Thursday, July 3, 2014

The less pretty sights of Arawa

What can we say? Bougainville is still recovering from a civil war, and Arawa took a bit of a beating.

Here are some of the buildings that are looking a bit worse for wear.

Looks like Arawa even had a squash court! I don’t know if there’s anywhere in PNG at present that has a squash court! (Maybe Port Moresby does, but I wouldn’t know).

Lastly, here’s a road that’s not in quite as good a shape as the ones I posted earlier.

Ok, now after reading this post, go back and look at the previous post of the nice sights and rejoice that this town is slowly building itself back up again. Arawa is a nice town with a lot of potential, and it’s going places.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The nice sights of Arawa

As well as some pretty roads, there are some other nice sights in Arawa. Here is their beautiful river, which is right in the centre of town. You pass it, going over a bridge, just after the market (or just before the market if you’re going the other direction!).

How cool is this sculpture of the world? which, ironically is missing PNG. Apparently it used to be even cooler, as it used to be a bit of a fountain with water flowing over the world. Sounds great.

This is a lovely mural on the side of a building in the middle of ‘Beautiful Arawa.’

This technically isn’t a ‘sight’ because it is inside a building, but I was so excited by it that I had to share it anyway. It is the inside of the relatively new supermarket. Look at it! It’s so bright and shiny and clean and spacious!! And it has a lot of stock – things you can’t get in Buka. I even took photos of the food on the shelves, but I’ll spare you them, as I’m sure you know what good supermarkets look like.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Nice Arawa roads

I went to Arawa for the first time a couple of months ago. It used to be a big modern town in the early 80’s. The streets in some areas looked like roads that you would see in Australia. I thought they were very nice with the median strip in the middle. Looking at these photos, you could be mistaken for thinking that they are of a small country town in Australia.

And here’s an intersection. It may not look very exciting to you. In fact it may just look like a normal intersection. That is what I found so exciting about it. I haven’t seen an intersection quite like this one in PNG before. It even has a slip lane for turning left! It felt really strange – ‘surreal’ is maybe what you would call it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

More progress on the house

Here are the latest photos on the progress of my village house. I took these photos before coming to Buka, but I’ve been told that since then, they have put the frame up.

If you compare with the previous blog post, you will see that the supporting struts and protective fence are no longer there, as the cement has dried and the posts can stand by themselves. The bearers are also on top of the posts here, and the window frames have been made and are under the roofing iron.

A closer photo of the window frames, with some other frames in the background, and the stockpile of timber behind them.

And just to give you a bit more perspective, here is the house from a different angle. If you look closely you can see the road in the background (it is white).

I’m in Buka for a few weeks, so can’t get new photos of the progress until I go back, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it has changed. It will be great to see the frame that’s up now.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Village house construction progress

This is how I found my village house when I came back to the village after having two weeks away at Petats Island!

Before I went to Petats, no work had been started on my house, and I was surprised to find the house looking like this when I got to the village.

On the day I arrived, the men were working on cementing the posts in. I don’t know how it is done in Australia, but here they put some stones in the hole first.

Then they put the cement in the holes. The mix the cement with water and with sand that they get from the beach just 50 metres away!

Lastly, here is some of the timber that is ready to be used for the house.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Catch of the day and gutting fish

Look at this big catch of fish!!

I got involved in gutting the fish:

Here’s Mirriam holding a swordfish:

Several baskets were filled with fish:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Getting food from the ocean is a part of life for the local people, and stingray is something that they occasionally catch from the sea. It tastes really nice when it has been smoked. This is a stingray that they caught one morning:

Here it is after been butchered a little – there is a lot more flesh than I would have thought!