Sunday, 22 February 2009

My trip to Papua New Guinea

I always like to visit new places even if only once, and never again..... It looks like we may have more work to do in Papua New Guinea (PNG) so there is a chance that I may have to go back. The country has everything going for it: beautiful unspoilt nature, great beaches with snorkeling and diving, exotic culture with many different cultures, good climate. The only downside is the security situation: it is virtually impossible to travel around safely. We met some Australians (PNG is basically (not officially, but in actual practice) an Australian colony) who don´t leave their house except to go to work or the social club. And almost everyone we talked to had had their car stolen or experienced other robberies. I just wouldn´t want to live in a place where I can´t leave my house whenever I want to and to go wherever I want to safely.
We did a trip to the start of the Kokoda trail and were accompanied by 3 armed policemen that the client had arranged.
Work was good, as I said the place is basically run by Ozzies and a few Kiwis so communication was easy and I can´t remember how often I heard `no worries mate`. Some of the locals are well educated but a large percentage of the population `still live in trees` as one of my colleagues commented.
The hotel was nice and the restaurant and the gym overlooked the runway of the Port Moresby airport and the mountains in the background.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Back to reality

I am back home and back to reality. The beginning and end of this trip made me realize what I miss in my life. Sometimes life is not fair.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Going to Port Moresby

Tomorrow I will fly to Singapore where I will spend the weekend before flying to Port Moresby on Monday for two weeks of work in Papua New Guinea.
It is going to be interesting, certainly after reading this:

Rankings of the best and worst cities of the world for expatriates, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, with hardship rating in brackets, by percentage.


1. Melbourne (1)
1. Vancouver (1)
3. Perth (2)
4. Vienna (3)
4. Toronto (3)
4. Geneva (3)
4. Zurich (3)
8. Adelaide (4)
8. Brisbane (4)
8. Sydney (4)
8. Copenhagen (4)
8. Dusseldorf (4)
8. Frankfurt (4)
8. Oslo (4)
8. Montreal (4)


121. New Delhi (57)
122. Dakar (59)
123. Abidjan (60)
124. Mumbai (62)
125. Algiers (67)
126 Phnom Penh (70)
127 Dhaka (71)
127 Lagos (71)
129 Karachi (74)
130 Port Moresby (80)

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

25 random things about me

AR posted a list of "25 random things" on Facebook and asked some people including me to make their own list. Here is mine:

1. I was born the youngest in a family of 5. I have two older brothers. My dad passed away at the age of 67 in 1993, my mom will soon be 79 and is living with her partner (82).

2. I am a choc-a-holic. Whether it is a small box, a big box, or seven big boxes of chocolates, they won't last longer than 24 hours in my house.

3. When I was 11 I had terrible headaches and was admitted to hospital. The doctors suspected some rare virus and kept me in total isolation for a week. (even my mom couldn't come close) It was in the midst of summer and for some reason they gave me very little to drink. After a week I miraculously got better, and once home, drank 5 liters of water and juice. I have been drinking like a fish ever since.

4. My next job may very well be in teaching or customer service.

5.The last 15 years my weight has fluctuated between 82 and 100kgs. Once I decide that I am too fat it is relatively easy for me to lose weight.

6. At age 16,I had my first holiday (2 weeks in England) without my family with my best (gay) friend and two girls. Much later, my mom told me that the girls' mothers had called her to ask if they should be worried. My mother explained to them that everything should be allright, without giving the full story.

7. I like beer and wine and hardly ever drink stronger spirits.

8. I had a great time at University. I played korfbal (a Dutch sport) and was active in the Economics Student Association. And I even was DJ in a student bar for a year.

9. For work I have been to countries such as Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Uruguay, Mongolia and Cameroon.

10. For six years I lived in a house that had no shower.

11. In that same house my brother and I had "renewed" the electricity (cables, plugs, etc.) - when the insurance salesman saw it he refused us a fire insurance.

12. I am totally not interested in most material possessions - for me no big cars, fancy clothes, the latest electronics........

12a. I try to avoid nr 13 - it is an unlucky number.

14. I did 3 to 4 week mountain treks in Nepal, Northern India and Morocco - sleeping in a tent, washing in a river, sh*tting behind a tree - my best holidays ever.

15. I believe the older you get, the fewer mistakes you make - life is a learning experience. But there are still lots of new mistakes to make.....

16. I often cry during movies.

17. I don't have a problem with getting older - every age has its beauty.

18. When I was 12 I often played "doctor" with the two neighbour girls. Correction: they played "doctor" with me.

19. After graduation from high school 3 friends and I did a 2-month, 5,500 km bicycle tour from the Netherlands, via Germany and Denmark to Norway, and back via Sweden, Denmark and Germany. I have never seen so much rain in my life.

20. During that trip, we discovered that Scandinavia is expensive so we joined tour groups in restaurants to get our food. Never had a problem.

21. I hate the narrow-mindedness, greed, internal politics and little games of the corporate world.

22. I am wondering how people who have more than -say- 150 friends on Facebook can ever keep track.

23. I can't remember names of artists, musicians, actors, etc. I have never heard about half of the people considered "famous".

24. Quality is more important than quantity.

25. I normally hate these kinds of lists, but this was fun and I am looking forward to read yours!