Sunday, September 30, 2007

View from my window

I miss this view but I am having a great time!!

Hope all is well in the world of blogging. See you soon.

Denton at Greenville Daily Photo is looking after my blog and feeding the cat while I am away. Hope you can keep visiting and say hi.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Calf in the copra

Coconut Products Limited has a small herd of cattle that they run amongst their copra (coconut) plantation at Ulaveo. We were driving through one day on the way to Tovarua Beach, when we came across this calf in amongst the copra. Its mother had obviously left it there to rest while she grazed.

This photo was taken from a moving car and isn’t the best, but I thought it was unusual enough to post.

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and posting for me while I am in Vietnam!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

What's for dinner Mum? Not gecko AGAIN!

I saw a huge gecko sizing up this large moth under the house the other day, and thought he was being fairly optimistic. When I downloaded the photo I then saw another smaller gecko at the back. Maybe the smaller one was hoping to get the left-overs.

I kept an eye on them but they gave up and left the moth alone. I think they decided that “their eyes were bigger than their stomachs”, as my Mum used to say!!

Sorry Neva I know you hate all the big creepy crawlies we have here!!!!

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and posting for me while I am in Vietnam!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Flowers in a cemetery

This tropical garden is at Bitapaka War Cemetery. The local people keep the place absolutely immaculate and it is a joy to visit.

See previous postings of this cemetery.

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and posting for me while I am in Vietnam!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another trade store

This brightly painted shop-front is in Kokopo and sells exactly what they advertise!!!

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and posting for me while I am in Vietnam!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You light up my life.

The storm from yesterday's post arrived later in the evening and put on a great light display.

This is my first attempt at lightning photos using a tripod and time exposure, and this was the only decent one I got.

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and posting for me while I am in Vietnam!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Storm he cometh!!

Storm clouds moving in from the sea; quick batten down the hatches!!!

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and posting for me while I am in Vietnam!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Seed bilum

This is a close-up of one of the bilums I bought from the kids at the volcano (yesterday’s post).

It is made with seeds that have been drilled and threaded, and cost all of $4 dollars Australian. Imagine how many hours it took. I never bargain with them as I feel what they make is worth so much more!!!

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and posting for me while I am in Vietnam!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Children of the ash

These children sell necklaces and bilums to tourists near the volcano. It is a tough way to spend the weekend in the heat and the ash, but they always have a smile and a joke especially if you buy something!!!

The original land owners have blocked the path and charge visitors five kina (USD$1.60) to walk down to the edge of the sea at the base of Mt Tavuvur. The women sit in a haus win further up the hill making the items to sell.

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and doing my posts while I am in Vietnam !!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pomio Brown

Orchids grow like weeds up here and my neighbour has a wonderful garden filled with them - orchids that is, not weeds! She often arrives at the doorstep with bunches of them for me; such a treat!

This is a Pomio Brown which is apparently quite rare she tells me. Pomio is a small town south of here.

Thanks to Denton at Greenville Daily Photo for feeding the cat and doing my posts while I am in Vietnam !!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Over and out Denton!

Denton has kindly volunteered to post for me from tomorrow while we are in Vietnam. Not sure if he realizes he has to feed the cat too!!!

Please pop in and say hi even though I can’t reply. I’m sure Denton will be pleased of the company; he won’t know anyone here in Rabaul!!!

Tenkyu tru Denton. I hope you like sunsets because you will see lots while house sitting for me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

War toys in Kokopo Museum

On display in the grounds of the Kokopo Museum is this Japanese triple barrel anti-tank and aircraft canon that spat out 300 rounds a minute. Sounds pretty deadly.

It is also the final resting place of WWII aircraft found in the jungles here. I know nothing about war planes – does this one look familiar to anyone???

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Naughty but Nice

This is the instrument panel and the hand-painted “Naughty but Nice” insignia from a Boeing 17E Flying Fortress that crashed in East New Britain during WWII, and is now on display in the Kokopo Museum.

From its serial number and other details it is believed this plane flew into Pearl Harbour during the battle of 7 th December 1941.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Not so floating crane

This is the remains of the Japanese floating crane sunk by allied aircraft in WWII. They followed it all the way from Singapore and bombed it when it finally reached its destination here.

