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, April 14, 2005


What makes me happy?

I tend to think of happiness as a basic fundamental. Part of what makes us tick. If you're not happy, what is the point? But more importantly if you can't make yourself happy in a place then you need to look at your approach to life or move on. I would like to think that I could make myself happy no matter where I was dropped.

Last year I divulged some of my dislikes, bugs and annoyances. But they are just that, small pet hates. Nothing to make me depressed - thankfully that is not for me. Happiness though is a different kettle of fish and very hard to quantify. It is a combination of a lot of things, a mixture of many foibles, quirks and ultimately our perception. It is extremely hard to put into words but I do like a challenge.

So here is a small window into the mind that is the enigma of my thoughts on what makes me happy whilst in PNG. Casting a narrow abbreviated beam onto the factors that mostly make it a joy to live and work in this place.

Side trips, big trips, adventure, out and about
Seeing new culture. Exploring new places. Meeting vastly different people. Planning the next trip. The sense of adventure. More planning. More buzz. Being on the trip. Immersed in the new sights. Returning. Planning for the next trip.

Friends, mates, volunteers, social life
The bonus that is the volunteer system. The eclectic mix of similar yet completely different characters. Thrown together. Being a minority. Drinking together. Dinners and parties. Staying at their houses. Good chats and laughs.

Heat, precipitation, sun, humidity - the weather
Initially you sweat. Extra showers are needed. A feeling of being constantly sticky. Your fan is a friend. Then you get used to it. Adapt to it. Grow to like it. Enjoy it. The warmth. The constant 6am sunrise, 6pm sunset. Heavy rain at night. Lashing storms. A smile on your dial.

Their moans and gripes are there. Bitchiness is universal. But they are fun, full of life and make it a joy to go to work. Being taken under their wing. Taking them under your wing. Sharing life experiences, very different, yet again similar.

Creativity, time, learning
Writing is now fun. Photography remains an expressive outlet. Reading is revisited. Movies are borrowed and loaned. Time seems more plentiful. The left side of the brain is expanded. English is not the nightmare of high school. Blogging is enjoyed. Comments are appreciated.