An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Wilhelm: The Sequel - Part Two

When we reached the lakes we headed off to one of the huts and the other group luckily went off to the other one. The first thing I decided to do was go for a dip in them. Last time I saw George take the plunge and so this time I decided to see if I could do it. Besides I also needed a bit of a dip as I was starting to smell.

The water at this altitude was not particularly warm, well it is 3500m, and jumping in proved to be harder than I thought. I stood on a rock for a long time just wetting my feet in the cold, trying to will myself into doing it. Eventually I leapt, submerged, emerged, screamed and got out quicker than I thought humanly possible. Hats off to those Finnish, Russians and Canucks who like to do this. I think you are nuts.

We had the afternoon to kill around the lakes. Not something that was particularly unpleasant. It was perfect weather, the sun was out, the birds chirping, no cold wind and we had a massive hut to ourselves while the others were crammed into a small A-Frame hut. There were only a couple of problems. One being that I had forgot to put any sunscreen on and I suddenly realised that I was quite burnt on my hands, neck and ears. And the other was that I had a headache. The latter I blamed on the high altitude and fixed it with a Panadol.

Our competition came over in the afternoon and decided to inspect our hut. Too bad for them that they had already coughed up the money for the other hut and couldn't move to where there was space, I snidely thought. We got chatting and I decided that they were not too bad afterall, especially when they invited us over for a cup of tea at their hut. We accepted their invite and went over before dusk. Tea turned out to be one cup comically shared between the two of us - unlike our hut they only had one cup available. Snigger some more.

Dinner was cooked - if you can call noodles and tuna a dinner - and an early bed beckoned. The alarm was set for 12:15 and we would be heading out the door at 1am. Talk about an early rise. One o'clock was also the time that the other guys would be heading off or so they said. This time of departure would give us around five hours to make it to the top before dawn. Remembering back to the last time when I did it, it had taken just over five hours.

Doc woke me up after her alarm went off. I looked out the window to check the sky and saw a perfectly clear night. In fact the Southern Cross was beaming directly out of my window and I took this to be a good omen.

A cup of tea and some Chicken Snax crackers were enough for my 'breakfast', before we ventured out ready, rugged up with beanie and gloves. Last time I didn't bring any gloves, a big mistake, this time I was prepared.

Looking out the hut window I saw a snake of head lamps and torches crossing the other side of the lake. It wasn't yet one o'clock and the other group had got the leg up on us. Were they that keen to beat us?

With a photo we headed off, head lamp, torch and full moon lighting our way. We could not have asked for better conditions if we had prayed for them. I had forgotten that one aspect of Easter time was that it was also a full moon. Blessed were we.

To climb Mount Wilhelm, you first have to navigate around the bottom lake. Then you have to climb up a steep section past a waterfall to get to the second lake. From there it is basically climbing to get up to a ridgeline which you follow and then go across the mountain and around a few bluffs. With an hour to go you climb up to the peak.

We caught up to the other group at the second lake. This could be easier than I thought. We let them lead the way climbing up to the ridgeline before they really started to slow us down about half way up. Where we overtook and kept going. So much for my challenge. You can have all the hiking gadgets in the world, but it won't do much good if you are not fit. It was not like we were going flat out, we just gently hiked up, the difference I think is that we paced it, and didn't need so many stops.

At a point just before the ridge, Thomas at the front, me in the middle and Doc at the back, our guide suddenly took off, dancing fleet footed in heavy boots over grass humps and off towards the edge of the steep valley, disappearing behind a bush. I thought he had gone crazy and was throwing himself off to certain doom. He suddenly reappeared the other side of the bush beaming a huge smile. In his clutches was a Cuscus.

Cuscus catch
Thomas and his catch

He brought the small marsupial over holding it up proudly by it's tail. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots of him with his catch. I was pretty impressed to say the least and thought he was just going to let it go now - show the tourists how good I am at catching a Cuscus and then release it Steve Irwin style. Not here in PNG. Cuscus is gutpela kaikai. He grabs my tree branch fashioned walking stick and thwack, thwack, thwack. Lunch for later. He looks for a place to stash it, sees an ideal scrubby bush, swings and whacks it against a rock to make sure and hides it. We continue on our way up, remembering this location for the way down.

More metronomic walking and we were way ahead of our rivals. It was about 4am when we reached the point where an Australian Army Sergeant died in 1971. Christopher Donnan's place as it is now called. He is not the only person to die, quite a few have died in the past. Thomas took great pleasure in telling us where. The most recent was just in December. A Japanese tourist fell off the side of the steep mountain. She was badly injured and was rushed back to Goroka and then onto Japan only to die later from injuries. We watched our step.

The weather had stayed clear for the entire walk, and it was turning out to a perfect hiking time. It seems that that the wet season had finished early in the highlands much to our benefit. The wind had now picked up, but that was only to be expected as we were very exposed at over 4000 metres.

We completed the rest of the hike and the scramble up at the end and made it to the top. Doc went up first and got to be Queen of the mountain at around 5am. It had taken just on four hours to hike from the bottom lake - an ascent of 1000 metres - which was a lot quicker than the last time I did it. As to why? I don't know, it is not like I am any fitter as this point, I guess one secret is to go in a small group.

The problem with getting on top so early though is that you have to wait until the dawn. Once you stop walking you cool down very quickly, and being sub zero temperatures this is not good. I knew it was sub zero because we had crunched our way over ice for the last hour.

We huddled out of the wind in the shelter of rocks and started to have weird conversations. Doc said that the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album was one of her favourites; it was a weird time to bring it up. We had discussed favourite albums but that was two hours ago. Altitude and cold was blamed. In fact anytime something weird happened over the weekend, altitude was the culprit.

Dawn was breaking and our rivals had still not made it. We had to wait until 6am for two of them to reach the top. I had great pleasure in saying we had been up here for an hour, I didn't mention that I was now half frozen to death.

We stayed and watched the magical dawn. The valleys a long way below were full of cloud and we were high above. I could see all I wanted to see unhindered. The north coast, Manam Island, Mt Hagen, Ramu valley, Ramu river and a clear outline below the rising sun of the Finisterre mountains - a place I still want to get to. I also saw my Sarawaget mountains, the ones behind my house in Lae. They were about five hundred kilometres away.

Plenty of photos now flowed. Snap, snap, snapity snap. The panorama, the vista, silhouette of the summit, me on a rock, them on a rock, me at the summit, thumbs up ... etc. Being so cold caused a few a technical problems battery wise, but my trusty liklik digital served me well again.

