Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wounded in action - hope it isn't fatal!!!!

Am unable to blog at the moment because of problems here with phone lines. My so called "broadband" connection is such in name only!!!!

I've been told it's because it is cloudy......hmmmmm, so I guess until it gets sunny I'll be out of action.

Have a great Christmas and see you when the weather breaks!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sky Watch Friday: Day and Night

We are 5 degrees south of the equator which means day and night are pretty much equal all year round.

This was taken at 6:00 in the morning......

....and this at 6:00 in the evening.

Makes life very predictable!!!!

More dawn and sunset shots here on Sky Watch

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I think it's going to be a white/ashy Christmas!!!!

Ash falls have been so heavy in Rabaul that like my friends snowed under in the Northern Hemisphere, the locals here have to dig their way out of their drive-ways too!!!

Notice the depth of the ash behind the fence where it hasn't been compacted by vehicles.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Operation Open Heart

An Operation Open Heart team has visited Papua New Guinea almost every year since 1993. Specialised medical and health personnel including surgeons, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, intensive care and operating theatre nurses and technicians all donate their time, skills, expertise and money to perform cardiac surgery on Papua New Guineans, two thirds of the patients being children.

Operation Open Heart is coordinated by the San in conjunction with Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Nursing, medical and allied health professional staff, from all areas of Sydney and Australia, make up the team.

The team convert two ordinary operating theatres at the Port Moresby General Hospital into cardiac theatres. Operations can include the implantation of permanent cardiac pacemakers, surgery to overcome congenital heart defects such as “hole in the heart” or severe conditions such as “blue baby syndrome”, caused by multiple holes in the heart. The surgical program also includes the treatment of rheumatic heart valve diseases such as valve repair, the opening of narrowed valves and the replacement of severely damaged valves with artificial valves. (The visits also provide invaluable opportunities for PNG doctors and nurses to learn new skills).

Costs of this type of surgery alone would be $25,000 per patient if they were forced, or able, to travel overseas.

“Congenital Heart disease is one of the most common birth defects globally, affecting millions of children around the world” said Melanie Windus, Sydney Adventist Hospital’s Health Care Outreach Coordinator.

“It is estimated that one third of these children will die before their first birthday because of lack of appropriate care.

Following successful cardiac surgery, these patients lead active and normal lives.

Information taken from this site.

Kamahl coming back
AUSTRALIAN singer Kamahl is set to return to Papua New Guinea on Dec 11 for two concerts in support of Operation Open Heart Christmas appeal. He will perform at a corporate dinner in Port Moresby before heading to East New Britain Province for a one-off public concert at the Ralum Club on Dec 13. The upcoming visit followed his highly successful visit in June for two concerts in Port Moresby which raised more than K500,000 for the Orchid Society of Papua New Guinea and Operation Open Heart.

I can't honestly say I have ever been a Kamahl fan, but it was great that he was able to visit and help raise money and public awareness for this great cause. Suzie and Bruce put on a great lunch at the Rabaul Hotel and his concert at the Ralum Club, organised by the Rotary Club was well attended.


Phone connections here are terrible at the moment. It has delayed my posting and visiting is almost impossible as I can't upload your page properly or my comments onto your blogs. Not sure what the problem is but it is driving me nuts!!!! Will visit if and when I can.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sky Watch - Afternoon storms

The wet season has started (thanks goodness - it has been so dry), and every afternoon the storm clouds gather and thunder rolls across the sky......

............although at times it is hard to work out whether it is thunder or the volcano - they sound the same. The other night a sonic blast from the volcano across the water, shook the house and rattled the windows.

Never a dull moment around here!!!

Visit other skies here on Sky Watch Friday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Three from three equals?

Liam's next door neighbour in East New Britain has a great garden ornament in his back yard. Can you guess what it is?

Just under 300 Mitsubishi A6M3 Reisens, better known as Zeros, were shot down between October 1943 and March 1944 in the skies of Rabaul. The Zeros, considered one of the most famous fighting planes of the Second World War, were for a long time the symbol of Japanese air power.

