Last day in Mosbi

I have picked off just about everything on my ‘wife’ list to do:

Nappies/Diapers – check. Heaps of them, not too expensive. Modern Cloth nappies would go down a treat here

Hardware Store – well, it isn’t mitre 10, but it has the normal fare, no sandpaper for JBs mouse sander, so need to bring that 🙂 – check.

Are laundry rooms separate – depends on the accommodation – check

Storage – lots of storage and room, won’t need bookcases etc

Coffee – mocona coffee is over NZ$25 for a small 50gm jar. The local coffee is cheap and good. Comes pre-roasted, ground or you can grind your own.


Supermarket – didn’t see Baked Beans with sausages. But you can certainly get most thing we eat

Markets – A bit dodgy, even the locals are wary at the markets. A couple that are OK to go to, one of which only a bloke should go to, and with not much money.

Charity – knock yourself out. One of the guys wives here runs Stitches and Bitches. Obviously a sewing group for women 🙂

Photos: I was asked to take lots of photos, which I will upload at some later date. Here is the list…

School: as much as I could without taking photos of the kids
Work: it’s an office – it all looks the same
Housing: yup, heaps…
Beaches: maybe got a couple, but not beaches you would normally venture down to. Risk of cholera etc.
Airport: why? Hehe OK I got some photos out there too 🙂
Port Moresby – stat: yup – check

PNG 20 Lessons

Lesson 1: If you need a good night sleep, drink SP Lager.
Lesson 2: Don’t open your curtains into a hot Port Moresby sun if you don’t want to blind yourself
Lesson 3: You don’t need the aircon blasting in your Hotel room, stick it on low and in the low/mid 20’s, that way it won’t be too much of a shock when you go outside.
Lesson 4: If you like a hot shower get up early
Lesson 5: Use your cellphone as an alarm clock, the Hotel alarm clock constantly blinks having reset itself with a power cut
Lesson 6: if you have the opportunity to pee – then pee. I think people thought I had a problem, always rushing off to the loo – but, I have drunk so much water, when the need arises, I don’t want to be stuck somewhere with no toilet.
Lesson 7: Don’t bag expats or locals. Not everyone is here for the dollar, nor is everyone a rascal.
Lesson 8: Don’t forget stuff, it’s bloody hard once you are driving to turn back.
Lesson 9: No one knows how to drive! Even if they do know how to drive, pretend they don’t. Pretend you are on a motorcycle in the middle of rush hour, and you are wearing no helmet and a pink tutu. Everyone looks at you, but nobody sees you coming. And if you get hit – you get knocked off your bike.
Lesson 10: Don’t be angry – with anyone, at anytime.
Lesson 11: You can’t say hello to everyone, you will never get anywhere
Lesson 12: if you have clean phobia’s don’t bother coming to Port Moresby, it’s a beautiful city, but very dusty and pride in Port Moresby’s appearance doesnt seem to exist.
Lesson 13: Don’t be stupid. We watched a young attractive expat woman walking down the main road in Town on her cellphone, with her handbag just hooked over her shoulder. In most places I have been to she will have had her bag snatched pretty quickly. Sean was of the same opinion, and voiced it straight away.
You don’t do that in many countries in the world, it is too much temptation. And the problem is, if someone snatchs her bag – they will get caught, and have the crap beaten out of them. All you have lost is your bag – because you were stupid, they get beaten up – because they were hungry and opportunistic and you were carrying a nice cream donut over your shoulder.
Lesson 14: Be polite and respectful. There is nothing more charming than chatting to the angry looking security guard for 10 minutes. We talked about where he was from, where I was from, Rugby League (state of origin starts this week), PNG and Port Moresby. To the nice man at the gate of the Ela Beach Hotel – thank you, I really enjoyed our conversation.
Lesson 15: Sometimes you have to say hello first – don’t be a sour puss or too afraid. (that has always been my number 1 rule of travel). It doesn’t matter who it is, I introduced myself to an American man at the bar on Thursday night, asked to sit at his table – he was having a meeting soon, and we talked. If I didn’t go up to him, both he and I would have spent 15 minutes alone.
Lesson 16: Panadol and Water, both for the heat – you don’t want to dehydrate, or wander around with a headache.
Lesson 17: Always have your car licensing and drivers license on you and up to date, we went through about 5 checkpoints where the police were checking rego and safety stickers. I was warned that they like taking your money and will pressure expat wives as they normally have money. They also pull over every cab driver. Andrew was saying that the taxi’s will flick them 20kina as a “tip” to be on their way. We watched a van go through the checkpoint, and it looked like it had done about 30 demolition derbys, obviously they had no money, so no reason to pull them over – cynical I know.
Lesson 18: don’t get to close to trucks driving the freeway. A truck ran off the bottom of the freeway the other day, and killed a couple of people. Then a bus smashed into the back of a truck on the freeway, thankfully no deaths. Remember Lesson 9.
Lesson 19: Patience. Be patient with everyone. Port Moresby is a melting pot of so many different cultures. Not only do you have the many different cultures within PNG, but there are Australians, English, Filipino, Canadians, Korean, Malaysian, Americans, Kiwi’s…. All trying to find their way in the Land of the Unexpected.
Lesson 20: If you see it – buy it. I know that this message has been done to death, but it is reiterated here. Something as simple as sugar, you are only allowed 1 small bag. So if you see it – buy it.