On Top 1
Dawn breaks on up high

On Top 2
Come on up, the view is great

We didn't stay long. We were too cold, so we headed on back down, taking it nice and easy. Last time my knees didn't cope too well and I wanted to make sure they held out this time, hence the Cuscus killing walking stick I had carried up.

Mt Wilhelm peak
What we toiled for: the summit - in daylight

to be continued ... in Part Three.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wilhelm: The Sequel - Part One

Adventurer's folly. I think I have a dose of that and my body is currently feeling the after effects - tiredness, stiffness, soreness and sunburn...ness, lots of nesses.

Stuck at home over the Easter break just didn't suit me. I needed to escape and have some sort of adventure. I had already climbed Mount Wilhelm once, but like all good stories a sequel was needed. So my plan was to go back and conquer it again as there was still one thing that nagged me about the last time I climbed the 4509 metre mountain - the view from the top was obscured by mist. This time I wanted to be able to see all of PNG. To do this though it just so happened I had to go through a weekend full of very early risings, rough road trips, kindness of strangers, freezing cold, sunburn, exhaustion, exhilaration and eating small marsupials. So much for a holiday but it was all worth it in the end - I love that stuff.

It all started with a first of what became a trait of my small holiday, a very early rise. My workmate, Paul, informed me that he would be leaving on Thursday for the long weekend and driving up to Mount Hagen. I wanted to go to Goroka, which is on the way, so when I asked what time he would leave he casually replies "Four". "In the morning?" I ask. "Yup". Hmmm kay, I think and then reply, "no worries!".

So the alarm was set at the ungodly hour of 3:45am. It buzzes and I wake, shower and jump in the car when it came around on the dot at four - so much for the fabled 'PNG time'.

The trip up the highlands highway was a non event - the raskols don't get up early - and I got dropped off at the Bird of Paradise hotel, early enough to catch breakfast there. Wandering around second hand clothes stores, banking and lazing by the hotel pool filled the day before I met up, for the first time, with my partner (or sucker) for the weekend adventure, the new vol in Goroka, Doc.

The amount of people willing to come along on my adventuring folly had originally been largish, then it reduced, then it had increased and finally on Good Friday eve, it reduced again from four down to two - Me and Doc. She turned out to be the one who is actually foolhardy enough to decide to come along on one of my trips. Perhaps this was because she didn't know me at all and didn't realise that she still had time to bail out. Or perhaps she is just as loco about what to do on long weekends as I am. Luckily it turned out to be the later and we managed to get along and survive. Mad must attract mad.

Food and other items were purchased and arrangements made to meet up at 7:30 outside the Goroka market, the place where all the buses comes along to collect passengers. I stayed at the house of my volunteer mate, whom I came to PNG with, Widya and managed to find a bus going to Mount Hagen without any dramas. We were headed to Kundiawa, on the way to Hagen, so this was perfect. So far so good.

The bus did the usual 'round and round' that they do when trying to fill up with passengers before eventually leaving. Two hours later we were deposited unceremoniously in Kundiawa, capital of Simbu province, one of the poorest, and as we were to find out, friendliest provinces in the country.

I asked someone where the PMVs to Keglsugl (the last village before Mount Wilhelm) left from and we headed off to that spot. A public motor vehicle (or PMV for short) in this neck of the woods consists of an open back Ute. Unfortunately there were none around, so we proceed to just wait. And this is when we met Martin, a secondary school teacher heading home for the long weekend. It just so happened that his home happened to be the last house before the walk up to Mount Wilhelm, and he offered it as a place to stay. Staying at complete strangers homes is not usually something I do, so I decided we would chat to him over the trip up the valley to Keglsugl to see what he was like.

A Ute eventually came and it turned out to be of the dual cab variety, so the three of us managed to get privileged spots inside - perhaps with just a little bit of help from Martin. We chatted with him through the rough journey and he turned out to be a great bloke.

Even though the distance is only about 50km the ride from Kundiawa up to Keglsugl manages to take about three hours. The reason is because the road is like a goat track with numerous go-slow spots, including a few very dodgy bridges. One in particular had its normal wooden planks replaced by some rough-cut bush logs. Going over initially proved too much for the Ute and it knocked the logs out of the way and dropped into the gaps. It took the combined strength of the passengers to lift the front out. The logs were then realigned and Ute charged over skittling the logs again but managing to get over. The back wheels of the Ute reminded me briefly of those cartoons where a guy is on top of a spinning log in a river. Certainly an eye-opener and pity I didn't have a video camera. I think I remember Doc saying something like "Geez Louise". My comment was a little coarser.

Bagarup bridge 2
First attempt at crossing the bridge

We eventually made it to Keglsugl, not before our original PMV broke down and we had to hop on another that came along. It was raining when we arrived at the trade store near the high school and runway - which is Keglsugl in a nut-shell - and we huddled underneath the eaves. Here Martin introduced us to Thomas, one of his cousins, and said he could guide us to the top the next-day. We said sure and negotiated a price of 75 Kina for the two of us.

We had to make a decision whether we would stay at Martin's place or go to Betty's house, the place where most hikers to Wilhelm stay. Our decision wavered towards Martin's when he said we would stay for free and Betty's would cost us 95 Kina a night. I am a bit of a tight arse and that sounded like a bargain, Doc thought so too.

From the trade store the four of us hiked up to Martin's and got settled into his cool place. It was a bush materials built men's house that had an absolutely perfect view over the valley below. Martin it turned out has a soft spot for orchids and he has collected many numerous varieties from around PNG and put them around his house.

A fire was made in the middle of the hard packed dirt floor and we crowded around it to keep warm and started telling stories. Martin's wantoks showed up and the storying continued. He told us how they are going to set up bungalows for hikers nearby to the men's house and launch a tour group called Mount Wilhelm Tours. He said he was glad to have us stay as we would be the first hikers to use his facilities. I told him I was glad to stay.

Inside Men's Haus
Warming up around the fire

Food was cooked on the fire later as the sun went down and the warm clothes were pulled out. This altitude (around 2800m) is unsurprisingly pretty cold at night. I was glad I had packed my sleeping bag this time and not like last time, when I nearly froze to death at the lakes wearing all my clothes and underneath the same sleeping bag as my boss. A weird experience.

