Morning Mist - Tenterfield

28 August 2013

Village Life

This is part 3 of my old Papua New Guinea slides I converted recently.

If you haven't read the previous couple of posts, I used to live and work in Papua New Guinea between 1967 and 1970. I was frequently flying between towns and consequently saw a lot of this fascinating country.

While staying in Madang, the owner of the motel drove us into the hills where we visited this native village.

 The houses are built off the ground to stop animals from entering and to provide some cooling. It is very hot on PNG, all year around, 24 hours a day so any type of cooling is welcome.


A typical Madang house

As soon as we arrived, the picanninis (children), came to check us out. The villagers were very friendly and always welcomed visitors. 

The Village Square with the local kids

The men were out hunting gathering and left the womenfolk to look after the villages. The women were pottering, producing ware they would take to the local markets to sell,

This woman is finishing a pot

Of course, they also looked after the children and small farming animals such as pigs and chickens.

Mum with her two children
In Manus Island, we worked in the Australian navy base, 'HMAS Tarangau'. We were building the communications building. I employed a young boy by the name of Pius, to help me with the electrical installation. He had just left school and was looking for work. He was a good worker and willing to learn. He showed me how to get coconuts straight out of a tree, by climbing up without ropes or ladders.

Pius is picking a coconut
In Wewak, in the Sepik District, we played soccer on the beach on a Sunday and before long, the local kids joined us in the fun. The kid standing in front of me is wearing my sunnies.

On a beach with the local children

Also on a beach in Wewak, I took a picture of this woman carrying her shopping home in typical New Guinea fashion with a net carried with her head.

A woman carrying her goods.
It is such a shame that the people in Papua New Guinea can't get their act together. It could be a fantastic tourist destination for people around the world. Instead, the country is dominated by corruption and fighting and today is one of the most dangerous places to live. I am so happy, it was paradise in the 60s when we lived there.


2 comments:

  1. I can't help but notice how neat the village looks, quite unlike similar permanent camps here. Interesting that PNG also used the word picanninis for children, as was the case here.

    PNG independence was one of Gough's worst mistakes and it's not like it has saved us money, if fact probably cost us more.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, it was inevitable that PNG would eventually gain independence. But it happened much too soon. The locals were not ready. As a consequence, the country is now in a mess.

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