focused and yeah you know that you've got to get something done like I say the phone signal and the internet is up and dying so working around that it's a challenge sometimes but days on end recently it was down for five days and this this just adds to they to the challenge I guess I needed to get details on the accommodation on the costs email addresses contact numbers to book a stay this all takes time with the deadline looming I draft an article including low res photographs send it to the editor and promised to send high-resolution photos upon acceptance I follow up with a Facebook message to the accommodation owner on put-put and I mentioned that there's a potential that his place may be promoted or advertised I guess and an article in Paradise magazine and he responds with a heartfelt message which was just fantastic and it's fun of what the what I love about the travel writing when you get genuine responses and he said good on your travel had enriched him in a way that he couldn't explain and it would be a real honor to read the article if it were to be published and the second highlight that springs to mind is as I mentioned Rohtak us an area north of Arawa just south of Booker and so several weeks later I'm in the back of a dusty blue Land Cruiser it's got a cracked windscreen heading out of Arawa one point one and a half hours north to the area of rota class I'm staying in the mountains for three nights trekking and exploring during the day and then pretty much eating resting playing cards and reading at night and doing this was as always trying to avoid mosquitoes that annoy the hell out of me but it's a small price to pay the walk in in rota Cass is unique you spend a lot of time in water in rivers and streams navigating waterfalls and it's just yeah unlike any trekking I've experienced before and New Zealand obviously is fantastic for the tramping or trekking but Bougainville just feels unexplored you really do feel like you're seeing some places for yeah the first time or the only a handful of people have seen I guess so I'm trekking through that the river streams and many many waterfalls varying in size is towards the toko caves or you cocteau caves we picked up quite the entourage John on roof as men and women from nearby villages join us for a day of trekking why do they wear those boots one of the newcomers asked as she walked bare feet with far more grace than any one of us tracking and the guide replied it's their way and the laughter that spreads from yeah every on one end of the the entourage to the the other end it's kind of hilarious how people are just laughing at us as we stumble around in the water wearing these huge tracking boots but yeah I don't seem to be helping us I'm probably the first person to admit that I'm not a huge fan of caves however on this occasion I battle with my conflicting brain and heart and edged deeper into the damp dark slippery you koto caves there's bat coating my boots and I can kind of feel it lapping up around my my shins towards my knees I expected to smell of sulfur and it doesn't my head torch does little but allowing me to to catch glimpses of crabs as they kind of scuttle away below me and spiders on the cave walls and and bats as they flap around and hang around and yeah I guide my way with my palms flat against the cold damp walls of the cave have too near near misses near collisions with fleeing bats and my face and eventually I arrive at a narrow tall cavern and that just kind of seems to go on and on and on in into the darkness I can see bats hanging from cracks in the walls and the crab stir around my feet continuing to yes scuttle around there's a small hole in the cave wall in front of me and it's proposed that that's our route there's no larger than two feet tall by one foot wide and this is where my brain kind of takes over and goes into overdrive I guess and eventually forces me back there's no way I'm going through that hole even if I could fit the amount of bat that would be on me and yeah there's something about squeezing through a hole that locks my my quick escape if I need to so I choose to return and you have to send no further into the abyss I guess at this stage so my ninth inning head torch guides me back eventually I hear the familiar trickle of the waterfall that's at the cave entrance and my eyes quickly adjust to the sunlight but it's streaming in through there the cave knife and then we have the intrepid route back down to ground level which is 30 feet below I'm currently out do not let go with your hands is bellowed from above and as I'm clinging to tree roots or vines and rocks or whatever else I can grasp on my descent this there was no way I was going to let go with my hands apart from when I need to move my hands to grab on to the next thing so it was a slow but yeah definitely intrepid descent down to a grand level the remainder of the trek is more serene than intrepid yeah there's really impressive waterfalls as I've mentioned we go for a swim in one of the the waterfalls where there's a nice swimming swimming spot it the water is cold it's deep it's raging weather the falls are falling into it but it feels so good to just be immersed in cold water after being in hot humid conditions for so long our entourage quickly reduces in numbers as people return to their village the handfuls of crabs wrapped in banana leaves they've taken from the caves and I'm assuming they're for dinner however this short piece of serenity I guess wasn't to last for too long I take a break for a couple of days from writing the blog the clock is just ticked 8:46 a.m. there's a cool start to the day it's gently raining which is perfect for refilling our water tanks which have been getting pretty low over the last week or two I'm sipping on a hot tea and tastes the full cream UHT aftertaste it arrived on the island a couple of days ago and I got a couple of cartons of it to have a break from that the powdered milk is that alone Doxey malaria pill sits on the dining table the dirty dishes near the sink tease me as they sit there still dirty I need to commit in at least an hour to to them at some point today get them out the way suddenly the phone buzzes it makes that familiar sound the signal is pack has been dying for five days so this is a huge moment messages from Instagram comment pods advised me that fellow instagramers have posted photos and they are waiting for a like and a comment Facebook tells me that someone's posted a new photograph that I have memories from five years ago and six new followers on travel inspired all good stuff I think to myself I really must finish the final paragraph of the blog as I take another sip of tea I'm still not convinced about the full cream taste of this UHT anyway to pick up where I left off the Serenity wasn't to last for too long in road to Cass as I dropped to one knee the ground shakes violently I dropped the rucksack to the ground and lean against it to keep my balance the ground continues to shake and sway roll with a deep Rumble for well over a minute I think to myself that this probably isn't a bad place to experience a large earthquake yes I'm super remote and somewhat disconnected but at least there's no high-rise buildings around I guess to fall and yeah cause chaos and at least in the mountains I don't need to worry about tsunami alerts I look up at everyone else who are all focused on keeping their balance one minute seems like an eternity then it stops I stand cautiously expecting another wave of shocks but they never arrive the phone signal immediately dies and I glanced up and I spot the phone tower up on a nearby peak it looks intact I mean it's standing there but I later learned that it's sustained damage during the the earthquake shortly after the quake I'm standing at the base of a 200-foot waterfall the the falls are earth colored were landslides and slips of fallen into the river upstream the Falls crushing my feet they were pretty incredible powerful amazing looking waterfalls fresh landslides are all around me and revealed boulders of huge proportions so ten feet tall ten feet wide boulders massive things uprooted trees and loose dirt surround the otherwise green slopes encompassing me that evening playing blast card and Yahtzee in back in the house there's a knock at the door in a soft voice ass would you like to see my bag Ana erupting I leap up search from my camera my my GoPro it's brown some mosquito repellent and head out into the night 20k away in the distance the volcano was erupting which is wow that's incredible it's blasting bright red and molten burn to the night-sky the sign can only be imagined to from the distance and in the blackness of the night it's really difficult to fully comprehend the scale of this humbling experience and natural wonder I watch and stare I take a final sip of my tea maybe I'll get used to this full cream UHT taste mmm I don't know the phone makes never signed confirming that the signal Internet is still available and that the blog post could be live shortly after listening to some Tracy Chapman doing some push-ups I can feel that the blog is closed despite my many distractions my eye catches the dairy dishes once again okay I just need to pick the photos now for the blog hit publish and then I'll sort those dishes out thank you for listening to the travel inspired podcast I hope you enjoyed it and yes really appreciated if you've got any questions just done hop online and go to wwl inspired Cody and Zed find the the blog post and feel free to ask any questions and I'll get straight on to answer in them from the website you can always find my facebook page and my Instagram page as well where I'm pretty active I'm sharing my latest adventures and photos and so on so yeah feel free to hop on now give it a follow give it a like comment and so on so yeah until next time take it easy and speak to your scene cheers guys right

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