In the morning, we took our time. There was no need to rush as we had the whole day to get up to the huts at the lakes - the base camp to attack the mountain from. We left around 8 as it turned out anyway. It seemed like we had taken our time, perhaps because we had got up at 6:30 - another early start.

We left Martin, his house and his mates behind and headed up to the lakes. Thomas led the way as we puffed along behind. The track is surprisingly tricky for the initial hike through the forest. It is close to being a continuous hike upwards for an hour and a half and I was glad when we got to the grassland where it was a lot flatter.

It was on the grassland that we were overtaken by a huge group of people. We heard voices and I originally thought there may have been three or four people, but then as they came out of some trees, there turned out to be three guides, six ex-pat hikers - with all the gear (walking sticks, Lycra pants, Camel-pack water bottles, etc) - six women porters carrying the ex-pats backpacks (one with a backpack in her bilum on her head) and about four kids following their mums.

Rival Trekking party
Our competition. Notice the backpack in bilum

We greeted them and found out they were a tour group from Port Moresby, Madang and Cairns, before they headed off ahead of us. We followed shaking our heads in amazement at this massive group. If there was one thing I wanted to do now, it was to beat these guys - and their walking sticks, camel-packs, gators and GPS devices - to top when we all left for the climb in the early hours of Sunday.

to be continued ... in Part Two

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Weekend Teaser

I am alive. Will post a story for the weekends activities soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

New Wonder

A poem for an event I witnessed today.

A crowd gathered,
Still and silent they gawked
Their focus of attention
Was the only one who talked

Never had it been witnessed
This technological wonder
A truly major step-forward
The only thing left to do was ponder

Where did it come from?
Who paid the cost?
This was highly unusual
Money was usually just lost

Their questions unanswered
No explanation had come
The crowd stayed jealous
As the blades spun

In the green middle
Rode the master
Envy of the eyes
Pushing it faster

Worker of the contraption
Unperturbed and quiet
Going round and round
Contemplative and silent

Handling the controls
Turning the wheel
Making it growl louder
This thing of plastic and steel

The triangle was reduced
skillfully by the owner
The grass sliced up
By the new ride-on mower

Have a good Easter all. I wont be posting again until probably Tuesday, hopefully with an adventure to tell.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pidgin 101

Been meaning to write this up for a while, now that I have almost got the hang of this tok pisin (pidgin) caper. So here is my take on a small guide to tok pisin words and phrases.

  • gutpela - good - "Here is that 70 Kina I owe you", "ahh gutpela".

  • tru - true - "I can buy 16 litres of ice cream for 38 Kina", "Tru!!".

  • maski - don't worry/it doesn't matter - "We can stay in that village but we will need to bring a some buai, dakka, lime, taro, sugar cane, a pig and some beer.", "Maski".

  • pinis - finish/already - "Mi gat pinis", when someone tries to sell you a carved wooden dolphin ... and this happens all the time.

  • orait - alright - "yu orait?", "mi orait", "ol orait" a typical conversation first thing in the morning.

  • hamas - how much - "hamas" while pointing to a nice looking paw paw.

  • wanem - what - "mitupelembaigoraunraunnalukimlongwanpelameri", "wanem?". Handy when they talk at a hundred miles an hour.

  • laikim - like - "mi laikim yu". Try out this line while dancing with a girl in a club.

  • tasol - that's all/only - "hamas yu laikim?", "one ice cream box, tasol".

  • bagarap - bugger up/broken - A bus has a grinding, grating noise coming from underneath and pulls over, the driver says "bas em i bagarap".

  • giaman - lie/liar - "I need 12 Kina to get my flat tyre changed.", "yu giaman".

  • yumi go - You, me go - What you say when a few burly looking Highlanders start following you around the main market.

  • dokta bilong tit - Dentist - What I had to use a few weeks ago. And there is nothing wrong with my chest area.

  • susu - milk/breast - Speaking of chest area. Another volunteer told me how she keeps money in her bra when going to a market, so that would be moni bilong susu.

And there are plenty (or planti) more other phrases and words. If you are keen have a look at this gutpela tok pisin dictionary site.

Monday, March 21, 2005


I have been conned. Perhaps my first time ever - though the jury is out on that guy in Madang.

Friday I was in town with the gang. It was pay-day Friday so people people everywhere. I grabbed some cash from the bank and was heading over to PNG Power to settle my bill. I reached the utility only to find they were shut. Looking at the sign I see they close early on Friday at 2:30. Looking at my watch I see it is 2:30. Damn. Shake fist in anger.

As I step away a bloke races over. Hello who are you. He tells me he has followed me around the corner because he needs my help this is then followed by a flood of words about his tyre being flat, just seeing me leave the Uni vehicle, needing some money to get his repaired tyre and how we both lived on campus. Hang on slow down. Who are you again?

I should have used my instincts here and realised that I didn't recognise him therefore I don't know him. But my instincts are somewhat shot here. In PNG I mean. There are so many people who I have met that, who once met later I don't recognise.

His trick to conning me was the line about living on campus. That melted my defences, especially when he told me what number and what street he lived on. It is quite possible that he does live on campus and has driven past me as I have walked to or from the office.

So I proceeded to press him about why he needed money, what was he doing, why me, why couldn't he just go to the nearby banks and get some and could he wait till 3:30 when I will be picked up by the gang and taken back to Uni.

He parried all these queries by telling me how his car was the other side of Top Town - just far enough away for him to be able to walk to where I was but far enough so that I wouldn't want to walk and see it. How he saw me get out of the vehicle and recognised me, how he followed me, how he didn't have his bank book to be able to get cash and how he needed the money now so that he could get his repaired tyre and whack it on his car.

To cut a long story short there was a lot of back and forth before eventually I gave up on his insistence and wanting to escape the hot sun, I gave him 10 Kina to get his "tyre". Not a hell of a lot of money - he wanted 12 - but still a con.

Looking back in hindsight there are quite a few holes I can see in his story. But at the time his quick talking, familiarity of names he dropped and sincere face seemed to have done the trick. Speaking to Martin at home later it was amusing to hear that he got done with exactly the same method last year. The old flat tyre line. He got sold with the familiarity of him saying he lived on campus and naming a house and street as well. Which of course is what they all learn in conning 101, be familiar with the conee.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Fleeting Beauty

If you have never seen a ginger flower I wouldn't be surprised. The little orchid like petals appear and then they are gone. They pop out of the bulbous head, stay for a few hours and then drop off. I have been trying to snap a decent shot of one for the last month but have never been able to do it - until now.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Organising a trip anywhere in this country always seems to take epic proportions. So it that when I started to plan to go to Mt Wilhelm over Easter and ask around to see if anyone else is willing, I get the usual calamity.

