Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A 12 month anniversary and a leave of absence

I fly out early this morning for Australia. Because of all the time I have been away over these last few weeks, coupled with the terrible phone lines and my sick computer, I am unable to put that many posts into draft, so I will leave you with a long post and hope you will pop back and visit me on my return on July 21.

I will celebrate my 12 month anniversary while I am away. Gosh time flies when you are slumped for months over a hot computer and cold phone lines!!! I have been unsure what I should post to celebrate, so I have put down some links to my favourite posts over the 12 months ........


Sky Watch Reflections

Deck hand framed

Porky palpitations

Baining Fire Dancers

Moon Series


A pier, a sunny day and friends

Dolphin escort

Women with melons and greens

..........and I leave you with a new one that I hope you will enjoy.

I had trouble getting into my room the first night at the hotel in Goroka, so the desk clerk sent for security to help me with the lock. It was unable to be fixed and I ended up in another room.

When the guards arrived I was amazed to see a young man with a huge bow and a handful of arrows. Beside him was a very old man with a huge bow and handful of arrows, a bone through his nose and……an Ipod. I could hardly believe it. I was unable to communicate with the elderly gentleman – he obviously had his Ipod up too loud or couldn’t understand my broken Pidgin.

I asked the young man what his name was and he told me “Geoffrey”. I then asked him why he carried a bow and arrow and he looked at me quite quizzically as if I had come down out of the sky the day before.

“To shoot rascals!” he replied vehemently.

“Oh,” said I, “Do you have a problem with rascals round here?”

“Oh yes, they come and steal things.”

“Do you shoot them with your bow and arrow?”

Again he looked at me as though I was really weird. “Yes.”

“Where do you shoot them… the leg?” I asked hopefully.

“Wherever I can,” he said quite smugly.

“Oh….have you shot many rascals?” I asked timidly.

“Yeah lots,” he answered quite gleefully.

He was so sweet and assured me he would guard my room all night. This was very reassuring as the door had no security on it.

I didn’t have my camera handy that night, but the next night I sent out a message to Geoffrey and he visited me in my new upgraded room (with a deadlock), to get his photo taken. He had another friend with him, who although very short and stout, was also heavily armed.

I slept well all week knowing Geoffrey and his band of Merry Men were roaming the grounds, bow and arrows at the ready, shooting rascals ....wherever they could!

(Luckily - no reports of rascals being shot were reported all week).


Thanks for all your support and friendship. Cheers!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Raun Raun Close-ups

More close-ups of the spectacular Raun Raun Theatre in Goroka. It is a modern building using many of the local building styles and techniques.

The roof is kunai grass which is a tough, long-bladed grass, that can grow to the height of 1.8 m and that is used in many local structures.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Raun Raun Theatre

The Goroka Theatre Company is based in the sensational Raun Raun Theatre building in the park opposite the market. There are local performances every Friday. I only had my zoom lens so couldn't get a photo of the whole building, so I only have bits and pieces of it.

These two sections of the roof above, are part of the roof that sits on top of the left section of the roof in the photo below.... if you can imagine it.

The photo below fits on the right side of the photo above.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Across a crowded room

In the Mt Hagen airport recently I saw this elderly lady from across the check-in area. I gave her a big smile and she immediately rushed over, grabbed my hands, and gave me the biggest smile and put her head on my chest. She kept stroking me and smiling and talking as if she knew me. It was an amazing experience.

I have no idea who she was, but we certainly connected that day. I asked if she I could take her photo and she said yes. Her grandson came over and straightened her hat and encouraged her to smile. When I had taken the photos I showed her the screen at the back of the camera.

She looked up at me with wide eyes and asked to me to give her the photo. Have you ever tried to explain to an 80 plus year old woman who has never seen a digital camera how it broken Pidgin!!!

It was one of those moments in life I will always remember with affection and a smile.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goroka University

These photos were taken on the Goroka University campus. It has lovely gardens and a great view!!!

