The Kikori River is one of my favourite places in the world. At almost 230km long, it stretches over almost 23,300 km2 through the western part of Gulf Province in Papua New Guinea, forming a magnificent delta that reaches down to the Gulf of Papua. It is intensely remote, with dense mangrove forests lining the interweaving waterways, and small villages appearing in places that seem impossible. The river, and its people, inspire a certain awe, one that is unmatched in the places I have visited on my travels around the world. Living predominantly off of fish and sago, the people here live humble lives, their stilted wooden huts line the river banks and their dugout canoes paddle softly along the water. Their trials of poverty are as real as the crocodiles they fend off almost daily, and yet they have survived like this for countless generations. There is certainly magic in these waters, a calmness, a soothing, and it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Archive for month: April, 2014
One of my goals this year is to grow a vegetable garden. To be honest, I’m not very good with plants. I’m good at admiring them, speaking to them, and generally loving them, but growing them has always been a daunting task. The great irony is that I’ve spent most of my life around farmers, whether in lecture halls at university, working with specialists on international development projects, or covering articles on women’s agri-business associations in Papua New Guinea. I should be a person well placed for knowing what to do, but the tragic tales of my dead cacti say otherwise.
I decided to take on the challenge.
Despite the fact that PNG is an extraordinarily lush country, good quality local fruit and vegetables are hard to come by in Port Moresby. Most of us shop at supermarkets where a wide variety of beautiful, but expensive, imported vegetables can be found.
A more exciting shopping experience, however, can be found at Malaoro Market, a fresh fruit and vegetable market located at Gavamani Road. The aisles are a little rougher than those in the air-conditioned supermarkets, but the abundance of staple vegetables is just as good, the prices reasonable, and the colours and experience worth every minute. Produce ranges from lettuce, to carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and corn, as well as an array of fruits including bananas, pineapples, and watermelon. There is also a seafood section, where fresh fish and crabs are in abundance. Read more →
On 30 November 2013, I stood in the middle of more than 2,000 people at the Sir John Guise Stadium, singing into a microphone, and could hardly believe it was real. People were pressed tightly together, waving at me, smiling, calling out ‘solwara meri!’ and filling me with a sense of belonging that has yet to be matched. I smiled in amazement at Robert Oeka, standing beside me, and together we started our next song, Kerema Yu No Save. This was a celebration of Gulf Day, and we performing in true Gulf style. Read more →