On Saturday October 15, I make my way to Wewak

I’m leaving for Wewak next Saturday, if all goes to plan.
Let’s hope that the airstrip stays open, please no more riots the like of which
closed the airport some months ago, and prevented me taking part in the Sepik
Ironman Swim. I’m sure all shall go well. Though I did watch that old movie: The High and the Mighty and it has made
me a little apprehensive about air travel, but no doubt Air Niugini has many
John Wayne type pilots who are more than able to get the planes safely down.
There are no more C-54A-10DCs or DC4s left in PNG. I do recall that I
first came to Port Moresby in 1955 in a DC4 without John Wayne as the pilot.

My host in Wewak has assured me that he has a number of
well-fed rats in the bedroom he has allocated for me – talk about a dog
returning to its vomit and a fool repeating his folly, not I hope in the sense
that Proverbs, Luke, and Peter mean. But you can get the man out of PNG but not
PNG out of the man. Maybe there is a little truth in me repeating a folly or at
least trying to.

Of course, as I’ve often told my loved ones here, that
should anything untoward happen to me in PNG my mortal remains are to be
planted on the banks of the Sepik River, or wherever it is that I depart this earthly
life – Matmat bilong Dave Wall. I did have a dream the other night that my late lamented mankimasta, Kami, was baking donkers
for me – I don’t know if this is a good or bad omen.

I’m looking forward to deep philosophical discussions with
Ralf, and talks about the state of the roads with John – to say nothing of the
insights on life, in general, from Steve.  Peter’s views on labour unions, indigenous and
political life are always valued. And intellectual discourse with Chris. The general male conversations about women
known and not known are always vital and ego boosting to the likes of an old  man like me.

My many PNG friends and acquaintances are always ready for
reminiscences about colonial times, and the present state of the nation. I’m
always attracted to their wonderful humour and forgiving natures. They deserve
much more than they have been given by past and present political leaders.

The occasional greenie can be of help, but not as helpful as a cup of tea and restful sleeps in the spider room.

It’s better to arrive than to travel hopefully – my apologies to Robert Louis Stevenson. I
hate planes but the expectations of a stay in the Sepik make it all worthwhile,
thanks to the generosity of Rhonda and Peter.

5 Comments

  1. Stephen Smith said,

    Jealous as hell, have a great trip and say hello to
    Peter for me.

  2. deberigny said,

    Shall do, Steve, Dave

  3. Beng said,

    Finally, Dave! All the best to your trip. Take lots of photos and send us a postcard, okay?

  4. Ludwig Stuttgen said,

    Thanks for running this blog David. My last visit home was in 2003 and it was nice to see some recent photos from around town. Good to see my dad’s thoughts on the web!

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