Another way of life.
Trip Start Feb 06, 2012
46Trip End Apr 16, 2012
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Port Moresby is the main city and many places you look there is construction underway.A lot of the homes are built on stilts, made from tree trunks and branches, out in the water. This is because originally the government owned the land and people did or were not allowed to build on it. Many of the people though still live in small villages, some very primative, and make their living by subsistence agriculture - growing and fishing what they need to survive
Our tour took us to two of these coastal villages. The first village was Tatana, a native village on the ocean that lies about 45 minutes east of Port Moresby. Here the traditional values and beliefs are still practised because contact with the westerners has been minimized. Villagers fish and most of the homes are on stilts in the ocean. They trade their fish for vegetables and fruits with those who live on the land. These is no running water, no sanitation, garbage everywhere, -- it was a culture shock. Yet the people greeted us warmly, smiling and shouted out hellos to us as we drove by. We made a stop in the village to walk around and take pictures.There were people and children everywhere. The children do not seem to go to school. One of the things that they do is chew betel nuts making their mouths, teeth and gums looking red & bloody. (Dental care is non existent and we saw many rotting mouths).The interesting thing is that not one of the villagers approached us for money or were negative to us in any way and they all smiled and waved, called out “Good Morning” and “Good Bye” It felt like we were as interesting to them as they were to us.
The next village was Bakarau, one that is a pilot government project to better the life style of the villagers
Both were a very big contrast to the city port. Even in the city litter was everywhere though. Areas just outside the city on the side of the rod were what looked to be like dump sites where garbage was just piled up and then eventually burned. The city development seems to be working hard to improve things. There seemed to be a lot of roadwork and construction going on.
After coming back to the ship many of us had the feeling of being a bit voyeuristic and so aware of the contrast between our way of life and theirs simply due to where we were born