*This is a transcript of a letter I received from the Apma Project* that I wanted to share:
Shopping PNG Style
“A day of shopping in PNG can be quite an ordeal. There are no Wal-mart’s here, no Cosco’s, or K-mart and definitely no express lanes. Last month we went to Wewak (one of 10 largest cities in PNG) just to do some shopping for the next 3 months, (yes I know how that sounds). To start our day of shopping we get up early. Since we don’t have a car in Wewak we have to hitch rides with friends or catch the PMV (Public Motor Vehicles). But I will give you an idea of gas prices if we had a car there. We sell by the liter here but the cost per gallon is roughly K26 or $13. That is the town price, in the village it goes for K30-K35 a gallon $15-$17.50. After getting gas you may need to stop at the “chemist” pharmacy for toothpaste (K7.50 $3.75), soap (K2.20 $1.10) and shampoo (K15 $7.50). After that you would head to the grocery for some essentials: 1 dozen eggs (K12.00 $6.00), 1 liter of milk (K6.50 $3.25 or about $12 something a gallon), a box of cereal (K27 $13.50), a small block of cheese (K13.00 $6.50), a bag of PNG coffee (K13 $6.50), a pound of natural PNG sugar (K3.30 $1.15), 5 pound flour (K8.00 $4.00), a small whole chicken (K22 $11.00), and 2 pounds of ground beef (K26 $13). When you are through there, you have to find a ride home since you don’t want everything to melt and since you can’t leave anything in a car even a locked one. If you need some clothes for yourself or your kiddies, the best place to go is the second-hand shops. The poor quality of the goods distributed here in PNG make second-hand ware from the US and Australia a much better bargain. You can get a pair of name-brand jeans for men and women for K14 $7 or women’s shirts from K1 or ..50c. Kids clothing is in great demand, so you must be a diligent shopper if you have kids. I usually spend about 2 hours there every trip to town just to find the things we need. Now I haven’t been home in quite a while so I don’t really know how these prices compare with US prices right now but I thought you die-hard shoppers might be curious. Oh, and don’t forget, during this shopping trip, you are clutching your purse to your chest for fear of theft and watching for kids who work together in groups of 2-3 to distract and then grab your stuff. The street venders are always up in your face and you are dodging the red buai spit all over everything. Our car has been broken into 3 times in 3 years and once the window was smashed in a theft attempt. So if you are out shopping enjoy your weekend at the mall and I look forward to being there with you in May!”
This is just a glimpse inside of the real lives that are doing real work in a real world. The Pryor family needs our love through prayers and encouragement. Those two things are always expressed through action and can be made known in tangible ways.