Some people say they are coming and then pull out, people who have a car and want to go originally then have to go to Singapore, people who originally say they are not going and heading elsewhere then decide to ring me at 10:30 at night to ask if it is still OK to come.

Then there are the transport options, hire a 4WD or take the bus the whole way. Fly to Goroka then bus from there. Ask George if he is heading up to Hagen and grab a lift with him, but then worrying about the number of people coming and if we would fit in his vehicle.

Can't forget the weather either and what it will do. Hearing reports that is fine then hearing others that it will be too wet. Reading that this is the wet season up there. Sometimes I wish it was just a little bit easier.

But as my philosophy states it will all work itself out and come together in the end. No need to stress, and for anyone who knows me they know I don't stress anyway.

Apart from that, not much is happening in this neck of the woods. All very quiet. Elsewhere though it is my old man's birthday. So I should take this chance to say Happy Birthday Dad.

And if you want to see a picture of me wrestling a Mongolian, there is one over here, soon to followed by a tale of travelling around Iceland in a week.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bike Club Website Advice

I have been given the go ahead to set-up and create a website for Knox's bike club. I now have one question, what is the best website hosting mob to use? A quick search uncovers literally 100's of hosting site, but as to the best one to use be buggered if I know.

I don't need all the bells and whistles and I don't need all that scripting support and gigabytes of transfers, I just need a simple site that will be for a bicycle club. Perhaps one with some easily customisable templates would be good. I also need to set-up a domain name, something along the lines of

Anyone got any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Have Phone, Will Travel

A little story from today's Sydney Morning Herald Spike Column.
Phoney business
Diligent student or smooth criminal? While working for Australian Volunteers International in Timor last month Glenda Lasslett realised she had left her mobile phone in a taxi. The phone had vital work information stored on it, but when she located the cab the mobile had been gone. Lasslett sent a text message saying she desperately needed her phone for work, and offered a $50 reward. While she was out the thief dropped her phone's SIM card at her hotel, with a note. It was in broken English but, in effect, said: "Here's the SIM card, so you have the information you need for work. But I am so sorry, I can't return the phone because I have already sold it to further my education. Thank you for helping the future of Timor by paying for my study." Lasslett was touched.

"You have got to admire the spirit behind that."

Not sure if this person is a volunteer or AVI employee. It is amusing nonetheless. I am sure though that I would not see my phone again if I left it on a bus here.

The story reminds me of when I was working for a bank in London. I had been given one of those brick phones, a Nokia 9110 Communicator, for work. I went for a trip on the tube one lunch to collect some photographic prints and on the way back I was so engrossed looking at the prints that when I got up and left the carriage I did so without the brick. I realised straight away and rushed back to the carriage just as the doors closed and then proceeded to watch the expensive thing being whisked away on those lovely orange and brown District line seats. No doubt some lucky sod collected it up the line somewhere. They didn't return my texts or calls though!

Oh and there was also that recent near incident back in Brisbane. Still have heart palpitations thinking about that.


Not many people know - well me at least before I came here - that PNG takes pornography very seriously. So seriously in fact that an Australian man who was caught with three Playboys in his house could go to jail for six months. Here was how the little story featured in the press down south recently.
Playboy may land Aussie in PNG jail

An Australian man who allegedly had three Playboy magazines in his apartment could spend six months in a Papua New Guinea jail.
The 59-year-old, from Oakleigh in Melbourne, faced a court in the PNG capital Port Moresby this week, charged with possession of pornography.
A PNG police spokesman said officers had earlier raided his home in the suburb of Koki, finding the magazines in a box.
The man, who had been working as a workshop manager for a construction company in Port Moresby, denied any knowledge of the magazines and denied the charges, the spokesman said.
He said officers had searched the man's apartment, acting on a warrant following complaints he had committed an assault and illegally discharged a pistol on February 25.
No firearms were found, but the three Playboy magazines were found in a box during the search, he said.
The man was granted bail when he faced Boroko District Court this week. He will reappear in court again on a date to be set, the spokesman said.
PNG law has a much wider definition than Australia of what constitutes pornography.
The pornography possession charge carries a fine of up to 500 kina ($A203) or six months in jail.

In another incident last year, an Aussie guy in Lae was in the district court for having some videos and magazines. It turns out that his haus meri was the one who dobbed him in. He managed to get out of a jail sentence, arguing that he had not realised the strict laws here and got slapped with a fine of 1000 Kina and then promptly left the country.

The Playboy guy above will no doubt go the same way with a fine only. Jailing someone for six months for three Playboys is a tad excessive. It also seems in this case that the cops were a bit over zealous. They couldn't find a gun so they came up with the mags.

In case you're wondering, no I won't be booted out of the country anytime soon. Unless the law also covers the FHM and Maxim (bloke) mags which Jonika gave me to take away after she is continually being embarrassed by having Alex buy them at airport terminals. Sorry mate, dobbed you in.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Never Argue With An Idiot

A simple question is asked on LP's Thorntree Australiasia: Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea branch.
stuff to do in Papua New Guinea
Hi all,

I will be in PNG next January, in the Port Moresby area with 4 days to kill. I have no idea yet what I'm going to do! Would anyone have advice on good hiking or places to go?

A couple of good replies get posted - one which states that Port Moresby is a dangerous place and don't stay long if you don't have to - before an idiot called Mississippi1234 pops up.
I agree, don't go near POM....It's the WORST, MOST VIOLENT place you've ever seen (I bet) check the crime stats read WANTOKS (on line) If you have to go be VERY VERY careful,You can't relax Eyes are watching you all the time-sizing you up... Police are corrupt. and it gets worse inland don't be fooled. I have seen a gang of 300-400 starving natives with Bush knives roaming the streets in most cities White Women are trophies. The most gruesome heineous crimes are commonplace, people sell their children and pack-rape is very common but the Law is the most bizzare for this crime GUESS? Go somewhere else ....if you can and GOOD LUCK and GOD BLESS if you can't This country is a war zone but you are unarmed and just MEAT

Hmmm, I don't like Port Moresby much either, though I have only stayed a week there, but "a gang of 300-400 starving natives with Bush knives roaming the streets", what the? I just have to reply to this.
Mississippi1234 I think you are mistaking Port Moresby for perhaps Haiti at it's worst. It is not a particularly pretty or safe place but "a gang of 300-400 starving natives with bush knives" - get real mate.

