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, June 09, 2005

Another Fish Out Of Water

Another fish out of water has joined the online community. This fish has jumped straight out of its pond and landed smack bang and flapping in the middle of the PNG highlands. It makes fun reading this fish gasp for air.

By chance yesterday I happened across this new(ish) blog from another volunteer type living in Simbu province. Mark is working on a project for a Catholic school through VSO, only with a slight twist, firstly he ain't British or Dutch or wherever else VSO recruit from, but a Yank and he is only here for 6 months.

Being the small world that is the PNG social scene I have already met him at the Goroka Coffee Ball a few weeks ago now. I remember thinking "this guy is loud, but funny" - at the time he had just blagged his way into the Ball posing as a Journalist.

His humour it seems has translated well into text. There are some beaut cultural shock stories posted already and I guess he will be probably having a few more to come - Simbu ain't nothing like Ohio.

Here are some highlights:
I was riding into Kundiawa with my friend John this past Friday. John is a retired systems planner from London who is moonlighting as a volunteer teacher at Rosary. Great guy. As we made our way though the busy streets, John exchanged one of those abrupt, shouting hellos (by far my favorite kind of exchange) that occur when one party is in a moving vehicle and the other is on foot. The two men waved happily at each other. I asked John who that was and he cheerfully responded 'oh, that was the man that organized the burglary of my house'. Good times.
and ...
I was on my porch at dusk when a man approached wearing a trench coat and brandishing a large machete. I tried my best not to squirm and tightened my grip on my only weapon - a 300 page paperback book. Turns out he was a sentry that needed to turn on a security light, the switch being on my porch. I am now down one pair of underwear.