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19 June 2018

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Some people have commented that the burning and looting in Mendi is only the tip of an iceberg.
No one really knows for sure.. only time will tell.

Jordan, sharing a drink & a long conversation is not of agreement, but itsa place to start.

Of symbols in emblems of flag, coat-of-arms, logo, fauna, music, and human behaviours (such as greetings) can draw emotional response from all but the most embittered folk or incapacitated.

Yet in viewing your words on this topic, heartfelt and all, there comes to mind your words in twittering respondings, not with ‘inanimates’ but with real humans who hold to hopes of political ideal, even equality of opportunity and who happen to be female.

The longest time I’ve been abroad was three weeks when I was in Malaysia. Apart from the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, I was fortunate to visit the beautiful Melacca City in Melacca State and Bentong City in Pahang State.

So many beautiful sights but I was homesick! I had lots of boring local songs on my MacBook that I never listen to but in Malaysia those songs sounded so good. I almost had a stroke because I didn’t chew buai for two torturing weeks.

In Bentong City, I asked the tour guide if the locals sold ‘pinang’ at the market. I remembered the word ‘pinang’ in Bahasa for betel nut when I visited Jayapura, Indonesia, in 2013.

“Yes, the local people sell pinang,” he said.

I bought a plastic full of pinang and chewed, enjoying the light stimulant effect. That made my day.

Stanley Arua, PNG's First Secretary in Malaysia at that time, was invited to our graduation. His first words to me were, “Wantok, yu orait ah?” I felt at home speaking Tok Pisin to my wantok.

Then at Manila, I felt proud seeing Filipino ladies dressed up smartly in Air Niugini uniforms who served me like a VIP because Air Niugini was paying their wages. Just the sight of Air Niugini staff with the Bird of Paradise logo at Ninoy Aquino International Airport and I knew I was home!

I also met several wantoks from other provinces in Manila who were returning home. We hugged like blood brothers. At that moment, we forgot about Sepik, Enga or Milne Bay. We were proud Papua New Guineans.

What I am rambling on about is that we don’t appreciate our local music, our wantoks and our national airline until we’re in another country far away from PNG.

It was indeed a sad day for the nation when the Air Niugini Dash 8 plane was torched in Mendi. That little bird carried so many people and much needed cargo around PNG. Her name was “X-Ray”.

She was an ‘office’ to the cabin crew and pilots that flew her. The aircraft engineers at PX gave her all the love in the world.

This lovely poem was posted by Collin Ho-Leong on Facebook: “Her Name Was X-Ray”....

We put our heart
Into your performance
Around the clock.

You lifting off fills our hearts with pride
You touching down, we welcome you home.
Clean you
Fix you
Fuel you top
Load you up
Send you out
Safely and timely
Day in, day out
To serve this nation

Oh PNG!
God Bless Mendi
Why people don’t care?
This is a nation’s pride.
Bruised and burnt
Never to taxi
Back into Bay 6.

Rest easy Darling!

I was waiting at Singapore (very lonely) for an Air Niugini flight back home and as soon as I saw it land, the happiness in me was so great I flashed a huge smile.

The bird of paradise on the plane just made me feel at home.

Our pride.... What action will be taken against those who set the plane ablaze and when? How soon?

Or just so-called leaders expressing disappointment. The mainstream media is becoming boring nowadays.

No one apologized to us for chain-sawing down Haus Tambaran's lintel.

But of course, that was old wood and did not make us any money.

That carved lintel represented unity established by our forebears.

The symbolism needs no explanation.


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