Im standing on the beach at Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia
Sometimes He plans the most remarkable things in His own way....things that we have lost faith in and takes the pain away in the most unexpected of ways. We question the way things are. We ask why. There are more questions than answers. But we never give up. We should never loose faith on He who holds our breath in His hands. We hold onto His promises each day.
Beating sago the Kurti way.... (Kurti is a language group on the north coast of Manus island, PNG).
The men and boys beat the sago this way and then the women collect the pulp in bags (see two bags already filled) and then wash it using a filtration and decanting process.
The bow (n'drangkei) that Iam holding is made from the root of tree. At the edge of a bow, we attach a piece of bamboo (modou). As we lift the bow and strike the sago, it is the bamboo that scraps the sago off. The finer the sago pulp, the easier to wash by the women thus more sago is produced. A really mature sago tree like this (which is sectioned into three parts) can in total produce between two to four 10kg bags of sago
A typical garden on the coastal, lowland parts of Madang province. As you can see, there are bananas trees, yams growing in mounds with sticks used to assist the vines of the yams grow upwards above the ground. You can also see betelnut trees lined in between the yams and the banana tress. The ground looks cleared and cleaned suggesting that someone is tending to the gardens on a regular basis. Right in the forefront of the picture, someone just planted some sweet potatoes (kaukau).
Wanpla papa em name blong em ‘John’ na em I gat wanpla kanu.
Displa papa i promisim ol pikinini blong em olsem em bai lukautim ol na displa
kanu bai givim helpim lo ol taim ol i bungim hevi. Nau displa kanu i gat wanpla
wokboi isave lukautim em na papa blo kanu i save baim wokboi sampla moni lo wok
em i wokim. Planti taim wokboi em i save hamamas tru lo wok tasol sampla taim,
papa blong displa kanu ino save givim mani blong stretim kanu or baim nupla pul
or stretim saman blo kanu. Nau, kanu ino stap stret na halivim igo lo ol
pikinini blo John ino kam gut tumas. Ol pikinini blo John bungim hevi na wokboi
I wari lo ol. Wokboi i kirap na tok: ‘Ol
pikinini, sapos yupla laik mi halivim yupla, orait yupla putim mani kam na yumi
stretim saman blo kanu na displa kanu bai halivim yumi gen’. Ol pikinini i harim
displa na tromoi mani igo lo wokboi na wokboi usim mani lo stretim kanu na i halivim
ol pikinini. Papa blo displa kanu I lukim displa samting i kamap na korosim tru
wokboi na tokim em lo stoppim displa pasin. Em tokim wokboi: ‘displa em kanu blo mi na mi bai givim mani
or stretim lo laik na taim blo mi, ino wok blo yu lo painim mani na stretim
kanu’. Wokboi i harim displa na em i belhat nogut tru na tok: ‘Boss, yu stap na lukim hevi kamap lo kanu na
yu no stretim, yu larim ol pikinini blo yu bungim bikpla hevi tumas. Mi stap
wantaim ol na mi lukim hevi blo ol. Nau yu tok mi noken kisim mani halivim lo
ol pikinini lo stretim displa kanu. Displa kanu ino halivim ol pikinini blo yu blong
wanem yu yet ino stretim displa kanu. Na
yet yu tok mi mas ronnim displa kanu na stap isi tasol. Boss,displa toktok blo
yu em i asua tumas'.
In this story, the 'papa blo kanu' is the Government, the 'wokboi' represents public health services and the 'pikinini' represent users of the public health system. This story above is a simplified version of public health
services such as hospitals, district hospitals, health centres charging the
public, user fees, to operate and maintain their respective services while the
government looks on and does not fund the required infrastructure and maintenance
of primary health care.
In 2012, the PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure(PEPE) project surveyed 360 primary schools and health clinics across
eight provinces. Many of the same facilities were also surveyed in 2002. They
discovered that the average health clinic sees fewer patients and has a lower
level of drug availability than ten years ago.
• 41 per cent of clinics
received no external funding or in-kind support in 2012.
• 29 per cent relied
only on user fees to cover operational costs.
• Only 20 per cent of health
clinics have beds with mattresses.
• 75 per cent of health workers contribute
to the cost of health care delivery from their own pocket.
The PNG health care system is really on life support.....
After my recent trip to Port Moresby where I stayed with the Christian Brothers, they showed me how they made the non-alcoholic ginger beer. So when I came back home, I decided to brew my own. The first version is good but the second one will be great.
When I went to town, I saw that the same version but factory made is around K20 for only four bottles. So if you make your own, you could have more than four bottles!
When people think about Advocacy, they think about 'awareness' but advocacy is something a bit more than that. Advocacy is 'the deliberate process of influencing those who make decisions'.
Advocacy will influence policy makers as a means of addressing policy root causes of poverty and discrimination. Advocacy efforts are not with individuals but should reach large segments of the population.
So this week, I did a two day training for various organisations giving an introduction to advocacy and steps to carry our an effective advocacy campaign for their organization.
The workshop was funded by Strongim Pipol Strong Neisen and facilitated by myself on behalf of Divine Word University. Particpants were representative of organisations such as Buk Blong Pikinini, Baptist Union, Aigon Cooperative Society, Eastern Highlands Family Voice, Country Women's Association Madang, Media for Development Initiative, Department of Community Development, Salvation Army, Transparency International, West New Britain Community Development Forum, PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons, Catholic Diocese of Wabag, United Church and also Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR) Inc.
Im forgetful, too fat, considered snobish, lazy, love a good drink up, procrastinates a lot, would love to win the Oz Lotto, hates hard work but truely believes that most people by nature, are generous and will freely give to others if given the opportunity and the resources to do so. Above all, Iam a Papua New Guinean at heart.