“Be in Goroka next week” they said
“Sure, no problem!” Hah!
A baby, a mother cat, five kittens
Public Works packing crates
Crazy packing and cleaning
Cat and kittens to the high school
Only a small grey kitten to join us
Guilty consciences for decades.
Turns out the choice for the District Inspector of Education
Was a chair, executive
Or a new District Clerk
On such whims do life events turn…
Daughter 2 could have been a Morobe Miss
Not a little Gehuka[i].
Reconnecting with friends
Making new ones
Overwhelmed by facilities
From trade stores to Steamies and BPs[ii]
Boggle-eyed we were, but Harrods they were not! Ehwah!
Mountains replace coastal jungles
Refreshing cool nights and jumpers prevail
The perfect climate at 5000+ feet near the equator.
A new home – another government issued AR20
A village behind the back fence
A squatters’ camp nearby
A packing crate for a playpen.
Behind me a voice says
“Missus mi laik wok”
Jump three feet…”no gat”.
Sunday drives to Kabiufa
The SevenDe[iii] mission farm and high school
Baby caulis, broccoli and fresh vegies – such a treat.
A foam esky to the in-laws in coastal Kavieng
Returns with cray tails in exchange
Bringing popularity with our friends…
Crayfish curry and mah-jong evenings.
PNG’s Self-government is heralded by
Crashing bin lids and tooting car horns
Fears averted – this is not African independence.
A new house near the hospital
Brings the whop of helicopter blades
Ferrying a wounded warrior with a spear sticking out.
Daughter goes “walkabout”
Our hearts pound with fear – we’re on a local PMV[iv] route
Found! “Em I orait masta”[v]. Yes, thankfully.
A resident “visitor” while on leave
Peruses our underwear and clothes and
Leaves “souvenirs” in the bathroom
A sense of invasion.
Many adventures come to a close after three years….
Next stop, “be in Gerehu next week”.
giaman – to lie or trick, false, a joke
guria – an earthquake – we had our share in Goroka
glas bilong lukluk – mirror
gumi – inner tube (of tyre)
“going finish” – leaving PNG for good. Always a sad time.
[i] The local clan of the Goroka district.
[ii] Steamies was Steamships and BPs the local name for Burns Philp.
[iii] Seventh Day Adventist mission and high school.
[iv] A PMV is a Public Motor Vehicle – kind of a basic, very crowded bus aka truck.
[v] “It’s okay boss”.
11 thoughts on “Going to Goroka”
I just stopped by as part of the A-to-Z Challenge. Wow, I loved this post! So interesting!
Thanks, and best wishes!
Cherdo on the Flipside
Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge
I am enjoying your geezerdom posts but for some reason comments aren’t being processed. Sorry.
So many memories and so little time to write them down when you are onto another letter tomorrow.
A2Z can be pretty full on for sure.
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Wow so interesting to see and read about your post and pictures. Its quiet contrasting to what Goroka is now but it was such a beautiful and lovely place. I was born in Goroka and lived a good part of my childhood days there. Goroka will always be home to me though now i reside in Port Moresby. Thanks and looking forward to more posts.
Thanks Bob. The highlands are quite spectacular.
This was such an interesting post Pauleen. I love the way you’ve written it. Will be back for more AtoZ
Thanks Jennifer…writing straight from the heart and memories.
Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS at FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
Thank you, Chris
What a wonderful treasure for your girls and grandchildren… I don’t know which I love the most..the snap summaries or the photos…
Thanks Chris, I appreciate that. I’m hoping Pandora will preserve it so the descendants get to read it in the future.
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I certainly hope so as well…