Day 3: Bill Ningur – Upholstery Maker; and a dab of Truth

2 10 2012

There does not seem to be much change in the movement of the dial on the scale. It quivers undecided between 88kg and 89kg. Perhaps it does not want to disappoint me. But who am I trying to fool here? It has only been two days. I did not say I was on some miracle fad diet.

In any case, a digital scale would have given a more definitive reading. But I realized that this yearning for an absolute figure is not just some random desire that was borne the minute I stepped onto the scale. It is something inbuilt. Whether we realise it or not, it is that longing that ignites the urge for the absolute truth to give us that peace of mind. It is that age old desire to know.

Then again, one could suppose this old scale better reflects life. That there are no absolutes in life but only varied shades of grey between the black and the white and the here and there. This is where many a thought junky may insist that truth is relative.  That truth is a variable of facts and has the shape of water.  But if we are to abide by such reasoning – relativism, they call it – then we have a catch-22 situation on our hands because that line of thinking alone calls for us to accept that version of truth, which in turn contradicts the very heart of that principle.

The only truth right now is that THIS very moment is the truth, as you get bored silly reading this far, and are perhaps pondering upon the possibility that the person writing this may have gone slightly cuckoos after all. (Speaking of which, I still reckon Jack Nicholson in ‘One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest’ was absolutely brilliant).

The only absolute truth is in the time between what has been and what will be; it is this moment– the NOW. Our memories have been either tarnished or glossed over by prejudice while our visions of grandeur play surrogate to the truth of tomorrow. Absolute truth resides in this moment. That is why the Psalmist said “Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Psalms 95:7-8).

Today.

This reaffirms THE truth behind this truth. That the only ABSOLUTE TRUTH is Jesus (John 14:6).

Today.

Lets return to the matter on hand.

So before my daily weigh in, I had to pick up a half dozen apple from the nearby supermarket during my lunch break (I feel a post coming up soon on the state of affairs of the apples from Stop N Shop). On my way back I happened to be sharing the footpath with this fellow who was peddling some burgundy and red synthetic leather bags, so naturally I fell into conversation with him. It was then that I found out more about his wares – that he actually sews these bags.

They looked quite a classy lot, them bags. Of course not Louis Vuitton classy, but straight up niugini freestyle K10-wan-wan classy. Sawn up like those regularly printed ‘Radazz’ bags, the only difference was the material used here, and a bit of flair factor with the inclusion of proper buttons and fasteners, handles and side pockets. Neat, eh?

Bill Ningur, the upholstery maker

Bill Ningur (left) and his salesman, Joe

This trooper’s name is Bill Ningur from Simbu and he is a upholstery maker. He resides in June Valley near Tokarara and supports his family chiefly through this trade. He told me he also uses this to keep youths and wantoks busy by getting them to help him sell his products.

I thought that was neat and that Billy deserved an apple for simply being a go-getter and not a gimme-gimme. I promised to check up on him later to see if we could do a follow up feature on him and his work.

I did not have a camera with me on the day I bumped into him and his salesman so I just used the camera on the phone to take this shot, hence the rather low quality of the shot.





Day 2: Elijah Memedu – Apprentice Electrician

26 09 2012

I am into my second day and the scale reads 88kg. I don’t know if that is the truth or if it is only me with a bit of wishful thinking.

No matter, after leaving office at around 1726 hours, I happened by an old friend of mine. He’s a caricature artist by the name of Charles. (I think folks over at Sunday Chronicles hire him to do cartoons and stuff). So Charles tags along with me on this one.

Not long after I meet this sharp little kid of 4 by the name of Jaybes. He and his mom Maria were on their way into (that rather detestable) Vision City. I had a quick chat with them and took their photos but, sad to say, I forgot to get them to sign my release form so I will not be putting up their faces here.

Elijah Memedu is from Goroko and Alotau

Elijah Memedu is from Goroko and Alotau

Further down the road, just before reaching Waigani* I bump into Elijah Memedu.

