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Expat Living in Kuala Kencana, Papua

“The primary employers here are P.T Freeport Indonesia, Nusantara Power Systems, Trakindo, and P&O”, Rick answered.

Then we asked him, “Do you work for P.T Freeport Indonesia?” And he answered “yes, I do”.

So responding to that we asked, “Who is the president of Freeport?” Rick is very quick and answered “Mr. Richard”.

We can't keep up with his speed, so we asked slower, “how many expats work for those primary employers you answered earlier?” Well this one stumped him, 10 seconds later he answered “approximately 300”.

Curious, we asked him “What is the total work force including expats and nationals?”. Well Rick certainly knew the answer to this one. With great speed and accuracy he answered “approximately 12,500”

Well, settling down, getting close to the end of the interview, we relaxed and starting asking and answering a little slower. We asked, “What kind of work do those companies do?” Well Rick got hyper and answered “Freeport mines and mills copper and gold/NPS creates power for the mine and town/Trakindo sells and fixes the heavy mobile equipment/and P&O does transportation and shipping for Freeport.”

Now for the last question! “Is there anything that you think any new expats should know before they come here?” Well settling down for the last question he answers “Expect the unexpected.”. Well, bye now. Hope you enjoyed reading this information.

Today we're here at Bryce's house and we're going to give an extensive interview. Right now we are interviewing Shelley. Today we ask her “How do you feel the main expat employers are doing in general?”

“They are still running considering these hard times with copper and gold low” Shelley answered. Then we asked her “How do you feel about the town?” And she answered “I feel the town has good facilities, good water and power, and the water and power are quite consistent”.

So responding to that we asked, “Do you have anything to say to the expats to come?” Shelley is very quick and answered “This place is not a big center but has a lot to offer considering where we live, and patience is a virtue”.

Well nearing the end we asked “Could you please name four people you know who work for those primary employers?” “Mr. Charlie, Mr. Graham, my husband Rick, and Mr. Ron”. She replied getting ready for the last question. Now for the last question. “Will you give us a few words of how you think the employers of expats will do in the future?” Ready she was for the last question. She answered “I think there will be less expats as more nationals become trained.” Well now we leave Bryce's house and move, but that's all we have time for, so good-bye everybody.


The houses in Kuala Kencana are good in some ways and in some ways are bad. All the houses are different in shape and size. The main types of houses are A, B and Cs some have bigger porches and some have smaller living rooms or bigger kitchens. They measure either 140 square meters or 160 meters.

I will interviewed an ordinary housewife and then a student from the International School of Kuala Kencana.

My first question was “how do you feel about the houses and are they suitable to live in?” She answered by saying that the houses are adequate, they have three bedrooms and two bath rooms and are fully furnished. They are also fitted with lights and some of the lights are fitted with dimmer switches.

“How does the power effect the house?” The power goes out but not a lot maybe twice a month, also it goes out if to many appliances are in use then the house blacks out the thing to do is to turn off all appliances and go outside, find the electricity board and flip the orange switch.

Now for the last and final question “how do you feel about maintenance?” She said that the maintenance is good but also tardy.

There is one other thing about the houses, My interviewee suggested that all the houses should be the same, in size and contents.

The next day I went to school and interviewed a student . We sat and I asked the same questions. The student liked the houses and thinks they are good for a family of four and five. He liked that the houses were already furnished. Then I asked him about house maintenance he said they could get the work done but are very late and they need improving. In addition, to say where we live the electricity and water are very reliable.

Shopping in Kuala Kencana

My topic is on shopping in Kuala Kencana and I'll be talking mainly about the grocery store and the department store. I've interviewed an adult and a student.

So as you may have already guessed shopping in Kuala Kencana can be a totally different experience to shopping in the Western World. First of all there's a grocery store, a department store, a bakery, bank, post office and a hair and beauty salon. They provide your basic needs, but sometimes run out of potatoes, carrots, fruit, vegetables and sometimes even chicken.

Most people think all the essential items are in the shop but a lot of kids think that it needs more sweets or candy. The pricing of groceries over here is quite expensive compared to America or Australia but because we are so isolated it's O.K. The products are generally fresh but on the shelves their are a few things which have passed their use-by date, or the cheese and fruit can be a bit mouldy.

The staff are lovely and friendly and are very approachable. The department store is well stocked and in it is clothes, including shoes and both Indonesian and western style clothing. There are also native art creations, linen, electronics, whiteware and toys. The pricing is very reasonable. The condition of the buildings are good even in this heat. So all in all the shopping center is a good facility even in this heat.