The aeroplane had a wingspan of 12 metres, was 9 metres long and weighed 1680 kilos when empty. Capable of reaching a maximum speed of 545 kilometres per hour, it was usually armed with two small 20 mm cannons installed in the wings and two 7.7 mm machine guns behind the engine hood. If needed it could also carry up to 120 kilograms of bombs. This plane’s exceptional maneuverability and its range gave the Japanese a distinct air supremacy for the first months of the war in the Pacific.

Information taken from this site.

It's interesting to note that parts that couldn't be manufactured, were taken from these Zero components and used to assemble the Zero in the War Museum in Canberra.


Sorry this is late - it was in draft all done, waiting to be posted but my server has been very slow and freezing and I was unable to upload anything all day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Guava tree and a message

Guava trees grow like weeds here. I have them popping up in the garden all the time. This tree outside my kitchen window is always full of birds that get the fruit before we do.

The trunk of the tree is quite beautiful.

This fruit however seems to have done a kamikaze off the tree onto the fence to escape.


Message from Liam

Liam sent me this message in answer to a number of your questions re the houses in Liam's Blog on Dec 1.

dad showd me the post you made for me and mum told my teacher so we al lookt at it on her laptop. That was so awsome now they can see I was not making up storys and see where i lived.

Mum told me that the walls on the houses are made from strips of bambu (bamboo) that are woven together and difrent kinds have difrent colors. Also the front is not the same as the back so some can be turned round to make pattens. Mum thinks that the bright colors are painted on the strips before they make the wall. Thanks this is realy realy cool.

Lots of love Liam

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Into the Night

Like a gift from the heavens it was easy to tell
It was love from above that could save me from hell

She had fire in her soul it was easy to see

How the devil himself could be pulled out of me

There were drums in the air as she started to dance

Every soul in the room keeping time with their hands

And we sang
Ay, oh, ay, oh, ay, oh, ay
And the voices bang like the angels sing

And we danced on into the night

And we danced on into the night

Thanks to Chad Kroeger for Into the Night lyrics

Snowy skies here on Through my Glass Eye

and check out other skies to dance under here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Friendly farm workers

This photo was taken as I half fell out of the car in my rush to catch these very friendly farm workers. We were on the road near Liam's place, along where I found the houses in my last post.

These farm workers were most excited when they saw my camera - yahooing and waving in enthusiasm.

If I jumped out of a car and took photos of farm workers in your area what would they do??

Monday, December 1, 2008

Post for Liam

In Cape Town South Africa there now lives a boy called Liam, who was born here in East New Britain. He is able to keep in touch with what is happening here, and explain his amazing homeland to his teacher and class mates, by checking my blog regularly.

Hi Liam and a big hello to your teacher and friends. These wonderful houses that I photographed for you before I went to Australia, are out near where you lived.

Maybe with the help of Mum and Dad you might like to explain to your teacher and students how they make the wonderful patterns on the walls.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Back in the Land of Smoking Mountains

Good to be back!! I even missed the volcano ......

although that sentiment may last only a day or two!!!!

BTW - Have a new photo on Through My Glass Eye

Monday, November 3, 2008


We have been called back suddenly to Australia, and fly out this morning.
The "tyranny of distance" we
feel as expats is no more intense as it is today.
I do not know when I will be back in PNG, but hopefully in a few weeks.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Just on dark yesterday we heard a hell of a commotion outside the house. Looking out the window I saw a large group of people chanting with drums and following this figure down the road to the beach. I grabbed my camera and did another of my "mad dashes". I asked if I could take their photo and with much glee they arranged themselves around the masked man. They told me they were going to a singsing down the beach. I took a quick shot and then nothing battery died. I was so annoyed. The group was calling out "Take more, take more..." and all I could do was mumble and stump on back up to the house.

The figure seems to be in the form of a dukduk but is not the real deal. Can you see what is sticking out the top of his mask?

