Village life

Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
Trip End Jul 05, 2008

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Flag of Papua New Guinea  ,
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I decided to go to East Cape, which is the eastern most point of the main land of PNG. To get there I took the local transportation called PMV's or public motor vehicle. Basically it's a huge truck with two benches in the back down each side. Everyone piles in with all their supplies and off you go. It was fun to get out of the town of Alotau and see some small villages along the way, plus there were some nice views.

To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive to be going out on my own, but I'm so glad I did. Everyone in this little village was so kind to me and made me feel welcome. After I got settled in my guesthouse, a lovely little bungalow on the water, I arranged for a local guy named Jeff to take me to a nearby island called Yamba in his dinghy. Before we left Jeff's wife came and introduced herself and her nephew who was also coming along, assured me that I was safe and wished us a safe trip. The main draw to the island was some snorkeling and a coconut tree with "branches." I was curious about this tree because I had seen a multi-headed coconut tree in Tonga and was told it was the only one in the world. When I got to the island I was greeted by Pastor Joe.
He was happy to show me around the village and take me to the tree. Sure enough there it was, just like the one I saw in Tonga. So there are at least two in this world! After that I went for a snorkel. More than anything it was just nice to get in the water after the long, dusty PMV ride. While I was swimming Pastor Joe wove Jeff a hat and me a fan from palm tree leaves-how sweet!! I sat on the beach for a while and chatted with Joe and a couple other guys from the village. I had fun taking pictures of them with the hat on so then they could see what they looked like. It was a very relaxing afternoon.

It didn't take long for word to spread through the village that a "dimdim" (white person) was in town and they all knew where I was staying. After I got back from the island I went for a stroll through the village. As I walked down the street people were stopping me and introducing themselves to me, telling me how they knew the owner of the guesthouse-he's my cousin, my uncle, my sister is married to his brother, etc. I didn't expect any food to be available to me so I had brought along some nuts, cookies and wine to get by on. Instead the family who ran the guesthouse visited with me in the evening and cooked me a beautiful fish dinner. I absolutely could not have felt more welcome in that little village. As I sat in my bungalow that night finishing off my wine and enjoying the view and quietness I realised that, though I will never forget, I can't let the incident in Goroka be what I remember most about this trip. I had one person who was mean to me while so many were overwhelmingly kind, especially the people in this village and Dollar.

Then next morning Jeff took me to Tawali, the dive resort. I got there early enough to do a couple of boat dives, which I was disappointed to have missed out on the last time I was there. After that I was back to Alotau for the night and one night in Port Moresby before I headed back home to the Philippines.
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