Carnival, Basketball, and Uncle Lida…

Uncle Lida…

Yes, it’s true. I have procured yet another Ukarumpan nickname: Uncle Lida

Here in Ukarumpa, the tiny children will call you Mr. or Ms. Frist Name, then when they get to know you and like you, you become Aunt or Uncle First name. My friend Kelly and her family (including a 4 yr old little boy) were on a walk the other day when I stepped outside to see them. Here is what transpired:

Me: “Hey, Will!
Kelly: “Will, say ‘Hi’ to Aunt Leah.
Will: “Hi Aunt Lida!”
Kelly: “No, Will, Aunt LE-AH”
Will: “Aunt Lida!!”
Kelly: “Will, no…”
Will: “… … … UNCLE Lida!”

Now, when I see their family, I am greeted by Will and his five year old sister with shouts of “Uncle Lida!”

Precious moments are always around the corner here in PNG.

*          *          *

Well folks, it’s been a while since I last updated so here is what has transpired:


I. LOVE. MY. GIRLS. And I love them more when they pass the ball. They know this because I yelled this at them yesterday during our game 🙂

Here in international rules land, basketball can be quite confusing when coming from America.  And by quite confusing I mean that really the only difference is that when shooting free throws you play on the RELEASE of the ball rather than when the ball hits the rim. Quite exciting. Also, depending on where you are you may play 10 minute halves…or 20 minutes halves… or 5 minutes halves, depending on the mood of the tournament coordinators 🙂 I love it!!!



Halloween came and went here in PNG. Here are some of my favorite moments:

Tuesday, 30 Oct – During class

Student: “Hey, isn’t Halloween supposed to be sometime?”
Me: “It’s tomorrow.”
Student: “I KNEW there was something about October 31st, but I couldn’t figure it out!”

Wednesday, 31 October, 12:30pm
11th Grader: “RIGSBY! Hey, you should come trick or treating with us tonight!”
Me: “Uhh…OK, but only if we go to houses where we won’t offend people.”
Other student: “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. We have to go to the boys Bible study though. I told my boyfriend we were going trick or treating so he’s going to bring candy for us.”
Me: …
11th Grader: “Yay! This is going to be great! I’ve never been trick or treating before!”

Wednesday, 31 October, 8:30pm
*knock knock knock* “Trick or treat!!!”
Mom: “Yay! Oh quick get the little ones so they can see the costumes!!!! I was hoping some people would come tonight! Here have some cookies! *little kids come out* Look at their costumes guys! Yay!!”

Wednesday, 31 October, 10:00pm
*we finish and walk to the house of a girl in our group so her mom can drive us home*
*as we approach her house*…
Girl: “Oh guys! Trick or treat me!!” *runs into house and waits for us to knock*

Here is our little group of 11th and 12th graders and me:

We have 3 “Goth” people, a nerd, and I was a “gangster” i.e. I didn’t go home between school and trick or treating so one of the girls gave me a huge sweater and a hat 🙂

And last but not least…


Carnival is a yearly event in Ukraumpa organized by the SRC (think, Student Council) and all of the secondary campus students. It is their main service project to the community to provide a full day of fun for the elementary students as well as nationals who come from around the area to attend as well.  The proceeds of the event are donated to a charity in PNG as chosen by the students. Each grade level is responsible for two booths. These booths include, but are not limited to:

-Mini Golf
-Cotton Candy
-Kid’s Corner
-Coffee Café
-Face Painting
-Man Powered Ferris Wheel

I’m sorry… did you say man powered Ferris Wheel?

Yes, yes I did.

Pictures speak louder than words so, here we go:

That’s all for now… Peace out!

Leah Rigsby

One thought on “Carnival, Basketball, and Uncle Lida…

  1. I miss carnival so much! It was my absolute favorite time of year! I don’t know if this is still true, but back when I the high schoolers first started the man powered Ferris wheel, it was the only Ferris wheel in the country.

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