Alotau and Acronyms

This series of blog posts is part of the A to Z 2019 Blogging Challenge in which I will write snapshot memories of my early married life in the then Territory of Papua New Guinea.

Low flying aircraft scares the cockatoos,AtoZ2019tenthAnn

Clouds drape the mountain ridges.

Villages, jungle, new faces, new names.

A far cry from suburban Brisbane.

Five trade stores, government offices, a new town.

No TV, radio telephone…“over”.

21 Alotau house Cass
Our first home – my in-law’s government house where we lived while they were on posting to Port Moresby.

Slow combustion stove

Chopping wood.

Eighteen hour power

Kerosene lamp explosions.



Dependent on deliveries by trawler or aircraft

Christmas Dinner circling overhead as we wait

Landed, we head to the airstrip among the copra plantation

Site of battles and conflict in War.

Acronyms abound and cause me confusion:

Revisiting the house in 2012.

The ADC told the DC that the ETA on the DC3 was 0900.

So much to learn amidst such a different environment,

So familiar to him, but confusing to me,

The price of love and commitment.

Explanatory Note: Alotau was the relatively new headquarters of government administration in the then Milne Bay District in the then Territory of Papua Guinea.

Pidgin (or Tok Pisin):

Aftarim – fancying another person and pursuing/flirting with them.

Aigris – giving someone the eye if you fancy them.

Apinun – afternoon

The amazing view from the family’s government house – on a clear day.

11 thoughts on “Alotau and Acronyms

  1. This post brings back memories of our time sailing in the area in 1980. Learning pidgin was essential as we traded for fresh veges and fruit with the villagers where ever we went. One great pidgin saying we saw then was a sign on the Customs office door ” Don’t killim door”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.