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18 August 2017


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Paul Manuambi

Touching stories. I used to walk a hard gravel road up to 10 kilometers to and from school 5 days a week for 3 years back in the 70's just to do my grades 4, 5 and 6.

Mum, who is still alive today, used to roast taro or plaintains in the open fire wrapped in banana leaves as early as 5 in the morning so I could take to school for my lunch.

When I visit home and travel this road by car these days, I used to think back to those days, and tell my kids who could not comprehend what I did those days. To me now, I am fortunate to have acquired a decent education.

Nice memory. Paul. It is terrific that you share your stories with the current generation whose experience, while difficult in its own way, is very different from yours - KJ

Jordan Dean

This story rings a bell. I dived for sea cucumber during my school holidays in Gr.11 and 12 (2001 & 2002) to assist my parents with my school fees. I also helped my uncle's saw rosewood and kwila timber to sell for my tuition fees at UPNG. We've come the hard way. Keep on going!


Thanks for sharing those experience of your it makes me feel that I am not alone, people have walked this path. I am aiming for high place ahead.

Thanks, Indeed I believe there will be open doors for greatness so that I continue the sequel.

Daniel Kumbon

Iso, I felt the same emotions when I did Form 3 at Lae Technical College in 1974.

You see, we students whose parents were villagers from far districts like Enga or Vanimo were a sorry sight to see. Students whose parents worked seemed to have everything. They had radios, shoes and spending money.

We sons of ‘kanakas’ used to collect bottles to make some money to buy soap. The hardest part was to sell the empty bottles, especially in front of girls.

I looked for term employment too. A kind expatriate man who managed Turner and Davy Electrical in Top Town offered me some work to clean his office. He paid me $60, after two weeks. I really appreciated his kindness. I still remember his face and wonder where he is now.

With the money, I opened my first bank account. I used to put pocket money given to me by wantoks in this account when I transferred to Port Moresby Technical College in 1975 – the year of our country’s independence.

I related all this in my first small book – ‘Climbing Mountains’ which was published by Oxford University Press.

I am sure some of our members of parliament are the sons of villagers, or like former Prime Minister Bill Skate who was raised in the settlements in Port Moresby.

Our new O’Neill – Abel government must be mindful of the problems people face daily. They must have the rural population in their mind always.

They are duty-bound to provide the best basic services for them.

Robin Lillicrapp

Great reflections on the formative years, Iso.
I think there's room for a sequel, don't you?

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