Wanna be an Expat in Port Moresby?


You want to be an expat, you look around and you find PNG, more specifically – you find Port Moresby.  Then you find a couple of websites like www.lonelyplanet.com, www.expatblog.com, and mine of course www.kiwiexpat.com you check out wikipedia and find that Port Moresby has a climate where it barely gets below 24 degrees (and thats when everyone gets hypothermia), and also that it is ranked by the Intelligence Unit of The Economist, as one of the world’s least livable cities (ranked 137 of 140 cities rated).

At this stage, you starting hunting around for the bad shit – as you do. And you see reports of sorcery, violence, rapes and murders.  You find out that expats live in secure compounds surrounded by razor wire, with 24 hour guards – and by all reports, you can’t drive anywhere without putting yourself in harms way.

And you either now decide “stuff that” or “sounds like a bit of a beat up” or “woohoo” or “what a load of bollocks – where is the real PNG”….

Then you post on a forum or two, completely ignoring the links to blogs or other posts, and if you are concerned – you regurgitate the same thing everyone wants to know.  Is Port Moresby a dangerous place?  Should I live there? ????????

Here is my advice if you are thinking about coming to PNG (Port Moresby)

  1. Research research research – you will find, the bad shit isn’t actually that bad.  We don’t get burgled in our homes (not often anyway – the security for our house is better than a bank in NZ), murders are generally payback (an eye for an eye), and unfortunately  the bad shit normally happens to local Papua New Guineans.  You will also find (when you research), what the tax rates are, how much it costs to live here, and what there is to do once you get here.
  2. Realise, that locals are (and should be) first in line for jobs.  If you come up here as a sales person in a store – you are taking a job away from a local, and increasing the cost of goods and services with your over-inflated package.  This just adds to poverty.  If you want to come here, please come with an attitude of wanting to help PNG.  Since I am an IT Manager, I often get emails from out of work software developers or IT administrators wanting to move to PNG, don’t even try….  IT is one place where we only need mentors to provide experience to Papua New Guineans, a lot of our graduates are struggling to find work.
  3. Become a mentor, give freely of your mind, time and experiences.
  4. Embrace PNG
  5. Share your adventure with the rest of the world, everyone reads about the shit side of PNG  not the good.  Spread the word!  PNG is one of the most amazing places on earth – it’s time the rest of the earth knew about it.

And if you want to ask questions, please get in contact 🙂


Port Moresby update

 I looked at my blog the other day…  Holy shit, I hadn’t blogged in quite a wee while, and there has been so much excitement going on here in Moresby…  Need to get my mojo back … busy busy work and life – you know…  It has been very hard over the past few months with malaria, but my energy is starting to return – and the memory is improving…

So, where to start – the freeway is open (temporary bridge), the kids went on school holidays and are now back at school, every Wednesday night! Peter and myself try our luck at winning prizes at the RPYC ( we sink a few beers as well ).  I have been told that I am responsible for making Port Moresby sound like paradise ( viewpoint people ), I have finally got 2 weeks holiday booked in June ( Gold Coast baby ), I had most of my team around for a BBQ and drinks – which turned into a 1:30am finish with Xavier giving up his bed, and a spare brought out too.  That night there was a shoot out just down on the main road in front of us.  Bang!  “gunshot” “yup” Bang! Bang! Bang! “police” “oooohhhhhh”. Yeah – it was one of those funny drunken conversations with not many words…

this week we had about 10000 people march on parliament as the government had voted last week to defer the elections.  Even though it was a peaceful march, it was marred by rioting by thugs, looting, rock throwing and general unlawfulness (around the edges, by rascals taking advantage of the situation).  It started at Koki, just down the road from home, so sent a text to Jacinta “riots at Koki, tell all to stay home”. She got the message 🙂

the funniest thing happened the other day.  Xaria had wandered up the stairs headed for the garage (our apartment is upside down), when she started screaming.  So I wander over and check and she is looking at me, still screaming.  Up the stairs I go to calm her down, and once I got to her she started looking down the stair and kept on screaming.  I looked down the stairs into the lounge, and there was a toy frog, you know – one of those oversize ones that you get at toy shops, sitting on the floor.  So I yelled out to Xavier to pick up his toy, he comes out and starts yelling FROG!  I pick Xaria up, go down the stairs and find Jacinta climbing up onto the kitchen bench screaming (she doesn’t do bugs).  It wasn’t a toy!  But it was bloody HUGE…  I put it outside – no harm done, but the older kids keep teasing Xaria with “where’s the frog”…  lol. She is going to turn out like her mother…


Enough for now,

Later – Aaron