It lies where it was bombed, on the edge of the Rabaul/Kokopo road, at Blue Lagoon.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Up in smoke

This lady and her friend selling tobacco seem to enjoy getting their photo taken.

The locals roll the tobacco leaves in niuspeper (newspaper) and smoke it – you’d need an asbestos throat I reckon but apparently it is cigar-like in flavour.

The Australian niuspepers are preferred and apparently the Sydney Morning Herald is the most valued. Maybe it is the size, quality of paper - I'm not sure???

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cool Cat !!

Denton - meet Benson, the cat!!!

How cool is he? In the tropics the cats find all the best spots to sleep, including the mat out on the deck.

Denton is going to feed you while I am away so be polite........and don’t sleep on my pillow!!!”

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lukim yu bihain wantoks!!!

This is early morning at Tokua Airport and by the time you read this I will be on my way to Australia - if Air Niugini is in a good mood today!!!

Even though I’ll be away I hope you can still pop in for a visit as I have been slaving over a hot computer putting a month of posts into drafts – I have blisters on my fingers. I have even got my October Theme day organized – how dedicated is that????

He-Who-Doesn’t-Blog-But-Has-Been-Talked-Into-It is going to post for me until he flies down next week (and also during the week after we get back from Vietnam while I am still in Brisbane). I hope you can leave a comment or two to encourage him!!!! If there is a day missing now and again don’t be alarmed!

Denton has kindly offered to post for me (and feed the cat) while we are in Vietnam. Please pop in and say hi to him as he doesn't know anyone here!!

Tenku tru (Thank you very much) guys!!

Lukim yu bihain wantoks (See you later my friends)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Air Niugini

I go on leave tomorrow. I am flying to Brisbane to see my girls, then a week later I leave for Vietnam with my family for two weeks. I have another week in Brisbane, and then back to Rabaul on October 9.

So with all the flying I am about to do, this post is for Air Niugini, the national Airline of PNG. The people of PNG have a love/hate relationship with the company we often call Air No Going. We are often FANGFU'D, flights are cancelled, planes are late, and we moan and yell and whine but….. we couldn’t live or fly without them.

This is the Air Niugini office in Kokopo – notice the clever design of the building.

Pikininis bilong Gelegela

These pikininis (children) were all enjoying the Tambu Ceremony but were a bit bewildered by the white misis taking their photos. The pikinini on her brother’s lap burst into tears about two seconds after I took the photo, and screamed the place down!!!

Do you notice their blonde hair? Many Tolai children have blond hair – natural not bleached!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Buai anyone?

During the ceremony betel nut is also distributed and shared.

Betel nut, also known as buai, comes from a palm that grows in the coastal areas of many tropical countries, including PNG. It is traditionally prized and is of enormous importance in PNG culture. It is chewed at ceremonies and gatherings and when and wherever possible by those who indulge. In the West you are offered a cup of tea or coffee - in PNG you sit around with your friends and chew buai.

The nut is shredded of its fibrous outer layer, cracked between the teeth and the nut inside chewed with daka (mustard seed stick), dipped in kambang (powder made from crushed coral lime). It results in a mouthful of vivid red spittle which is then usually spat out onto the ground.

It apparently is able to quench one’s thirst, keep hunger pains at bay, cure stomach upsets and take away bad breath. It is also thought to be an aphrodisiac by some. It is a mild narcotic and becomes addictive. The lime is very caustic and can cause cancer.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tambu Wheels

During the ceremony the man’s shell money, that had been wound onto wheels during his lifetime, were broken open. (In the top picture you can see the now empty wheels at the back and the collected fathoms hanging at the front).

The names of his relatives are called and the women of these families, wearing black and with lime powder on their bodies, distributed the collected fathoms to the clan (second photo).

Tambu is also used for bride price, for paying compensation and in the villages, for buying goods and services. At the ceremony women were selling snacks and drinks which were being paid for with shell money fathoms. (you can see them in the basket in the third photo).

Extra - On my other blog Rabaul Daily – Extra Photos there are some photos I took of Rabaul yesterday for Pia,
and there are also some bilum photos I took for Eliane.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Tambu Ceremony: Part 1

Recently I was honoured to attend a Tambu (shell-money) Breaking Ceremony which was held after the death of the uncle of a friend, who was a big man in Gelagela village outside Kokopo.

