Wednesday, June 30, 2010


This was in the national news paper here. Unrelated to any article, just a stand alone photo?!

Check out what i got.....

Just because i am living in the jungle doesn't mean i can't shop! there is always a way. I ordered this, with matching ear rings and i love, love, love it.

I met this lovely lady when we were both pregnant with our first babies. In my spare time i like to sleep, sometimes cook, but mainly sleep..... in her spare time she creates masterpieces. Check out her cool blog here

I though i was pretty clever when i threaded a few beads on some string and attached a clasp, but this is a whole new level of beading! Her stuff is really impressive and worth a look.

I ordered this, with matching ear rings and i love it.

It looks great in the picture, but is even more stunning IRL. Thanks so much B.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Disturbing post, contains swearing. Don't read if you'll be offended!

You know those nights when you just can't sleep. The last time it happened to me i was 9 months pregnant and i think my body was trying to prepare me for a lot of months of little sleep. ;-) But tonight i ain't up the duff and my kids are sleeping through the night. I am lying in bed thinking of the fuckedness of living in this developing nation. (is that even a word, it somehow seems more acceptable if the word isn't correct?! whatever, i'm frustrated at life here.)
The compensation system here is pretty harsh. A 17year old girl, studying at bording school, year 11. Got mixed up with a boy who apparently already had a girlfriend. She phoned her mother and asked her for $150. She had to give this to the boys girlfriend as compensation for fooling with her man. Her mum said no, don't be ridiculous. 2 days later she was found hanging in her room. Whether she took her own life or not is in question, but regardless of that, it is fucked. Either she was murdered or took her own life for fear of the repercussions of not paying her compensation. And not to mention how her mother must be feeling.
A young man with 3 kids died of bowel cancer on the weekend. If you live out here and get cancer you basically die. Unless you have money there is no medical imaging, there is no radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, there is nothing. Pretty much a panadol, some antibiotics and a teaspoon of harden the f up. How is that fair?
A six year old disabled boy lives with his mother, grandmother, baby brother and Aunt nearby in a one room shack. He can't walk, talk, feed himself, he is incontinent and they have no support, no money no nothing. They take it in turns to care for him, carrying him around and tending to his needs. The grandmother is the bread winner, but she is old and isn't all that well. They seem happy enough, but how tough does life have to be? They think they are lucky to live in a little house with one powerpoint!? And what will become of them when she is dismissed for reaching the ripe old retirement age of 55? (pretty sure she's well past that but most people round here have no idea when their birthday is so they make it up)

It's great that the simple things here make people happy it really is, because if they didn't find joy in the simple things they really would have nothing. I used to wonder how people living in such conditions can believe in god, why on earth would they prey and worship someone/thing and give thanks for what they have?! It infuriates me that they donate so much money to their church when they have none. But i now i realise that everyone needs a little hope, and if going to church and donating money gives them a little light then good on them. Not to say i'll be going in the near future, but i can understand why people here chose to go.

I don't want to become desensitised to life here. So many expats are. I don't want to be like that. Already my perceptions have changed a little, i've had to wise up a little. Generally i try and see the best in everybody, but in a country where there is nothing, petty crime is rife you need to be cautious. If i give too much to my house staff their friends and family get jealous and fights begin. If i give something to someone else my house staff get jealous and say i should be giving it to them. (not to my face, but gossips travels fast here. ;-) ) In a world where there is nothing, something as small as a biro is a prized posession, so i can hardly blame them for they fights, but i don't want to cause them....

Anyway, i can't sleep, so thought i'd have a bit of blogging therapy. Might give the sleep thing another shot. Night. x

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fallen off the blogging band wagon a bit of late, so thought i'd better pull my finger out and tell a story. LMS has been a bit sick with a virus and not sleeping so well, so i've got a bit slack..

Last Sunday we went for a hike. It was a 5 hour return trip, mainly uphill, in the searing heat. We needed to leave at about 11am in order to get to our destination and back in time before dark which meant walking in the middle of the day. Oh man, i though i was going to die. It was HOT, HOT, HOT and very humid. Tramping up hill for 2.5 hours sure got the sweat pouring off me. We were hiking to the base of Shaggy Ridge a razorback ridge in the Finisterre mountain range, the main position of defense for the Japanese during WWII. The track we followed was the original road from the war used to access the base of the Ridge. During many parts of the hike you could recognise where the road went, but others were just thick scrub and a single file track.

A few precarious river crossings....
Kooni grass out of control....
After two hours of steady climbing we came to a 'road house' Man was i happy to see it. A small spring gushing, crisp, clear, fresh water, and a couple of rocks to rest my sorry arse and adrenalin filled legs on. When there is a good clean water source, you generally find a little set up like this one...

A few bananas...

Banana and paw paw trees a plenty, although i'd never take a banana from the middle of the bush in PNG, it more than likely belongs to someone. Peoples' gardens are all over the place, mostly hidden about an hour or two walk from their homes. We had lunch and refueled. One of the guys hiking with us is staying the guest house where we live. The guest house provides 3 meals a day. As Cameron wasn't going to be there for lunch he asked them to make him a sandwich. The kitchen staff told him they didn't have much, he replied "peanut butter or vegemite will do" Not really to his surprise but to our amusement he had 2 sandwiches, both with peanut butter AND vegemite. Yummo.

I thought i was done with the hike, but after a rest i was rearing to go. The goal was to get to the base of shaggy ridge and check it out for the future hike when we overnight and climb the actual ridge.

We arrived at the small village at the base of the ridge and were met by a few friendly locals. The village was lovely, clean and tidy with some nice little houses. They had a beautiful new house that had been recently built, it was the biggest house i've seen here in a village, 4 bedrooms and up on stilts. No one was living it it, and from what i could gather this was because when you build a new house here you have to have a big feast and a 'sing-sing' before moving in. Either that or it was purpose built for the hikers that camp there before climbing shaggy ridge.

Esta took us down to the Faria river for a look, where we had another rest and shared a bag of lollypops with the kids who were enjoying a swim and helping out with some washing.

The kids from here walk about 4 hours on a Monday up the river to their school, they camp the week there and walk back on Friday. There is also a small hospital apparently. I'd like to check it out sometime, but leaving the kids overnight is a bit hard. Maybe when the olds visit?! :-p

Esta was keen for us to return and stay the night. She said we could bring the kids. yeah right. She might walk 7 hours to get to the market with 30kg's of food on her head, and her kids on her back, but i am soft and aint carrying my two ratbags 2.5hrs up a mountain!!!

This is a picture of the first part of Shaggy Ridge, as i am no photographer i wasn't really able to capture the incline very well, but let me tell you it is steep, it looks like you'd fall off while hiking up it if you didn't have spikes on. ;)

The hiking crew.....

And the best part of a hard day hiking? Beer of course.......