If it is a war zone, I have been caught up in it for the last year!!!??? Your inflaming comments help no one.

Back in your box goose! But then his comments seemed to have rattled a passerby, called Suertevamos.
Wow, I had been thinking of going to Papua New Guinea...but want to know, is it as dangerous as this thread is making it sound? How safe is it for a white American woman traveling alone?

Before I can respond, old mate pops back on.
suortevamos (sorry) You won't have a chance in PNG and it's not worth it I do not exagerate . The 3-4 hundred youths with knives was in Mt. Hagen and Lae. This country is ready to explode!! No money, no social system , no jobs Average age of Death 49 Robbing and bashing are part of life. Even the OZ police are afraid of "The Raskols" heavily-armed gang in and around POM The Country is being raped by Multi-nationals for Minerals, Oil and Hardwood. Politically, either Indonesia or OZ- puppets will grab the rest of the Island as a base. If you like taking candy from a baby your welcome if not, all your niceties and good-will, empathy and goodwill are wasted. As I always say a beach in the South Pacific is a beach and a Palm a Palm. Go where you're wanted not where your targetted for your $ or Life. Read, research and STAY AWAY YOU ARE NOT WANTED!!

Red rag to a bull time. My response.
mississippi1234 I don't know what agenda you are on, but you are seriously screwing with people's minds by spouting off your rubbish.

PNG is not the safest place in the world, but it is not exactly full-scale waring tribal factions where everybody caught up in the middle is a likely target. And Port Moresby is to be honest a shit-hole, where crime is rife, but this is certainly not indictative of the whole country and anyone who says so is a liar.

After living in Lae for a year I get pestered with the Is PNG Dangerous question a lot, so seeing as I also keep a blog of the experience here, I decided to write up a response so I could point people in that direction the next time I am asked. So if you would like an honest opinion of a non-biased white person living in Lae read this.

He takes aim at me now.
Thank-you As I suspected you are an Australian Ex-Pat, who according to you is a Missionary (nice cover) "doing what Missionaries do" ie. stuck in PNG trying the Eco-Tourist bit or what have you,living in your compound, and Drinking 4X with your "mates". and bemoaning the fact that your Country(PNG) is now gone and "these stupid bastards" want and need the direction of the Great Australia in order to join the world order and you just want the last chance to fleece a few more tourists before the PNG people throw you and your sordid history out , once and for all. Meanwhile, you need your imported Police and undercover operatives to give "your type" enough warning to leave before the Natives eat you alive, so don't give me any crap that you have any other motives than your ancestors had in PNG 50 years ago. I know the history and travails of this poor country and your pitiful "tourist solution" will not bring PNG back from what Australia and others have ruined in your almighty GREED. Simply put, your treatment 200 years ago by England is a sore that you feel can be healed by mistreating the weak and powerless. Your Aboriginal people are almost dead or might as well be so off you go to PNG to pillage ,rob and rape. Any "real" tourist would do their homework, and make their own decision.

Okey dokey, confirmed we have a looney. I can't let this pass, with all that misinformation about me. My response.
mississippi1234 there is an old adage "never argue with an idiot". This sounds a fairly apt approach in your case but I want to clarify a couple of things that you say.

Firstly I am not a missionary. I actually have never been to church in my life. I am a volunteer (big difference dumb arse), who has taken two years out of my life to come up from australia, get paid a local wage and work in a university. It has been my decision to do this, not because of the pay obviously, but because of the experience and for helping others less privledged as me - hands up if you would do that.

Secondly, I don't live in a compound like a lot of the ex-pats here do, I live and work on the university campus, with all the other national and non-national staff.

Frankly I don't know why I am bothering to respond to you because as I said before you are an idiot! You even manage to contradict youself in your little diatribe by saying "you are an Australian Ex-Pat" then "your Country(PNG)".

Stop your nonsensical wisdom on PNG and impart knowledge on things you actually might know about. If there is anything.

That was yesterday morning and there has been no response since. Hopefully whoever let him loose has recaptured him and he is back in a padded cell.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Valley Driving and Socialising

The prospect of driving for four and a half hours in a non air-conditioned car in the steamy tropics doesn't sound particularly appealing. But for me I was looking forward to it as a small escape from university normality.

Madang beckoned and I was all prepared to do the trip by myself, and this is the way that it would have stayed except for the fact that my work colleagues decided at the last minute to have other ideas. Tony, Joy's husband, was roped in at the last to give me some company. I did not mind, Tony is a great guy and we get along well, but unfortunately like my boss, not particularly partial to my taste in music. Again like previous trips with my iPod I had to play music for someone else's preference. Credence Clearwater Revival, ABBA, Bob Marley not to mention Smokey that was on a tape, was the flavour. When I tried to sneak on a few Chemical Brothers tracks he complained that it hurt his ears.

The drive there was fairly non-eventful. The road seems to be in particularly good shape, with not many pot holes to test and slow your driving. I was a little bit worried about the state of the road over the mountains for the final 70km approach into Madang, as Martin had told me that it was very wet with numerous landslips the previous weekend. His words were a false harbinger though and the gravely passes were mainly smooth sailing, with the slips now dry and clear. I actually had a lot of fun as I slipped and sliced the red Hilux around the corners like a snowboarder sluicing down a powder slope.

Previous landslips, now navigable

We arrived in town around three o'clock and I went immediately to our study centre where my work was and dropped off some equipment and other materials that I had been given to bring. From there Tony met up with wantoks who knew of his arrival and joined them. I wouldn't see him again as planned until Saturday morning when we would journey back.

I had a shower in my guesthouse room and discovered a fairly good case of drivers arm, knee and neck. I had only bothered to wear a T-shirt for the trip though should have really covered up more. I made some phone calls to mates I knew in town and arranged to meet up with them later.

A bachelor dinner was made in the guesthouse kitchen, consisting of two-minute noodles and a tin of curry chicken and then I headed over to see ex-VSO volunteer and Dutch bloke Fedor with a six-pack in one hand. A happy but small beer and Drambuie chat fest ensued between myself Fedor and another ex-VSO vol Sam. I left early to ensure that the guesthouse didn't lock me out of my room because of their 10 o'clock curfew policy.

