Travel to PNG and Getting Settled

We’re back in Papua New Guinea after being away for 11 months! When we arrived for our first leg of the journey in Charlotte, the airline didn’t have our reservation even though I had a printout with our itinerary. After checking our names, passports, and confirmation numbers to no avail, they found it under our credit card. Apparently I had bought the tickets but was not booked on the flight. It was a good thing they still had seats left!

Our route took us from Charlotte to San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand to Cairns, Australia. We stayed overnight in Cairns but jet lag kicked in and I woke up at 1 am. Our whole family was awake and laughing by 5 am. We flew from Cairns to Port Moresby and then on to Wewak. All of our luggage made it with the usual damage to suitcases. We left Charlotte on Friday at 4:30 PM and arrived in Wewak around 6:00 PM on Monday. It took about a week to fully get over jet lag.

Kundu Lizard

“Kundu” lizard

Stepping off the plane in Wewak felt like stepping into a blast furnace. We loaded our luggage into the van and sat down in seats that felt damp. The joys of living in a hot, humid climate!

I went and visited a couple pastor friends and had a good time catching up on what has happened over the last year. One of them sent me home with half of a Red Emperor fish. It was quite tasty!

Yesterday I was sitting in my house when I heard someone very loudly call my name. I left to see what was the problem and found two ladies very much afraid. Apparently there was a large lizard in the neighboring flat. Approaching carefully I saw a big lizard (about 18” long) behind a small trash basket in the bathroom. I was uncertain about its speed but was pretty sure that if it bit me, it

Kundu Drum

Kundu drum

would hurt. I grabbed a large box and put it on its side, removed the trash basket, and offered the lizard a new hiding place. He was very happy to take up residence in the box and was quickly captured. After pictures he was unfortunately dispatched.

I described the lizard to my friends and they told me that the brown lizard with the purple tongue was the “kundu” lizard. The skin of this lizard is what they use as the drum head of the kundu drum. There was some dispute if a bite would kill a man or only almost kill a man. One person told me the antidote for the kundu lizard poison was to eat dog poop. I’m glad I didn’t have to find out if this remedy actually works! I suppose at the very least it would take your mind away from the pain.


  1. PennyKay Hoeflinger

    I love lizards and I am glad for the up date. Stay safe all of you and may Christ Jesus hold all of you in His hands. Blessing to you all, PennyKay

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