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06 January 2017


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I am in awe, Marlene, of your courage, resilience and determination and your strength of character and spirit.

The tales you have crafted so eloquently, of the trials, tragedies and tribulations that you and your family have suffered and your response to them, will be of great inspiration to the thousands of other Papua New Guinean women (and men) who have suffered in similar fashion.

The tragedy is that those who have inflicted such suffering upon you will probably not read your accounts nor reflect on the damage they have caused to another human being.

The hope (and the likelihood) is that others will read your stories and take courage and heart from your example.

Such is the power of literature, in whatever form.

I don't know what happened to our Melanesian values about showing care when one is in need. You are a strong woman, Marlene. Thank you for sharing your story. Keep writing.

Marlene, it really saddens me to read of the dilemma, trauma and agony that you and your children have endured not so much because of the fire but the insane and irrational acts of the landlord and the bystanders. May the peace, strength and grace of the Lord be with you all.

Marlene, the good thing is that you and the children survived the terrible incident. I must confess that I thought I knew English very well but I had to look up the word in the title "dystopia" - and learnt it means a place where everything is going wrong or unpleasant, the opposite of "utopia".
Nice writing. Hopefully it make us more sensitive to such realities.

Sad it is that amid devastation and distress, 'curious opportunists and thieves invaded'.
Bad and worse, what place where 'police wanted fuel money'?
Fear of loss by fire, understandable, frightening, but in this report, appears also callous.
Better ways of villages like Oria may yet bind PNGers as a caring folk and nation.
Bravo Marlene in your love and provision for your family. Exemplary. Writing too.

So sorry to hear of your problems, Marlene. I will pray for you. I'm sure you will grow stronger as you have learnt a lot from this sad experience. God bless.

A traumatic and unforgettable experience, Marlene.

Thankfully, we are able to share your burden through the gift you have of writing about life and times.

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