Setting up the network at the school took virtually all day. It was hampered by frequent black-outs from load shedding which PNG-power were doing. I was glad to see that it wasn't only Lae that suffered from these. The study centre coordinator and me had to do a town run to buy a few small things that were needed to complete the set-up of the network. And it was in town that I had my first brush with a couple of acquaintances - using the term loosely.

I had met Tulie upon my last visit to Madang on holidays. He had kindly, though almost pesteringly, showed us around Kranket island. At the time I though he was a tad annoying as he would not leave us alone so that we could just wander and have a picnic. In the end we had to share our lunch not only with him but one of his wantoks who also tagged along.

Well Tulie recognised me as I went into the bank, and when I came out he stopped me. At first I had to have my memory jogged as to who the hell he was, but then I remembered. Tulie of course wanted me to do something for him, he was trying to fax off an application form for a position in Madang, to the company's head-office in Lae. I originally thought that he wanted me to give him the money so that he could fax it from the post-office, but his idea turned out that I could take his application and hand it in when I got back. I had a look at the position advert and found out it was for the same company that he had previously worked for. I assured him that I would send it into the company, which I will do. Jobs are in scarce supply here and Tulie is a pretty genuine guy, it would be good if he gets the job and it looks like he is a pretty much a shoe-in anyway.

I had sent an e-mail earlier in the week to the newish AVI volunteer in Madang, Amanda. She had come up at the start of December and was working at the Divine Word University, not unsurprisingly a catholic organisation. She had rang me while I was still in Lae and we had organised to meet after work on Friday without any specific plans.

I was scratching my head for something to do and then I thought of the last time in Madang with mum when we had stayed at Jais Aben dive resort. While there on a Friday afternoon I had bumped into a couple of volunteers ironically from DWU, who told me they go there every Friday to have a swim and a beer. What a good idea I thought at the time, so I re-dredged that memory and suggested it to Amanda via a phone call. Luckily she thought it was a good one as well and I picked her up. The swim and beer obviously went down very well after a typically hot and sweaty day. Amanda turned out to be great company and a laugh also.

A rainbow made a brief appearance at Jais Aben

Afterwards we headed into town and went to Fedor's place. I was invited to a boys night of poker. Somehow Amanda was also invited along to this, which she was quite chuffed about. She had been lamenting the fact that the frequent girls nights were usually cooking and making crafts and wanted to be in on the boys nights - can't say I blame her. Making crafts?

The poker was good fun. The bets were high. Twenty toea in fact. I lost all of the change I originally entered, which turned out to be a miserly two kinas worth. It was all just a laugh though with Fedor winning all his money back. Which wasn't such a big deal as he had bank rolled just about everyone anyway. Afterwards I dropped Amanda off and confirmed that the 10 o'clock curfew at the guesthouse can in fact be broken if you are white guy in a car.

Losing all my change turned out to be quite a pain in the morning. You see I had to make a phone call, but my mobile phone service was non-existent. Either they had disconnected my number or the whole system was down. It meant though that I need to get thirty toea so that I could make a pay phone call to arrange to meet up with one more volunteer for breakfast before I headed home. My old mate from Goroka, Monica.

She was in town working at the local branch for her organisation, the Institute for Medical Research. To get the change to make the call I had to wander across a hundred metres or so to the Best Buy supermarket, the only thing open on a Saturday morning.

On the walk I was stopped by another "acquaintance". Some guy who I didn't recognise and still have no idea who he was, but he knew all about me and hit me up for some money so that he could catch a bus back to his village. It is a reality that if you are a white person, you stick out like a sore thumb. See me once wherever and I will recognised next time.

I managed to get by him and get some change for the phone call. But on the way back he stopped me again, so this time to get rid of so I could make the call to Monica I gave him 5 Kina, a lot less than the 20 he wanted.

Trying to ring Monica turned out to be an effort in itself. In 3 attempts over 10 minutes all I got was an engaged tone. I eventually said blow it and was going to head off to her friends house where she staying, without the promised prior phone call - I figured if the phones engaged she would be there anyway. But as I am heading out the guest-house phone rings. The haus meri who answers calls me over and asks my name. I tell her. She then goes and tells my name to the person on the end of the line. She then calls me over to talk to the caller.


"Jeremy, it is George here". Boss? That doesn't sound like him. He continues, "You know, George from 4 Mile, Lae". George from 4 Mile Lae, who the hell is that, I think?

"Ummm, hello George, are you sure you wanted me. I don't think we have met".

"Ohh you remember me, I am the teacher out at 4 Mile".

"Ummm no sorry I don't think we have met".

"Are you sure?".

"Yeah, I don't remember you at all".

"Ohh OK I must have the wrong person".

"Alright, bye". We hang up. What the hell? A more bizarre phone call I don't think I have had.

I meet Monica and we catch up on how each of us have been over toast and coffee - even though I didn't like coffee before I came here I don't reject it like I used to, my taste is changing in this climate.

After I head back and meet Tony at the 10 o'clock agreed time then it was back on the road with a full load of Tony's fish and coconuts from the village he stayed at. On the road we stopped at a roadside market, to fill up with more produce. May as well make the most of it, and we did.

What happens if you park your PMV for too long

I do ramble don't I. For the people wondering if I do any work, I wrote this yesterday, just posting it while at work.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Roadside Market Study

Back home after another fantastic trip to Madang. Full write up soon as to why it was great, but first here are some pics taken this morning at a village roadside market in the foothills of the Finisterre mountains. The Lae-Madang road cuts impressively through these mountains on the way from the Ramu/Markham valley to Madang.

Kulau being deftly hacked open

BBQ PNG style. Taro, pitpit and mushrooms on a skewer

Stop and go for all your needs

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Very hamamas (happy) today. Just received the following package all the way from old Blighty.

It contains the DVD of Wendy's film - All and Nothing. Can't wait to go home tonight and watch the final product, after seeing and helping create it.

As we missed out on getting into Tropfest, I am going to enter it into the Amazon short film competition. Just need to encode using some wizzbang encoder and then upload it - could be quite tricky, come to think of it, with the telecommunications infrastructure here.

Civic Duty Scuppered

I received the following email invite yesterday, from the Uni's Public Relations office.
Dear staff

The National Government through the Minister for Internal Security, Bire Kimisopa, has established a National Guns Control Committee to look at ways of dealing with the deteriorating law and order situation affecting PNG and its direct link to the use of many firearms. The situation is extremely critical as it is have a devastating impact on business, commerce and the society at large.

The Committee headed by former Defence Force Commander, Major General Jerry Singirok MBE (Rtd) has been tasked to consult with all sectors of the community on this most serious matter and to prepare for a national gun summit to consider the views of the community and make recommendations to the Government on how best to deal with it.

DATE: TUESDAY 8/3/2005
TIME: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

I thought I might go along and attend, do my civic and social duty as it were. Gun control is a hot topic here at the moment and I was keen to see and hear the stats.

So I rock up with John at a quarter past 6 thinking that we would be late, only to find that there are about a dozen people in the hall and the committee members are just milling about chatting by the stage. This is a shame I thought, more people should come along to hear what they have to say.

No action occurs for ten minutes, apart from about a dozen more people - students - rocking up. Then some finger food type stuff starts to come in on trays and gets placed on a table on the stage. The participants go over and start feeding themselves, ignoring the crowd. WTF?

I say to John "blow this" let's go. I can think of better things to do than watching this travelling waste of public money.

You see this gun control committee is in Lae for a week. The first night they seemed to get things happening, a lot of discussion, reports in the papers etc. One night is fair enough, but a weeks worth? And where do they go after here? Mt. Hagen for another week, then Port Moresby for a month.

A gun control forum needs to happen, and hopefully good things come out of it, but boy it seems to me like a bit of a free lunch (and dinner) for the people on the committee.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Ahh Madang

I am off to Madang on Thursday as I noted last week. Can't wait. I thought I would share some pics from the last time I was there, way back in September.

The lighthouse

View from Kranket island

Mum on the Kranket boat

Madang is a pretty special place and a great place to visit. Mainly because it is so much more prettier than Lae. The beauty of Madang is that it is so much cleaner, smaller and feels happier. Also it doesn't have the industry like Lae does. I guess the geography helps as it is on a peninsular, which means that settlements cannot spring up around it like what has happened here.

Lae has one of those catch-cries that cities try to evoke and it is "The garden city", but really I think they should hand it over to Madang. Once upon a time Lae's Botanical Gardens were viewed as world class. Orchid's etc, but today it is an overgrown, raskol infested place, where I once tried to visit and wished I had brought a bush knife.

On my visit I will also get to catch up with a few volunteer mates that are there. There is Sam and Fedor, ex VSO guys who are now working on other projects since their volunteer placements are now finished. There are a couple of other VSO and Austrian volunteers that are still in placements there. Monica from Goroka, e-mailed me this morning and said that she will be there for a week for work starting today - nice timing. And there is a new AVI volunteer there that I am hoping to meet.

So all up it should be a good little escape. Hopefully work wont get in the way of a good time.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Is PNG Really Dangerous?

A question that I have been asked quite a few times in different places - most of the time by my family members. So after being jogged for my opinion again I thought this time I would just get the whole question out the way and put my current answer in a post, therefore anytime in the future when asked said question I can refer to the below.

So Is PNG Really Dangerous? Well the statistics are scary. But of course they don't tell the full story of what PNG is like. In fact they really tell you bugger all. You can get raped, beaten, robbed or murdered anywhere. Though you would be very unlucky to be blown up by a terrorist here.

A better question that I should answer is PNG really dangerous for a tourist? And in a word to this I would have to say, No. As a resident there is an element of risk, as a transient visitor, there is also an element of risk, but it is low. I am of course talking physical danger, and excluding the usual dangers when travelling, plane crash, car accident or general mishap.

PNGers can be naturally aggressive, but like I keep saying, towards each other. As a new comer, and if people knew you were a new comer to their land you will get the right royal treatment. The locals genuinely want to change the image that PNG has abroad. If anything would physically happen to you while you were here, you would guarantee that the perpetrator(s) would be hunted down and some nasty revenge would be enacted.

I have done a fair amount of travelling (not as much as I would like) and the only place I have been to that really compares to PNG, as in being a developing country, would be Mongolia. Ironically in my eyes Ulaan Baator and Port Moresby would in terms of capital cities be on an equal level in terms of decrepitude. As in all travelling you have to be savvy. Follow the simple local advice and you will not end up in a situation where the chances of some mishap happening would be greater. In PNG this would be don't wander around after dark, especially on a pay-day Friday when the chances of meeting drunken yobs are greater.

So as for personal safety I think things are pretty cool, just need to be sensible. Duh. Of course shit can happen, but I am yet to hear of a tourist getting into any physical harm. Partially probably because there are so little tourists. 40,000 a year I think. But mainly I think due to the reasons I have stated above.

Robbing though is a slightly different story. With the gap between the haves and have nots here, luxury items are of course viewed with envy. Walking into a supermarket you will see lots of loiterers just wandering through, gazing at all the items they cannot afford. A few take it to the extreme and rob whatever they can with the aim to make it cash or hock off the luxury items they get for cash (same as most robbery really). So if you happen to be on a bus up the highlands highway and it gets held up, they wont rob everyone else and leave the nice looking white person, your stuff will get flogged as well. You can read a story about someone's experience of exactly this here.

It is a shame the attention that PNG gets from the media in (mainly) Australia. They are of course just stating the stats and the real life events but they are missing out on the fact that 99.9% of the population are genuine, fantastic, hearts-of-gold people. The problems of PNG are numerous and many, but that should not deter people from seeing that this country is truly a unique place, with some absolutely stunning scenery. In fact I feel sorry for people who miss out on some of this beauty.

Unfortunately building the tourism trade in this country is a chicken and the egg scenario. They need tourists to build the infrastructure and infrastructure to increase the tourists. Because of the untouched natural beauty and the cultural diversity I have no doubt that PNG will be high on the must see destinations one day, it could just be a few generations away though.

Legal disclaimer: This is the opinion of the author, no responsibility will be taken if reader is maimed, killed, raped or physically, emotionally or mentally harmed while in Papua New Guinea. Always wanted to do one of those. Can I be a lawyer now?

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Weekend creativity. Making a montage of my kitchen wall, which in itself is a montage of newspaper clippings.

Prizes for the person who can work out where the poster in the middle is from.

Click to make the image larger.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Golden Mountains

Wednesday's dawn. Still pinching

It has only taken a year, but finally I got to see my mountains, not in a hue of blue, or covered in cotton ball clouds, but golden.

Low-res JPEG photos really do not do colour justice.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Crime Figures

This blog is a warts and all look at life in Papua New Guinea, therefore I occasionally need to look at these warts. So here are some facts that were shown on the front page of the Post Courier yesterday. It is a breakdown of figures showing the darker side of Lae.
Mamose police chief Giossi Labi said for the month of February, 32 armed robberies, 21 break and enters of commercial property and homes, nine car thefts, nine rape and carnal knowledge cases, eight murders, eight cases of assault, seven drug-related cases and five illegal firearm cases were reported.

