General Observations About Papua New Guinea
27.06.2013 - 06.07.2013 95 °F
I know enough of the world now to have almost lost the capacity of being much surprised by anything.
― Charles Dickens
I was excited for my voyage to visit Scuba Steve in Papua New Guinea. But after 47 countries, I kind of feel like Charles Dickens' quote, but I was surprised by how much more PNG challenged me as a traveler. It was impressive.
Here are a few of my observations about PNG and getting there.
Papua New Guinea is a stunningly beautiful country with a plethora of natural resources. Fruits and vegetables grow easily in the fertile soil. You would have to try to go hungry. Food literally falls out of the sky.
Even though it was winter, PNG was hot and humid. I averaged two showers a day and never did I touch the hot water faucet.
The road conditions around Madang left much to be desired. It appears that the damage still remains from bombing runs during WWII between the Japanese and Americans.
PNG follows a tribal system that values tribes more than the state. A tribe protects and takes care of everyone within it. If anyone is wronged, injured, or killed from their tribe, the tribe automatically seeks retribution.
Along the highway exist massive holes that could swallow small children, even large ones. When PNG tries to repair these, villages do not allow them to be repaired. They prefer to fix them themselves. This is done in order to stop traffic and demand "fees" for the work that they completed.
Flying Business Class to PNG and having access to the airline lounges were well worth the effort, if just for the food.
The XXXX beer (Australia) that we drank on our flight from Cairns, Australia to Port Moresby was blessed personally by Billy Moore, but his blessing did not affect the taste.
The PNG beer SP, was referred to a few times as 'Sewer Piss', but it was definitely better than XXXX.
The key to tell the difference between someone from the coast and someone from the highlands is by studying their calves. Highlanders are constantly climbing and descending steep slopes, thus the large calves.
Scattered around the St. Fidelis Seminary are WWII Japanese antiaircraft guns.
We saw a single caged cassowary on Kar Kar Island. What a fascinating bird. The colorful head looked prehistoric and their middle toe is armed with a dangerously sharp claw. When I first approached the bird, he let out a gurgling howl. Sounds like Pepper's first girlfriend.
Both cocoa and coconuts are very labor intensive with delicious rewards.
PNG Journalism carries chauvinistic and elementary tones.
PNG grass cutting combined with heat and humidity is no laughing matter.
Betel nut spit looks a lot like blood.
The Bennett family in Melbourne is still great. They have just grown up a bit.
Bennett Family - 2006
Bennett Family - 2013
PNG was a great life experience, not sure if I will be in that neck of the woods anytime soon.