This is what a dukduk looks like, courtesy of this site.

The Dukduk is a spirit, which assumes a visible and presumably tangible form, and makes its appearance at certain fixed times. Its arrival is invariably fixed for the day the new moon becomes visible. It is announced a month beforehand by the old men, and is always said to belong to one of them
It is a conical-shaped erection, about five feet high, made of very fine basket work,
and gummed all over to give a surface on which the diabolical countenance is depicted. No arms or hands are visible, and the dress extends down to the knees. The old men, doubtless, are in the secret, but by the alarmed look on the faces of the others it is easy to see that they imagine that there is nothing human about these alarming visitors

This information came from here where more fascinating details can be found.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A rainbow for you

Heading home one afternoon I saw this rainbow out to sea. We pulled off the road and I jumped out and ran down to the beach.

The rainbow went right down to the water, although it is hard to see it on the photo.

I snapped a couple of shots but it disappeared very quickly. I turned to go back to the car and saw a stunning sky behind me but that will have to wait until next week.

I hope it brings you good fortune in these days of finacial instability.

To see more skies from around the world go here to Sky Watch Blog.

BTW Squirrel got me onto the species of moth that I featured on my previous blog - and yes it is a Death’s Head Moth (Acherontia atropos), a species of hawk moth.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mask Moth

This moth was on the screen door the other day. I don't know what type it is but it has a colourful PNG mask on the back of it!!!!

Oh, and yes Neva - it was VERY BIG!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happenings around town.

A few ex-Rabaulites and Kokopuddlians have asked to see more pictures of the road works happening around the place. So I went around yesterday to catch a few. The weather is very dry and incredibly windy so I had to dash back to the car when the dust blew up.

The new Post Office is taking ages to build but is finally getting there. It is across from Brian Bell, where the sport's field was. This is to be a new commercial area and all the roads around it are new.

I am standing on the Brian Bell corner looking towards Anderson's. The new Bank South Pacific is on the left. - where Rabtrads used to be and the new round-about is in front of me.

This is behind Andersons looking towards the market with Air Nuigini on the left. This was just pot-hole heaven. My little car needed planks to cross some of them they were that big!!

I am standing on Anderson's corner looking at the Fire Station. The new round-about here is taking forever it seems. There have been concerns that it may be too tight for the fire engine to fit around.

If you are interested I can do more!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

An excuse and a nice spot to have a swim

Sorry I've been AWOL


I have a good excuse and another Good Luck / Bad Luck story!!!

What Good Luck all the flights connected and we got home safely yesterday!!!

What Bad Luck the desk-top computer decided to take a long holiday and fell in a heap.

What Good Luck I have a laptop.

What Bad Luck the local area connection wouldn't open the blogger for me to post!!!

What Good Luck my provider is now working (24 hrs later).

What Bad Luck the photos are all on the computer which is at the hospital.

What (Sort-of) Good Luck I have some old photos on my laptop.

This is one of my favouite places to swim - Tovarua Plantation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bouncing Baby Boy

A friend of mine, a volunteer doctor from Germany, took this photo of a very healthy looking baby at Vunapope Hospital, Kokopo.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Batten Down the Hatches

This house, on the outskirts of Kokopo, has a wonderful view...

........but the owners are obviously concerned about strong winds.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Escargot - non????

I think this cloud came all the way from France - I see a snail on a platter!!!


I am in Australia at the moment and can't participate in Sky Watch Friday but thought I 'd post a photo of the sky anyhow - as it has become a bit of a habit!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tupela pikinini

There is nothing more beautiful than children from this part of the world.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Market mahem!!!

There is always a mad rush to get home after the Saturday markets.

Although this guy was really cool and not rushing!!!


I am flying to Australia tomorrow; will be away for a week. See ya next Thursday!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Where have all the potholes gone, long time passing?

There is an amazing amount of road works being carried out in Kokopo at the moment.

Every street seems to be under construction. Not that I am complaining I might add.

I won't miss the potholes.