Well in fact Memedu was about to overtake me when I introduced myself and told him about what I was up to and if he was interested and he seemed fairly keen. By then even Charles lit up to the game and fell into beat with some support remarks on the side.

At 16 years of age, Elijah is a trainee electrician doing his apprenticeship with Starlight Electrical after having completed his vocational training at Morata* Vocational School. Neat eh? :) Good kid.

Elijah loves rugby and resides in Gerehu Stage 1* but was “walking to relax” that afternoon after being dropped off by his boss near the NCDC City Hall when I caught up with him.

His eyes lit up when I presented him with not one, but TWO APPLES. Charles also took a break from his buai and sunk his teeth into the delights of an apple too.





Day 1: Kure Yosi – Social Worker

24 09 2012

Weighing in at 89 kg, the first day of my 30 Day Challenge kicked off to a rocky start but I never expected it to be a walk in the park either. It was a walk nevertheless; and it will be so for the next 30 days. ;)

The first person I bumped into was this office worker type in Westpac bank colours. Opening with a courteous “Abinun, bro”, I observed on the traffic congestion in the manner of small talk.  But I may have introduced myself too soon because I could see that he was all suss about me from the way he eyed me.

You could tell he was thinking, “Who is this mausgrass psycho and what manner of scam is he peddling?” He had a polite wall up, which he successfully marshalled with a brisk pace for much of the way so I let him be.

Day 1 - Kure Yosi

Day 1: Kure Yosi of Lufa in the Eastern Highlands

But then I caught up with Kure Yosi.

Kure seemed a friendly chap from the word go, all the way to the North Waigani traffic lights where we parted company.

He was walking with a very slight limp that I later found out to be a sprained ankle.

At 33 years of age he works as a Youth Officer at the National Capital District Commission. Hailing from Lufa in the Eastern Highlands Province, Kure resides at ATS* but on that day I bumped into him he was on his way to crash at his wantoks’ at June Valley near Tokarara.

During our conversation, he told me a great deal about how stuff works at Lagatoi Haus, and I told him a great deal about my new friend Jesus.

I thought that was pretty cool because I learnt  quite a few NEW things from this quiet spoken man and so shared with him my stash of apple. :)

*Areas within the general vicinity of the PNGDF Air Transport Squadron.





Painting my 30-day Challenge with Faces

21 09 2012

That’s it, I’m done talking politics.

Well most of the time I’m either quoting someone or blogging a gripe. And I hate to see myself as a person who sees the glass half empty all the time. Although the system and the gremlins that work the system are largely responsible for fueling my words.

But that is not the point of this post. Folks over at Stella Mag recently brought to my attention this super cool idea of doing something out of the ordinary for 30 consecutive days. (By the way, that is one cool magazine you should get your hands on or better yet, subscribe to).

So here I was on Independence Day, trying on for size ideas for endeavours that anyone who knows me would not normally find me doing. And no, I am not going to go to work dressed as Zorro for the next 30 days (although I know of some who would in a heartbeat if they could).

However, I was toying with the idea of bungee jumping every afternoon. Unfortunately I had to forgo that idea for the simple fact that my afternoon schedule could not fit in a trip to the white cliffs of Vararaita National Park and back; and I have not even factored in the time it would take to strap on the gear. Yeah, sound check and all.

On a similar note, I sadly had to cross off a daily round of BASE jumping and croc-wrestling as well. During this brainstorming session, my patriotic zeal got lost somewhere in the mix, and I noticed my shoe lace was undone so I reached down to tie it. It was then, as I bumped into my gut, that I knew I had to do something about my expanding midsection.

Here was something practical I could embark on without unnecessarily creating a hole in my pocket, not to mention drastically reducing my lifespan. So I have resolved to do something about my weight with the help of the trusty old bathroom scale.

My modus operandi is quite elementary really. It is good old fashioned walking coupled with a simple garden diet.  So instead of hopping on a vehicle, I plan to walk home every day after work. Plus I am going vegan for a month to boot!