Tambu is still legal tender in the villages here and it is made from the Nassa Callosa and Nassa Camelus snail shells, which are found on the beaches of New Britain, New Ireland and the Solomon Islands .

In East New Britain the tops of the shells are broken off revealing a hole that is then threaded onto rattan in lengths called fathoms. This link gives more details and photos of how it is made.

Tomorrow I will show you what happened at the ceremony.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

God Save the Queen

Yesterday I found these photos that Mark emailed me. He didn't say who had taken them but it looks like there were taken from a helicopter. I had forgotten how fabulous they were and even though they aren’t recent, I thought they were worth sharing with you.

They are of the QE II as she steamed into Rabaul on her whirlwind tour in December last year.

The volcano gave the passengers a priceless display and the locals did very well selling their wares on the wharf to them.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Oasis in the Ash

Dug out of the ash after the 1994 eruption, Mango Avenue was the main street of Rabaul and once a beautiful tree-lined boulevard set out by the German colonialists.

Now, when the wind blows down the empty ghost-town street, it is filled with choking ash.

If you swung around to the left you would be in front of the Rabaul (Hamamas) Hotel. Owned by Bruce and Susie it is an oasis in the ash, a place a wonderful hospitality and with a Chinese restaurant that we drive from Kokopo to eat at!!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Trade Store

This is a typical Trade Store found in PNG. This one is in the old part of Kokopo down on the beach front. It sells bits and pieces of everything. The big ones in town here are run by Chinese families, but there are hundreds all over the place owned by locals, selling the basics to the community.

A trade store will always have rice, tinned fish, salt, two-minute noodles, tea and sugar on its shelves.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Takubar Beach

This post is for Vicky who was interested in the resort next door and for Pia to give her some idea where Takubar Beach is.

The top photo is the view from Rapopo Resort, next door, across the bay to Rabaul and the volcanoes. This photo was taken by a friend Martin who was a volunteer doctor working at the hospital, and is now living back in Germany.

The bottom photo is a view of Takubar beach and my house. The resort is just out of view on the left of the photo. Will take some more photos of it when I go down there this afternoon to have a drink with a friend. Look at my previous post Croquet Anyone? that was also taken at the resort

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mambu Pipe Band

This musical instrument originated on the island of Bougainville (North Solomons Province) which is not far from here. It is made by strapping mambu (bamboo) poles of different lengths together and hitting one end with a rubber thong!!! I'm not sure what they used before rubber thongs were introduced up here though.

The music from this band is hard to describe, but it is fast and furious and the sound resonates through your body – you can’t help but tap your feet and move to the beat.

Some of the bamboo is now being replaced by PVC piping as you can see at the bottom of the first photo. Oh the horrors of modernization - it doesn’t sound as authentic and it certainly doesn’t look it!!!!

I am having phone line problems again and am so frustrated I am struggling with whether to continue or not – I am able to post but I am unable to download many of the blogs with big or a large number of photos on their page.

Eliane, Jilly, Ann, Norma, Rambling Round, Isabella - please forgive my lack of visits - I do try but it just hasn’t been happening!!!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Liklik helicopter

Yesterday a liklik (small) helicopter was giving joy rides to guests of the resort next door. I waved but didn’t get a berth!!!

We think it was one of the helicopters used on the massive fishing trawlers that we get up here; they are used as tuna spotters.

The pidgin word for helicopter is helicopter. When I first came up here some people told me that the pidgin word for helicopter was mixmaster-bilong-god but this is a myth. The locals here have seen more helicopters than Mixmasters. I have heard it said it would be more likely that a Mixmaster would be called a helicopter-bilong-misis (white woman’s helicopter) than the other way around.

But it is descriptive isn’t it?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Happy Fathers' Day

Today in Australia and PNG it is Fathers' Day. So to all fathers out there - thanks and enjoy your day!! I am just about to ring my wonderful Dad in Queensland and He-Who-Doesn't-Blog got early morning calls from our daughters.

In honour of Dads I thought I would post a photo of this very regal looking gentleman I saw at the market the other day.

When do you celebrate Fathers' Day in your part of the world?