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.
The dry plain of Jackson’s airstrip
Bounded by the ocean
And the encircling hills.
On my first arrival
Heat slams my body,
Ground crew in sulus[i]
TAA written vertically,
Walk across the tarmac
Towards my new life.
A year later a new baby
Makes her arrival there
The start of her own adventurous life.
Travelling to Brisbane
Small children to see maternal grandparents
Visiting other family and friends
On leave or for work
Jackson’s is always part of the story.
Friday nights in pay week
His week’s audit trip over
We slalom to Jackson’s round drunks
Car doors firmly locked.
Weekend flying lessons at the Aero Club
Circuits and bumps/landings
Heart pounds as we practice stalls
Sharing the sky with experienced pilots
All controlled by the Jackson’s Tower, “over”
The Grumman Tiger’s turn
May follow Air Nuigini’s 747.
Greeting and farewelling
Jackson’s is our common denominator
The saddest is “going finish”[ii]
Most we see again, there or here
Until our turn comes
Leaving our hearts behind in PNG
For our new adventure “back home”.
[i] A sulu is a type of tailored laplap.
[ii] “Going finish” was the term used for when people left Papua New Guinea permanently, usually to live in Australia, which wasn’t quite home any more.