Weighing the pros and cons, the only negative aspect of walking is that I might suffer a little discomfort from the sweat and the strain of my backpack. But I can stand my own sweat than to have my olfactory receptors assaulted by the collective body odour and goodness knows what else 35 people and an bus offsider who has not touched a bar of soap in more than a month can cook up in a crammed bus on an equally crammed road.

Or shall I factor in the PMV experience of having one’s ears mercilessly assailed by a badly strung computerized techno jam overflowing with otiose drum rolls? Every day is high town madness with a driver who wishes he was cruising down the freeway in the hot, hot sun. O how bizarre. How bizarre.

Wait. Was that a line from a song somewhere? In any case, you get the picture.

On the other hand however, there are so many points going in favour of the simplicity of walking. It is economically sound. It is a good, fun-filled and wholesome exercise. You also have the wide open space to strike up a conversation with anyone you are walking with. If you walk alone, then it gives you precious thinking time to muse over the issues of life and beyond.

Now I like to tinker with stuff – even ideas. So I have decided to throw in a twist into this whacky script. I plan to meet and get to know a complete stranger on each of the 30 days that I am walking.

In celebrating the occasion of meeting this new friend, I will share a fruit with them, be it an apple or an orange. Apart from being an icebreaker, this is hoped to drive home the message of healthy eating to get folks off that rather loathsome buai, while further promoting the Melanesian spirit of sharing and giving.

To top things off I will get their photos taken – with their express permission of course, so they can get to feature on this blog. These people will make up the portraits of the faces that paint my afternoon walks.

The best part about this 30-day drill is that anybody can do it. Even you can do it. So get on board already. :)

Waigani traffic rush hour

Waigani traffic at rush hour. Port Moresby’s bus and taxi service providers were on strike on the day this photo was taken (20-9-2012)





Juffa clears the air on the ‘Third Corner’

31 07 2012

Gary Juffa has come out with a statement to clear the air on the supposed 3rd Camp as posted earlier.

In any case, I wouldn’t mind seeing Juffa as my Papua New Guinea’s next Prime Minister. He has what it takes to save this country from certain doom.

On a side note, those two lead figure who orchestrated the whole political crisis not too long ago, making Papua New Guinea the laughing stock of the world by blessing us with the #WhatElseCanPngHaveTwoOf  tag, have now kissed and made up in Alotau, Milne Bay Province. But that is all old news, right?

Anyway, forget them. Here’s what Mr Juffa had to say.

Hi people.

There is so much rumor and rhetoric in the media and here that I believe I would like to substantiate and spell out some facts about my part and role in what is happening in Eastern Highlands.

Firstly, I am NOT part of the Eastern Block. I am here to support my Regional Candidate Sam Sii. I am here with Governor elect for Morobe, Hon. Kelly Naru who is a friend by the way and we embrace certain values and principals much of which the members here do as well.

We are also collectively concerned about certain national issues such as the granting of citizenship to

  • Djoko Tjandra
  • and in my specific case the Naima Rice Monopoly Project
  • and the Seabed Mining Project and
  • such other issues which we here have spoken about and are concerned about.

I am NOT forming a group as an alternative government and I am not lobbying for the PM’s job I am just speaking to like minded elected leaders and discussing how best to approach our common concerns and how best we can represent our people in our electorates, our province and our country.

I am NOT with John Kerenga GUL and with due respect to him and his group, have my own stance that I will take into parliament and again, I do not intend to deviate form what I believe in and have spoken against here or anywhere.Gary Juffa ~ Oro Province Governor-elect*

*source: http://www.facebook.com/groups/Sharptalk




Camp Juffa: The Third Corner

30 07 2012

With August 1 announced as the official date of the Return of Writs by the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen (who I think should be given the sack anyway), power play heats up for government formation as we see all of them old dogs, Somare included, team up with O’Neil as a formidable force and the most likely camp to be invited by the Governor General to form the next government.