You will notice that was just for February! Eight murders and nine rapes in a month. And the shortest month at that. Great.

Admittedly most of those murders would have been in the settlements and villages resulting from fights between family members, wantoks or already feuding tribes (don't quote me on that though), but the rape statistics are a tad alarming.

As I have said before violence against ex-pats and non-nationals is pretty rare. This is not to say that it doesn't happen. In January a long-time resident ex-pat couple in town had their house broken into while they were there. The wife was savagely beaten while the husband was held at knife point and then they were robbed. The National newspaper ran it as a frontpage story a little while after the event with a nasty photo of her blackened and bruised face on the front. Pretty horrific stuff.

Another incident in the last month that has made me shake my head was when George (my boss) was taking Joy (a colleague) out to the airport early one morning. She was flying off on a work trip using the early-bird plane. At around 3 Mile along the way a gang of men jumped out and stuck their home made gun up and tried the old fashioned hold up - not unlike the scene from my first trip to Mt Hagen. George planted his foot and drove straight at them swerving at the last second, the raskols jumped out of the way at the same time and managed to fire off their backyard shotgun. They struck the passenger door but the blast was too weak to penetrate. Looking at the car we now have a slightly damaged door, that looks like it has been hit with a bunch of high-speed nails and screws, which of course is did.

This incident freaked us all out a bit, as you would imagine. Since then we have had to do a few more early morning trips to the airport, unsurprisingly George has volunteered to do the runs.

There have been a few reports since of a few successful hold-ups and car robbing. Which compared to last year has been alarming, as there were virtually none after a major police crackdown.

Living out on campus you feel cocooned against these sort of incidents. But stuff still occasionally happens here, the odd fence being cut and mid-day bike stealing?s etc. The closet to an incident for me was when three or four raskols surrounded the security guard at the end of street, not far from my front door, at about 3 in the morning. He was sleeping of course but was awoken and upon seeing the gang screamed a horrible and loud scream (or so I was told by my neighbours - I am heavy sleeper) and took off down the street to find the nearest guard. By doing this, the gang proceeded to make a dash for it themselves and scramble back through their hole.

This is all pretty alarming stuff for the non-resident and of course it does not aid PNG's reputation abroad, particularly down south. I did a quick search on Google to see how the Australian papers view Lae. This is what it returned from the last two weeks, "PNG seeks help to build detention centre" from the SMH, "Six plunge over cliff in police chase" from The Age, "Aid worker robbed at gunpoint" from the Herald Sun and "The ticking crime bomb on our doorstep" from The Age again. Three of the four are violence related.

There has been much talk about the Australian police that will be coming up. Most of them are already in the country and originally they were supposed to be deployed to Lae around about this time. At the Australian Day party you will remember the little rotund Aus High Commissioner came and gave a speech, in that he actually said that the police would not be deployed to Lae until the end of the year, contradicting the earlier statements. I am not sure then what will happen then to their purpose built apartments constructed in town, they will probably sit empty, with the Australian taxpayer picking up the rental anyway.

I did see some good news today though. As I reported back when I was in Sydney, the publican from a nearby pub was killed, well today apparently they have caught all the perpetrators. They are being charged with murder. Fantastic news.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

News Time

I might be doing a 'George Bush on the deck of an aircraft carrier' and calling victory a little prematurely but it seems my efforts at deterring my little nemesis have worked. The mutt is no longer coming and invading my front porch with its presence.

I have not had to hoick a rock at it since I last wrote about the thing. It just seems to have given up and surrendered that my house is now out of bounds. I am gathering that it was either the hacking back, PNG style with my bush knife, of the overgrowth or my persistent glares and stones. Either way I have not had it hanging around, which is particularly satisfying.

The skanky mutt caught 'paparazzi-style' looking particularly happy

In other news John has sent me some links for information about his books. Namely the price (in Aus $) and ISBN number. There is still no way to purchase it on the Internet yet, but what you may be able to do is go to your local bookshop and order it in using the ISBN number. Here are the details for AIDS:My Brothers Story and Mulzi. I am yet to read either myself, but John has told me he will give me a copy (when he gets one to give), and then I will post a review of my impressions.

In other other news no word has come from Knox about the bike club website idea I was so enthusiastic about last month. I saw him this morning but forgot to ask if he has asked the club executives. I suspect though that they are not back in Lae as of yet and are still trying to peddle through swamps on the 'road' from Port Moresby to Alotau.

In other other other news (gee it just keeps going) I am going to Madang at the end of next week. Yay. Will be revisiting Tusbab High School after the visit last year, it is finally time to set up the computers in the lab there. It has only taken them 10 months to get the room ready - fast for PNG. Look forward to an account of the no-doubt exciting trip - I will be driving there and back by myself, that's if the road is open. Two weeks ago it was closed due to a land slide, which makes a change from the usual washed out bridge.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Sweet Tooth, Moi?

Returning to matters of less importance ...

I admit that I have a bit of a sweet tooth, I do love ice cream, and now in hindsight I am kinda thinking that I may have gone a touch overboard yesterday afternoon.

Robin was telling me about how he buys a big carton of ice cream and a hundred ice cream cones and then his wife sells it down near their house to passer-by's. I asked how big this carton was and how much. He replies telling me 38 Kina for 16 litres in at Eriku. Hmmm that is not a bad deal I think and ponder about buying a carton for myself to stick in my freezer, that was the end of my thoughts regarding it then.

Later after work John starts to give me a lift home. Driving out of the car park we see Robin heading off to the bus stop for his ice cream procurement trip into Eriku, John asks me if I want to go into Eriku as well. Why not I say. So we pick up Robin and all head off.

Skip forward an hour and I am back in my house with a 16 litre tub of ice cream in my freezer. It all happened so fast. I was in the shop with Robin looking in the deep freezer, then all of a sudden money lept out of my wallet and a box was under my arm.

Yes that is a 16 litre box of ice cream in my freezer

I am not sure how long 16 litres of ice cream will actually last for a single guy, but I am suspecting a couple of months at least. After scooping out a little too much for dessert last night, I will have to remember that I don't need to eat it all in one go. Of course I did the old Aussie trick of sprinkling Milo on top. Love it.

Ohh if you are keen for IC, you know where to come.