Papua New Guinea is going through an election period. At first I did not think it would effect us expats, because we obviously cannot vote here. Come to find out, it effects everyone quite a bit. Because so many nationals work on our center, many businesses have had to close for voting. Also, because of the PNG culture, the voting system can be unorganized and the “official” date of voting for our province changed multiple times. Obviously it is very different than an elections in the States. One thing that is not different is the heightened emotions of people all over the country. People leaving our SIL centre must be extra careful and aware because of the tension this current election has brought. One specific way I seen this is in the clinic. When we arrived I found out that they were not sending any expats or females out on village clinics for safety reasons. I was disappointed to hear this because it is something I was looking forward to doing. This week of election they have stopped village clinics all together.
Many helicopters have been coming and going from our SIL airstrip distributing and collecting ballots from remote villages. We ask for prayer for Papua New Guinea as the voting ends and officials attempt to collect the ballots from all the remote areas.