This post in front of the library, has carvings of the Asaro mudmen and their round huts.

This is my travelling companion, colleague and friend, the wonderful Annie with me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Views of Goroka

Have only just got home from Goroka (had to have an extra day in Port Moresby for a meeting). This is a quick look at the attractive capital of the Eastern Highlands Province.

As you can see the town grew up around the airstrip and has a good range of facilities. It also has some excellent artifacts which I purchased with much glee!!!

With an altitude of 1600m the town has a lovely cool climate (the mornings were freezing actually) and is a lovely change from the humidity here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday 13 Sky Watch - take care!!!

This view of the sky is one that everyone living in PNG is familiar with. Razor wire is around most fences in urban areas. This was taken in Mt Hagen at the hotel I stayed in. It almost looks artisitic!!!

Luckily at home we don't need it!!!

Visit Tom for more razor sharp SKY WATCH photos.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll .......

A lot of the buildings in the Highlander Hotel complex are thatched.

This is the souvenir shop in the car park. These gentlemen just loved me!!

This gentleman was replacing some of the thatching on the hotel walkways, the week I was there.

I'm "down the road" in Goroka this week. See you on the weekend.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Downtown Mt Hagen

These photos of downtown Mt Hagen were taken through the bus window on my way to work. The town had been completely closed in under a blanket of fog that morning. It lifted, and was just hanging over the mountains, as we drove through town.

Mt Hagen is the provincial capital of the Western Highlands. It was just a patrol station before WWII, but is now a very busy town. Its market is the largest and best in PNG, and I spent a wonderful hour there buying bilums (string/wool bags) , a wonderfully long woven laplap (length of fabric), and vegetables including strawberries, broccoli and asparagus.
I am away this week in Goroka, which is just "down the road" from Mt Hagen. It is the home of the marvellous Asaro Mud Men.
Benson Boy Kat tried to smuggle himself into my suitcase and come to Goroka with me. He lay there pretending to be a fur stole, but I spotted him fur stole is black & white!!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mountain Men

Mt Hagen, where men are men........and hats are popular!!!

This gentleman is wearing the famous Highland Hat. I bought one each for my Dad and He-Who-Doesn't-Blog!!

I will continue to post Mt Hagen photos this week !!!

I am actually "down the road" all week working in Goroka - home of the Asaro Mud Men (check this photo out ) ....and yes I am sick of airports!!!

Catch you all next week.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fishing under Darkening Skies

My computer is not back - groan - so I have had to find photos from my laptop to post.

These fishermen were fishing out the front of my house as the sun set.

They then sold the fish to the neighbours - How fresh is that??


Go fishing at Tom's to catch some more Sky Watch bites.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mt Hagen Daily Photo

My phone lines are back, but my computer (with all my photos) isn't. So it will have to be Mt Hagen Daily Photo until the doctor says my 'puter can come home again!!!
Mt Hagen's mountain air means that trees and plants grow there that do not look "PNG".

Soaring pines, eucalyptus, azaleas, gladiolas, lilies etc abound.
All these photos were taken at the Highlander Hotel where I stayed
with only my zoom lens - my other one is dead -
not having a good run am I???
I can't remember shooting an albatross ...must have????

Monday, June 2, 2008

Better late than never from Mt Hagen

Well I missed the Monthly Post, but I do have a good excuse - really!!!! I was stranded in Mt Hagen, then stranded in Port Moresby, and when I finally got home yesterday my computer had been carted off to the hospital and the phones were all out !!! Blimey!!

Anyhow, all is well today, so here are a couple of photos of my trip last week. Mt Hagen is in the Western Highlands of PNG at a height of 4026 m above sea level. I had forgot how incredibly rough and mountainous it is......and how cold. This means fireplaces , jackets and woollen hats are the go, especially at night.

These photos were taken from the plane as we flew in. My 18-55 mm lens decided to die, so I only had my zoom lens which made it a bit difficult!!!

The dark blobs in the clouds are mountains. PNG is well known for its rock-hard clouds.