On the other hand, Belden Namah, brash as ever, stands undeterred he will be the next PM. Comments on the ground and on social media as well as from the news reflect the general concession that in PNG politics, anything goes. It goes without saying that a ‘tactician’ such as Namah still has a few tricks up his sleeves.

But that is not the reason for this post. Papua New Guinea has had it with the two lots of groupings – or blocs as they’d rather be known; and with all the shades they come in (shady indeed!).

The gist of this post, however, is the confirmation of a rumoured third camp as mentioned in today’s Post Courier (30/7/2012) on page 6. The third camp is reported to be in Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province. It is being led by two fresh faces in PNG politics. Oro Governor elect, Gary Juffa, and lawyer/philanthropist, now Morobe Regional MP Kelly Naru.

Here now is a chance for all newly elected members to put their money where their mouth is and start over on a clean slate. To stand up for better change and to lead this country forward with a fresh faced government devoid of the miasma of corruption and all the trappings of PNG politics.

In my personal opinion, it would be the sensible thing to do and the best decision for this nation, if we could have all the Independent MPs and other smaller political parties to consider siding with this camp. I chance upon this opportunity to call out to the likes of Loujaiya Toni, member elect for Lae, to consider this as well.

Without further ado, here is a statement by the newly elected Governor for Oro Province, commenting on the establishment of the third camp – Camp Juffa.

“Let me say that we in Goroka are discussing how best we can serve the people of PNG, to represent them and not abandon them and their dreams and hopes, to fight for them and to ask the pertinent and controversial questions that the people of PNG are anxious for answers to…such issues that I personally am concerned about are need answers such as the granting of citizenship to a international criminal fugitive (PALA), the plans to monopolize rice commercialization for a Chinese – Indonesian Company only (TEMU), to demand that actual and thorough investigations be conducted into the controversial issues that have cost the nation and indeed the people substantial amounts of money, the ridiculous taxation regime that does not favour PNG and Papua New Guineans, to demand that the restricted business list be re introduced, to demand that our energy resources be developed in a more PNG profitable manner, that trade agreements and foreign policy be thoroughly negotiated for a win-win position for PNG, that unlawful foreign business practice be immediately be addressed and the culprits dealt with severely, that law enforcement agencies be better equipped and trained to protect PNG interests, that our procurement and tenders process which is saturated with corruption and facilitates fraud be structured to ensure quality goods and services for the price we pay…the list is quite long but I feel that this is because for too long, leaders have danced around these issues or ignored them or swept them under the carpet for their own convenience, because they do not wish to upset the applecart and because many have compromised themselves…I fear I will make many enemies in parliament but many friends throughout my country…I cannot wait to get into parliament….God bless PNG, I, would die for you..”

Gary Juffa – Oro Province Governor elect

 

Awara Sena~





Gonol’s cringe-inducing policy statement

21 06 2012

This letter serves as a reader’s feedback on a full page advertorial which appeared on page 56 of The National on Monday, 18 June 2012, by Mr ‘Lawyer’ David Gonol.

With all due respect to Mr Gonol, I must say that write up alone has left me questioning his viability as a potential Governor of Western Highlands Province; or as he so arrogantly puts it, “the Governor in waiting”.

Given his profession and the office that he is running for, I expected an article that was intellectually scrupulous as well as grammatically refined. For a ‘policy statement’ – if it can be titled as such at all – it failed on both these fronts and instead, left me cringing right from the opening line all the way to the part where “The plant and animal kingdoms [sic] of Tambul/Nebilyer, Mul/Baiyer, Dei Council and Hagen Central” decided to join the party.

If Mr Gonol is reading this, then I suggest he fire his publicist for doing him the disservice of dressing him in a court jester’s garb with this sad case of a media release. After that he can go ahead and fire himself for even sanctioning such a write up to see the light of day in the first place.

This has certainly raised the bar of corny drivel to the next level and has debased our collective intelligence, allowing them to further condescend to us.

Grow up already, PNG.

Danny Gonnol's scanned media release

Danny Gonnol’s scanned media release. (Click to enlarge).








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