Last week, Jacinta and myself went to the Susu Mama’s ball. What a fantastic night! We were lucky in that Maria our Haus Meri was very happy to come and babysit.
Susu Mama’s is a fantasitic organisation that assists new mums with their babies. Mortality rates here in PNG are very high – 2nd highest worldwide! And I bet that is really the tip of the iceberg… Both mum and bubs have very high chances of not surviving childbirth.
In the past few months, our buai seller’s wife Latu gave birth to her second baby. The cost was astronomical, and they were lucky that their expat employer assisted with the costs. One of my staff Jamin – his partner just gave birth the other week, 6 weeks early, by emergency c-section. Jacinta and myself have been very concerned for a while as Amelia was extremely swollen, high blood pressure etc. thankfully Amelia went home the other day – but it could easily have turned to custard.
One of my other staff Geraldine, is 7 months pregnant.. With twins.. Has only just found out, so I got her to go see the team at Susu Mama’s – she said that they were fantastic..
if you want to support a good charity, Susu Mama’s needs all of our support
Our aussie wantoks Lesley and Peter expatsinpng.wordpress.com are leaving PNG and going back to Brisbane. Lesley and Jacinta have been really good friends, and I know that my wife is very sad 😦 Peter is a good mate, we are drinking buddies – and it’s always been great having someone to talk to about our life here. We have very similar ideals, so I will really miss our Friday and Wednesday catchups. On the bright side – someone else to see when we are in Brisbane 🙂
I was going to post last week on ANZAC day, but a crook guts on the day turned into a really bad gastro experience. With me still not over the effects of two months of malaria, needless to say – I was pretty stuffed… Poor Xanthe has had it rough as well, she is still off school – and hopefully will be OK for the family weekend trip to Cairns this weekend (I am not going – weekend of work…).
Back to ANZAC day… It was very weird being at really an Aussie Anzac day here in PNG, for me – I just didn’t find it as emotional as I normally am back in NZ. Anzac day in NZ is very different and feels more kiwi than Waitangi day. As ex-navy, I did parades on both days, and anzac day was always my favorite. It was surreal though at Bomana, which is the largest Aussie military cemetery outside Australia – and especially being there with our Aussie mates Peter and Lesley, and Adam and Jenny, and watching poor Ian in all his navy number 1s as part of the ceremony – it must have been bloody hot in that rig…
The morning started with a convoy of cars leaving Konedobu at 4am. Port Moresby was already awake, and as we got close to Bomana the crowds were getting bigger, so of course I wind down the window and said good morning to everyone. Yeah – there possibly wasn’t many strange kiwis with their windows down saying good morning, but I really appreciated the fact that PNG was being moved by Anzac day as well, and all these people were there paying their respects. The Kokoda campaign was 70 years ago so that made this very special for PNG.
It’s amazing really, if it weren’t for a bunch of Aussies, the fuzzy wuzzy angels, and the Kokoda trail, Australia might be Japanese now. New Zealand would have been next…. So, as Anzac’s we really owe PNG a lot – a lot more than we give…
One of the special things about anzac day for me, is not only reflecting and being proud of my grandfathers, but also all my old navy mates. I may not have much contact with them over the years – but there is always a beer and a bed at my place, and Anzac day makes me feel very proud that I served, and very proud of those I served with. Just a pity I cut my career short – but that’s another story…
Thanks for reading