I HAVE almost given up writing about anything. There is nothing left to inspire me. Or even agitate me.
It is that terrible space writers find themselves in when they are completely loath to write about anything. I am sure many have been here. I have. Several times.
I want to write. It itches within me like it’s dying to be scratched. But I open a word document and I start. And give up after several lines.
I just gave up writing about corruption several minutes before I started writing this. Before that I had started on a piece about transnational crime. And before that about the state of our environment and the recent findings that prove that global warming is real and will lead to more adverse natural happenings around the world.
But each time I gave up. Before I could even complete a paragraph. I tried to be serious, to include well researched data (Google is amazing!) I tried to be funny and witty but to no avail. So I gave up. And wrote about my ordeal.
Something will come to me I thought. To be honest, I think I am simply exhausted. I am so tired of trying so hard and getting nowhere. Of spending so much of my time and personal resources and observing rampant lying and stealing and constantly trying to stop this scam or prevent that scheme.
It seems like there is no end to the madness that is now our society, PNG, instead it seems to be getting worse! There is simply no order, from politics to society.
I think of politics as an out house in some remote forgotten district, like the more then 99% in PNG, many examples. Before one enters politics one is standing outside this outhouse, this pit latrine. One can sense that there is much filth and shit, one can smell it. Flies buzz around it. But it is only when one is elected and one is inside that one can really experience the explicit sewerage in its most raw form.
Here are a group of maggots having an orgy of sorts (political parties?), there is semi digested food (proposals, scams, schemes of all sorts?), giant flies buzz around high on the aroma of shit (middle men and consultants?) and the latrine itself is barely able to contain it all (the public service?).
You cannot help it but feel disgusted. The pungent aroma of urine mixed with various stages of decomposing excrement assault your senses. Hello, politics! Well at least in PNG.
I am ranting. Raving. Taking out my anger at having this temporary (I hope!) inability to write about my intended topics on the state of politics in PNG.
But I am too harsh. There is hope. Alotau. I just returned from that wonderful town. I was attending a gathering organized by Charles Abel, Member for Alotau. I won’t talk about the forum other then to say that it was a great initiative by Charles on sustainable development.
I will just mention Alotau. It is more beautiful then I remember it last time I was there in 2011. I remember being impressed then. I was more impressed this time around.
People were neat and clean and walked around in an orderly fashion, buildings were clean and tidy, even the low cost public service houses were neat and clean with manicured lawns.
Children in school uniforms were beautiful, laughing, clean, healthy and walking respectfully to or from school. One could be forgiven for thinking they were in a different country.
Soccer and rugby fields with small stadiums, clean cut roadsides and I even saw some white people walking around. No one seemed to be bothered at all. No one harassed them. No one took notice.
Respect. That’s what I saw in Alotau. Much respect. And it was clean everywhere - the streets, the town, the yards, the shops, the markets and the people.
Was it because the people simply had the right attitude? Was it their mindset? Was it because the members of this province all worked together and respected each other? Why is it that everyone chews betelnut but they do not spit it everywhere, there is no betelnut skin or littering or loitering that is usually associated with betelnut everywhere else in PNG. It is simply a marvel.
Whatever it is, they give PNG hope. Just writing about Alotau and what I saw and experienced there has made me feel better. I still can’t write whatever it is I thought I wanted to write about when I popped open my computer, but at least I feel better. God bless the beautiful people of Alotau, of Milne Bay indeed. God bless their leaders too. They are certainly a good example.
Oh, and I met Abona. A good friend. He sang me several songs with a band at the Alotau International Hotel and dedicated it to me and Roger Hau’ofa who was also there. “Dis is too my two old fadas! Jelly Joofah and Loger Howeva!”
Abona is the local jester. He stands 4 foot tall. Speaks English in Samalai dialect and permanently has betelnut in his mouth - I would say at least 2 litres.
Abona is involved in every major event in some way. He has an uncanny knack for turning up when some event is on. No one turns him away and he fits in and contributes in some way. He has a drink and a feed and mingles and asks friendly questions and contributes with exceptional clapping and howling when it is required. Awesome stuff.
And he can sing and he never seems to have aged, he must be at least 60. I last saw him in Port Moresby in 1994. I was still at university, struggling to complete a degree I eventually abandoned. Abona looks exactly the same then as he did now. I have more white hair than he does.
But that’s from hanging around in out houses trying to be a politician and do something about this mess I inherited…that’s my excuse anyway…