Friday, May 2, 2008


These past few days have reminded me how thankful I am for Digicel. When Megan was here, the cell phones allowed us to communicate while she was in Moresby and I had to give her their new flight reservations. She had the McCoys phone, so I could talk to her. Digicel is the new cell phone company which has transformed PNG's communications. Digicel got to PNG before I did, but in these past 6 months here it has taken off. Previously, the main form of communication was through landlines, which often didn't work. Most villages didn't have phones and so folks couldn't communicate with others far away. Now everyone can have a phone and talk to friends and family. You don't have calling plans, but use prepaid calling cards to make calls. To call the US it is about 30 cents on nights and wkends, a lot cheaper that the old satellite phone that was a dollar or more each minute. Our station now has a Digicel tower built on it, which allows even more folks to use their service. The tower has also allowed me to use my phone in my house, because before I had to go outside to get service.

I am thankful for my phone which has allowed me to communicate with folks back home that I wouldn't otherwise. I was able to talk with my grandma almost every week while she was alive, whether it was in the hospital or at home I could call her. She didn't have a computer and the delays can be quite long, so the phone was the way to go. I have also been able to call Megan just to say hi at times. Digicel has also changed communication for the missionaries. Before we relied on radios in the vechiles to let people know our location. We still use the radios, but now we can call someone while in town to let them know where we are, or when we will be home, or folks can call us to pick something up.

It seems like almost everyone now has a cell phone and they use it a lot. When I walk home after work, I often pts out on the lawn talking to someone, and see a couple College of Nursing students outside their dorm on the phone. It isn't uncommon for a pt's phone to go off when I am seeing them, or for them to be talking on the phone waiting to be seen, which is like in the states. If it doesn't go off, then it is hanging around their neck, or in their bilum. We aren't suppose to use our phone while working, but at times folks still do (I asked Rachel to pose for this picture). Having the phone go off during chapel is not a good thing.