Utilities in Kuala Kencana

The utilities here are probably just as good as anywhere else in Jakarta or Indonesia. They may even be better. The Internet connection here is reliable and quick.

There is one power plant here with three generators and due to natural causes we have power outs every two - three months. Either a frog jumps on the circuit board and fries it or a tree falls on a power line. Many things have happened for the power to go out. In the last two weeks we have had five power outages. One year ago, due to El Nino, there was a drought where there was no rain for two months. People could not flush the toilets unless really needed. The water for showers and sinks was only on for two hours a day. There are not many problems with the utilities aside from natural causes.

The hospitals here are just as good as any town this size in the U.S. and probably better than one this size in Indonesia. The hospital here can handle the deadly snake bites that we so rarely get and minor stuff like broken bones. We are so isolated though that were there any emergencies we would have to fly them to Singapore or Darwin. To fly to either of those places it takes hours.

A few months ago I broke my arm and even though they had reset it in place and put a cast on it. They still had to fly me to Singapore to check that they had set it right.

There are lots of malaria-carrying mosquitoes here so we have a malaria control team. They spray the air and try to cure and control the malaria here. Since we have malaria control there is little malaria here but in neighboring towns there are big problems with malaria. All in all we have pretty good medical care here.


Most of the facilities in Kuala Kencana are okay, but considering the area the Kuala Kencana is located in, the facilities are excellent. Nearly all the facilities in Kuala Kencana are good, but in particular the swimming pool and golf club are definitely over average. But of course nobody or nothing is perfect, and the same applies to the recreational areas of Kuala Kencana too.

The golf course, (eighteen holes) which was designed by a pro, is very good compared to ordinary courses, and is considered one of the best in Asia. The fairway grass is smooth, but in some areas, a bit damp. There is a driving range to practice your swing, as well as a sand bunker and a putting green. Even beginners will find it east to start as there is a professional golfer to assist, for a very low price. In fact they're prices are so cheap that I don't know how they profit! The layout is perfect and easy to get around, but of course, the course has it's plunge.

The biggest and one of the few downfalls they have is their restaurant. Although their food is generally fast and they have a variety of food, their food in not very efficient and neither the satisfaction to the tongue. But overall, as I mentioned before, Club Rimba (the name of the golf club) is not only good quality, but also very fun for children and adults.

The Olympic sized swimming pool has, is, and always will be a friendly place to go for a swim. Whether swimming, dunking your friends, or playing British bulldogs in the mini-pool all ages will find this place very good fun. Of course these are all mostly children things. Adults would prefer diving, swimming, or just chatting. For children there are the many floats and accessories including dive sticks, rings, kick boards, or hot dogs.

The kids shouldn't have any trouble finding fun here. The swimming pool will bring wonders to the body, at the same time as bringing fun to the mind. There are many other facilities by the swimming pool. These are the gym, ping pong room, baseball field, soccer field, tennis and squash courts, and farther away, the basketball and badminton courts, as well as the bowling alley. These are all average except the bowling alley which seems to crash a lot. You might get the idea Kuala Kencana is only sport, but there is a library, some shops, crafts lessons, and some other quiet things.

Consider the remoteness of the area, and the several flaws that Kuala Kencana holds will become insignificant. From an adult's point of view to a child's point of view, it will take you quite some time to get bored of Kuala Kencana.

Dining in Kuala Kencana

My topic is about the dining in Kuala Kencana. I interviewed a few people, and they helped a lot. With my own input and with the help of the people I interviewed, I was able to put this together.

The dining here has a lot of variety, and food from all over the world. The food gets to the customers at a reasonable time; half an hour or less. Also, everything is at a reasonable price, and the restaurants are usually very clean. Some examples are The Asean Restaurant and the Golf Club. The Asean Restaurant's most popular food is its Special Fried Rice. The food there is mainly from all over Asia.

The Golf Club has more of a Western variety, such as hamburgers, chicken fingers, french fries, steaks, and sandwiches. They also have some good Indonesian food, though.

Another place people like to go to eat is a hotel called the Sheraton. It has a nice, clean restaurant and a pool. The pool has a bar where you can order food, and have it sent to you while you sit lazily by the poolside. In conclusion, the dining here in Kuala Kencana is much appreciated by everyone.

Our thanks to Bryce, Jason, Victoria, Eamonn, Emma, Oliver and Mark of the MT. Zaagham International School inKuala Kencana for their help in preparing this information on expat life in Kuala Kencana, Papua.