Friday, April 22, 2011

Dining out in Port Moresby

The question I am most often asked by friends and family back home...."what is it really like to live in Port Moresby?". Given that POM was recently ranked last on the places to visit in 2011, I thought I might give you a window in on what it is really like living in POM.

A few weeks ago Claudia was voted by her class mates to the Student Representative Council. She received her badge on assembly/parade and that night we decided to take her out to celebrate

The restaurant of Claudia's choosing for the night was Daikoko's - a Japanese Tappanyaki bar.

I love the feel of the place, all the timber, stainless stell and pottery are so different to the rest of Moresby.

It was looking pretty good at step 1...

Haydn loved the reflection of our chef on the teppan plate

The kids are so good with chopsticks now that they even eat their rice with them.

It seemed a tragedy to see fillet steak cut up into cubes instead of left whole, but the end result was sensational!

Here are Shane's praws about to get a dose of fire...

Of course the flames really got the kids attention.

Our chef...what a star.

So that was our night out in Moresby for Claudia's celebration.

Life here for us is surprisingly normal...mostly.

Happy Easter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tufi - Em kam gud stret (Really special place, top stuff)

I really married very well -  my husband on the other hand probably didn't fare so well. He proved his thoughtfulness again last week...I really was run down and not looking forward to a weekend without the kids who are back home on the farm with Mum and Dad. Shane booked us in for a weekend of fishing at Tufi Dive Resort. It is one of my most treasured places so I was really looking forward to the trip. I surprised myself by going 14m under water in my first scuba dive. I can highly recommend Tufi -

Shane on his first open water dive @ Cyclone Reef, Tufi PNG

Finally at 38 I have mustered enough bravado to enter the under water world. Why did I wait so long??

We met a very special bird at Tufi - Coco, a hornbill. She was the cheekiest, show off I have met in a long time. So playful and always, always hungry. A typical 9 month old.

Tufi Fjord - paradise on Earth....words are impossible to describe the peacefulness she spreads.

Saturday morning saw a jostling for "parking spaces" in the fjord as the locals came to do their weekly shop.
Not a sign of outrigger rage in sight though.

On arriving I was offered a drink, I opted for a Pina Colada. Susie said it might take a few minutes as the boys would need to get a coconut and shell it for her so she could get fresh coconut milk for my special brew...and it was sooooo good.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Made in China

Last week I was "branded" they call it induction training. Lucky for me the training was held in Beijing, China.

My first impressions were "WOW!!". The place is just amazing. I was met on the airside and escorted through security and immigration in a flash, my bag was first off the carousel and straight into a waiting car. A total time of approximately 10 minutes from the plane to outside. Needless to say, my first impression of China was brilliant.

The view from my hotel room

The Police presence is never far away

Chairman Mao's building at Tiennamen Square

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Mudmen

We were occupied. Busy. The kind of busy that doesnt leave room for interruption or disturbance. Deep in concentration, trance like - watching an impromptu performance of local villagers.Chanting, stomping and rattling their bits and bobs to keep us glued like little children at a circus.
This is the scene that had us captivated.
and then I felt or rather sensed, a prickling of my skin on the back of my shoulders. The whole group of us had the same feeling as we all simultaneously turned around to see the very boney finger of an Asaro Mudman beckoning us, ever so quietly to follow him and his grey friends.

They were completely silent yet completely captivating. We followed without question to the ceremony that we were to officiate at. Their cat like moves and bizarre masks are really unusual.

The Asaro Mudmen are from the Asaro River in the Eastern Highlands of PNG outside the town of Goroka.

Close up, it brings back memories of big nights on the drink in Townsville.

Monday, February 14, 2011

One step at a time leads to a house

I have been AWOL, I know, for about 2 weeks. Great reason though...our biggest big boss (bbb) in the whole wide world has been for a 5 day visit to PNG. It was magnificent but far too busy. I feel like my brain is slowing returning to its normal self. After working 7 day weeks since Christmas, I feel its impossible to switch off completely. It was electrifying meeting important folks like the PM and then travelling in our own chartered jet to see other parts of PNG. The upside was our bbb is a delightful human being, very clever and so easy to get along with. He made a difference in such a short time.

Anyway, back in real life, its been like swimming in syrup with the house. While the bbb was here we were kicked out of our temporary apartment and luckily found another much smaller, temporary room above a roudy bar. But we are very grateful to have accomodation.

Our house was to be ready on the 7th - it was, mostly. Except there are no bathrooms and no bedrooms as these are being extensively renovated. You would have thought letting us know this would have been high on someone's list...but alas, not.

The house has the most beautiful orchids. Someone really loved the garden once.

The good news is that Rusty the cat made his journey up from Oz and is all well. Seems to like the life of a jetsetter and is settling in well.

But now to a different house - PNGs National Parliament Haus. We visited as part of our bbb's visit. I was excited to see the architecture but I didn't expected to feel heart stoppingly in awe of the place. The inner chamber, which I couldnt photograph, has timber carving and tapa cloth that is just too beautiful to describe. Why isnt that I felt such a connection for a building, raw materials that are not even connected to my home of Australia? As I looked on the craftsmanship and beauty I felt like the walls could talk, wrapping me up in a show of PNG. It took me by surprise, still does, that I should feel so humbled by another country's national building.