Sunday, January 15, 2017

The allure of second-hand bookshops

I love second-hand book shops.
Yesterday I wandered through two second-hand shops along Waigani Drive in Port Moresby, hunting for books, while the place was chock-a-block with people looking for clothes.
Books on virtually anything are available at second-hand bookshops.

Such a treasure trove of information and English at a time when our  literacy levels have reached alarmingly-low levels. 
They are literally a gold mine.
You can look no further than Facebook to see how low the level of English in this country has stooped to.
The books and magazines at second-hand shops are so cheap too.
Good to see people interested in books.

Sometimes you find the latest bestsellers.
From Shakespeare to Twain to Hemingway to Fitzgerald to Hunter S Thompson to do-it-yourself to children's books.
A second-hand book does more to help our children than a buai, smoke or a beer.
 I read profusely as a child (and even to this day) and this has has shaped (and continues to shape) my life.
I bought a couple of books for my kids and myself.
Some of the books I bought.

I believe strongly that "development is yourself", whether it be buying and reading a book, or stopping buai, smoking and alcohol.
Development does not come from politicians or government as we in Papua New Guinea like to think.
Reading is development.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The first day of 2017

Today was a time for me to spend time with family, read, write, take pictures, as well as think about the potential for agriculture in this country.
This is before I resume work tomorrow in what promises to be a busy year with the 2017 national election.
A green invasion...I see it as a good augury for 2017...a blessing...
More Papua New Guinean than those slimy, toxic brown Queensland cane my hands and I don't get poisoned...
Lae pineapples for New Year's Day brunch...

My three amigos are cooking up a feast...
My tribe on New Year's Day...
She's now busy writing a travel piece on her tablet about our travels to Lae, Salamaua, Highlands Highway,  Markham Valley and Goroka...soon to be published...PS: She's only 12 but can write better than many of our "journalists"...
More power to our farmers in 2017...including us backyard farmers...

Keith and friend.
Evening along Sir Hubert Murray Highway, 8-Mile.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The last day of 2016

Today is the last day of 2016 and my daughter and I travelled back to Port Moresby after a wonderful two weeks of vacation.
Thank you all for being part of an amazing journey with my daughter and I over the last two weeks from Port Moresby to Lae, across the Huon Gulf to beautiful Salamaua, over the plains of the great Markham Valley to the cold, misty mountains of Goroka.
It's been a wonderful journey. Thank you God for keeping us safe and taking us safely back to Port Moresby. Thank you for all the wonderful family and friends in Lae, Salamaua, Markham Valley, Goroka and all over Papua New Guinea. We pray for your blessings on this country in 2017.
I have rekindled family ties and old friendships.
My daughter with her grand aunt, Elizabeth Nagong, who turned 91 on December 26 at Butibam Village. She is the wife of the great Lutheran evangelist Gejambec Nagong.

 I have come to realise what a beautiful country this is, despite all the negativity.
Bloom at our Butibam  home in Lae this morning.
 I have seen the massive potential for agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
 I have seen the role the church can play in curbing many of our social ills.
The Lutheran Church building at the beautiful seaside village of Laukanu, Salamaua, which was opened on December 18. 

I have seen the damage done to our young people by alcohol and drugs.
 I have seen the neglect of the Highlands Highway - the lifeline of this country.
Dangerous. Highlands Highway near Yonki, Eastern Highlands, on Boxing Day.
Roads are a far cry from what they were on Kassam Pass.

 I have seen how we in the mainstream media have failed to report on many critical  issues affecting this country.
 I have seen how Digicel (despite all the criticism) has brought telephone and Internet access to our rural people.
 I hear the call of this great country.
Let us all arise, sons and daughters of this great land, and save our country.
Never has the need been greater.
A Happy New Year 2017 to one and all.
Just in time for 2017...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

From Goroka to Lae

We travelled back to Lae from Goroka on Monday, Dec 26,  after four enjoyable days in the Land of Perennial Springtime.
Being in Goroka was an unforgettable experience for my daughter.
I personally felt all refreshed and rejuvenated to face 2017.
We left Goroka at 12.30pm:
Little America at New Tribes Mission outside Goroka.

Bena Bridge. of my favorite sections of the Highlands Highway.
Stopping for pineapples, hot corn and veggies past Korofeigu.

Roadside house past Korofeigu
Going up the once-notorious Barola Hill.
Cool December rain on top of Barola Hill.
Past Barola Hill, torrential downpour and poor visibility.
A hole in the clouds at 2.40pm when we arrive in Kainantu.
Dangerous. Highlands Highway near Yonki. This hole wasn't here last Thursday when we were driving to Goroka.

Akamole Market at Yonki.

Evangelical Brotherhood Church, Yonki...another of my favorite Highlands Highway spots.
Roads are a far cry from what they were on Kassam Pass.
Yung Creek.
Back in the Markham.