A trip around Port Moresby

I am not one to normally argue a point, but breakfast this morning was a bit of a joke. Apparently, even though my room was booked no-smoking with breakfast, it somehow turned into a different room, smoking with no breakfast. So 40 kina was added to my bill this morning, and it’s guaranteed to be added tomorrow as well. Weird, because the day before I had breakfast no problem. I had a discussion with the poor waitress, who to her credit, went down to the front desk and was told that I had to pay. She seemed to be quite upset as she was stuck between a rock and a hard place – so I told her not to worry about it, signed the bill and I’ll sort it out later. Think I’ll leave it for Sean to ring and sort out – he’s got a bit more backing than me at the moment.
I did figure out why I keep waking in the night, the window/ranch slider frame creaks and groans, so I took a video so that I could show the construction boys back in NZ. I wonder if it is due to a blockwork construction… Very unnerving but.

I spent most of the day with Sean going everywhere we could in Port Moresby within reason. We did go past the notorious 2 Mile settlement, and spent time going to hardware stores, appliances, DVD shop, the golf club (where we stopped for exactly 10 seconds), and all the apartments up on airvos ave and it’s surrounds. The company is trying to get us into Era Dorina and after being inside the compound I really hope that we get in there, safe, secure and with things for the kids to do… I took a mountain of photos and really enjoyed myself – especially going into the supermarkets and chemists, it’s the mundane things here that are important. We also made it into Vision City, which is an amazing development, and a place that I can see Jacinta spending a bit of time in. We ended the tour by visiting the Ela Murray School and talking with the principal, who was very nice. Xanthe got the final spot in her grade, and I believe that Xavier was in the same boat, so I did the paperwork on the spot to secure their positions. The school is pretty awesome, lots of grass to play on, and heaps of classrooms. ICT seems to be a big focus, so that is great, and all the kids seem very happy. I wasn’t able to take many photos as there were too many kids around – and that is just not the done thing… But the Principal allowed me to take a few without kids in it to show my kids their new school. One of the things I was most impressed with was a “indoors” basketball court with stage and seating, open on both sides for the breeze. And sitting right next door to the wonderful swimming pool. I expect that gets a lot of use. Sean’s wife runs ballet classes here on Saturdays, so I can see X1 taking it back up again. And maybe X2 will spend the hour or two kicking the soccer ball around.

On leaving the school we were approached by a guy selling a big bunch of small banana’s – 5 kina (about $2.50), but they were very floury and were given to one of the guards at Era Dorina. Sean is very generous and gives people food, which is very nice. Some of these people don’t have much, and something that is inconsequential to us means a great deal to them.

I ended the day by going back into the office, and trying to spend time with my Projects team who are in the process of mapping out some business processes. However I kept being interrupted so made a meal of that. We did get together for a great group photo, and it is a photo I will cherish for a long time, although I look like I could drop 10kilos…

I will miss the team, even though I didn’t spent that much time with them, or as much as I would have liked. They have such fantastic synergies, from the girls that shyly giggle and don’t want their photo taken (yes, I hope you read this! – I want individual photos next time), to the guys, who can’t seem to stop smiling. We are a small team, but we have so much opportunity to do great things, I can’t wait to see you all achieve, and be there to support you in your goals.

This blog really sounds not like what it was intended, in fact it sounds almost HRish. But, I am just so thankful to have this opportunity. Papua New Guinea is full of promise, and I hope that I can assist in helping it’s development especially in IT. Technology nowadays is just as important as having commerce and tourism strategies. We all work hand in hand, but I am concerned that technology in Papua New Guinea is not being strategically delivered, and that the power of the dollar is undermining the advancements that can be made. If there is anywhere in the world that I can make a difference – it is right here. With a talented bunch of people, a company that is full of energy and growth – we can show PNG what can be achieved.

Some things I need to do; is get on some governance boards, in with the universities and of course the Computer Society, to evangelize, assist and provide support for our growing industry here in PNG. I sincerely hope I am still passionate about this in the future, as it is keeping me awake at night thinking about it.

I’ve rounded the night off tonight, by having a couple of beers at the Yacht club, and am now sitting in the very quiet bar at the Crowne Plaza. I fly to Brisbane tomorrow, and then onwards to chilly Dunedin on Sunday, then back to my real job on Monday. Before I sign off tonight the 20th May, I think I need to finish with an Aaron quote, and yes Johno – this one has P’s as well.

Power, Purpose, Privilege. We all have the Power to make change, it defines our Purpose, and in doing so, gives us great Privilege.

I love the letter P 🙂 it has given us Pride, Punctuality, Preciseness and Protection. It starts so many Powerful words, that Provide us with our Purposes…. I need to make a big letter P and stick it on my wall, or Partition 😉

Gudfala evening lo yu