Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Funerals and mourning

Sadly, I’ve been to two funerals in the past 6 months here. One was in December, and the other was just recently, at the end of April. And there’s been another death just a week and a half ago, where I wasn’t able to attend the funeral. Man, it hurts when people leave us! Everyone is so unique and irreplaceable; there is no-one in the world just like anyone else.

Well funerals are quite different here in PNG. On the day of the death, you can go to the village and see the body in an open casket. When you arrive, you go to the coffin, see the dead person and cry loudly.

Funerals and deaths aren’t something that you can really say you ‘like’, but I like how people can pour out their grief at funerals here, and don’t have to try and keep their composure. When I go to funerals (or ‘Celebration of x’s life’ services) in Australia, I get upset when I hear the stories of the person’s life and I want to cry because they’re gone. It would be so nice to be allowed to freely release my grief, rather than keeping quiet.

Now that I’ve attended funerals in Bougainville and been able to mourn properly, I don’t know how I’ll cope when I have to attend a funeral in Australia again. (In fact, I don’t know how spouses or children keep their composure when giving the eulogy speech, or when being hugged by people after the service. The last service I was at in Australia, I hugged the spouse and quickly disappeared. If I had said anything, I would have just started crying.)

I don’t have any funeral specific photos to share with you. I don’t really like getting my camera out and looking touristy at funerals, although local people who own cameras don’t seem to have problems with it. But anyway, here’s a photo of an inland village, Teobuhin, which I went to for the first time in December for a funeral. You can see several cars, which wouldn’t normally be there. There was more than usual because of the funeral (we travelled there by car/truck).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Garden and backpack

A while ago, I went to the garden with one of our aunties and carried this large backpack of sweet potato, cassava and other vegetables. It was quite heavy, but not unmanageable. Some people weren’t too happy about how big it was and I don’t think they’ll let me carry a backpack that big again, although I would be okay with it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Moon at sunset

Sometimes when the sun is rising or setting, it casts a lovely glow on the trees, which never usually looks quite as good when you take a photo of it. Well we had one of those nice views of sunlight on the trees as the sun was beginning to set and the moon was rising, so out came the camera and I got a few photos which I thought were not too bad.

The first photo includes a bit of the village in the foreground, while the second one is zoomed in on the coconut trees and you can see the moon a bit better.

Recently I saw the moon rise over the sea, and it was red, just like the sun when it rises over the sea. I had never seen that before. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo either and I'm not sure when the next opportunity might be, but I'll have to make sure I get a photo next time!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Volleyball is one of the popular sports here in PNG. When I was at Sohano Island (in the Buka Passage), I watched the Grand Final of a women’s volleyball tournament. Here are some of the best action shots that I took: