Two PNG Hikes — POM and Tari

smw, slt is in Berlin for a bit. This is about the annual-plan meetings and preparation for 2013. An aspect to my new role that, well…I think I can learn to like. I won’t go into much detail, but suffice to say that with so many projects and so many missions, so much need for good work in so many places in the world, when it comes to annual budget and planning time, one must really have one’s ducks lined up nicely if one hopes to conduct new activities, improve quality of management or outreach or communications, etc. – it’s pretty competitive and so many missions are trying to do a lot. I’m not used to being involved at this level – more used to defending an individual project rather than having a good bead on the kinds of things that HQ looks at for multiple projects or a mission as a whole. Not exactly an easy transition for me, but enough about that. After the meetings are all done, I’ll have a few days of vacation.

In the meantime, I am taking advantage of being here for some conerts, plays, etc. And of course I’m taking advantage of good, readily-available internet to post whatever photos I have up on the blog. Herewith shots from two hikes I took in the last month — most of the shots from a lovely hike around Tari up in the highlands (above, and all but the last three & the shot immediately below), and then four pics from a bushwalking group hike around POM. The POM ones stand out becuase it’s much drier – was the very end of the dry season; rains started up a few days later, about two or three weeks ago though my sense of time is a bit off these days. I’m trying to get a lot of sleep. Hope everyone is well. Ciao.

Love the contrast of this wooden hut above, and the pre-fab dwellings at the hospital compound below…

OK, one of my total favorite things is how kids everywhere feel they must do something, other than standing there and smiling, when some white guy takes their photo. It’s quite universal – I recall a photo I posted on the blog from Nigeria more than five years ago, remarkably similar to this in the style of the kids, posing as it were for their closeup. It’s great fun for all involved…

When we got to the first village on our hike, the kids came running. Seems we’re one of the more interesting parts of their weekend. 🙂 The hikes are definitely a highlight for those of us who get to go on them. Further below, you see how Tari is really situated in a basin ringed by hills, and all fairly high up in the highlands to begin with.

Below, that’s downtown Tari — which is basically an airstrip, the hospital, a few shops, and some government buildings. The people all still live in traditional compounds, divided by the kinds of steep walled walkways between and among different compounds that you’ve been seeing – and perhaps wondering about (example two shots above, with Katja). The guys on the fence, below, are bidding us farewell at what I assume is the edge of their family’s territory after walking with us, cutting us walking sticks from local bushes when the way got too steep and muddy (man, it’s slippery on those clay-y muddy hills after a bit of rain…), and generally keeping us company for much of the lovely walk.

For the final shots, we’re back to the end-of-dry-season hills around Port Moresby and that excellent hike I did a few weeks ago, last chance I had to get out hiking in POM for the time being. Now the rainy season is back in POM, so it’ll be mud hikes& mildewed clothes  for the next several months.

3 responses

  1. Stephen Brockmann

    Hi Paul–These are great pictures, as always! My the place is pretty! And I must say, it all seems endlessly fascinating to me! I hope you’ll also post some pictures of Berlin and your time in Germany, and I hope you have a great time there! Let’s talk soon!

    October 21, 2012 at 22:01

  2. Scot

    Wonderful images (and memories).

    October 22, 2012 at 01:11

  3. Today I am feeling nostalgic & your photo’s of Tari made me feel bittersweet & jealous. That’s where I went to school, from 8yrs of age to 12. I haven’t been back in 20 yrs or so but I still miss it like it was yesterday. I was born in Mt Hagen & PNG is the home I had to leave behind, not my choice. Thankyou for posting these 🙂

    July 17, 2013 at 09:40

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