Every full time doc at Kudjip Hospital has one free afternoon per week. So nice, because it helps to make up for the nights we are up on call. My afternoon off is Thursday for now. I began the morning seeing patients on Medical or "C-ward," where I am assigned to this week. After finishing rounds, I headed home for some R&R. Well, an afternoon off anyways.
I chose to spend my day working in the monstrous garden that Becky and I inherited with our house. Having a garden is very practical here in PNG. The missionaries only go to town and market once a month, so a garden makes it possible to have fresh fruits and veggies throughout the rest of the month. It is so productive thanks to warm sunshine and a daily shower. And I have also discovered that pulling weeds can be quite therapeutic.
I changed into my get dirty clothes and mud shoes, slathered up with sun screen, and added a layer of bug repellent. My first two hours were occupied by weeding a row of pineapple... bushes? I guess that is what I would call them. We have about 5 rows of these things. Before coming to PNG I thought that pineapples grow on trees. Nope, they grow from the ground. The first crop produces only one fruit, but in subsequent years each bush will produce several at a time. I learned today that the leaves of pineapple bushes are quite sharp. Note to self #1: wear a long sleeve shirt next time.
Next stop of my gardening rampage was the blackberry patch. From what I understand, these are not native to PNG. One of the former missionaries planted a few seeds, and the plants have grown up beautifully. We have berries in all stages of development, from flowers to green buds to red to black ripe fruit. I picked about a quart of berries today, and that was after I picked every patch clean yesterday! They seem to ripen before your eyes. I am going to start freezing them with plans to make a pie one of these days. Yummm.
I finished up my afternoon by collecting lemons from our three lemon trees out front. We have more lemons than I know what to do with! Lemonade, lemon bars, lemon chicken, lemon this, and lemon that. Let me know if you have any good recipes. Note to self #2: squeeze lemons BEFORE getting sliced up while working in the garden. Ouch.
"The Lord will guide you always...
you will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail."
~ Isaiah 58:11