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Thanks Ralph and here's more...

February 7 2012 at 9:12 AM
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Bewdy! Great info, exactly what I need.

OK could you help me out with:

1. What is the difference between Bride Price and Bride Wealth? I'd never heard of Bride Wealth before.

2. Why is that often when I'm in PNG local people will agree to something I've asked for or commit to some arrangement but then not follow through? Is it a face-saving thing? When I'm trekking to remote places I always pay well for everything, so I dont think it's about money. My brother said sometimes people tell you what they think you want to hear, regardless of whether or not they can do it, to make you happy. I would much prefer to be told "no" than sit around for 4 hours for a vehicle that actually never comes because no-one organised it. Or be told that the walkabout to Yalom village will take us 10 hours instead of 6. (Yep, longwe lik lik, I've learnt that the hard way.) I understand the cultural perception of time (we Aussies are so uptight about clocks), but it's more the communication thing I don't quite get. Is it to do with communicating indirectly rather that directly as in Western style?

3. What are the common mistakes Aussies/Westerners make when working in development in PNG or volunteering or whatever? (Er apart from assuming that the people actually want us there...)

Thanks Ralph. Off to hosp visits, organising social workers, phoning doctors, hanging out washing (and hoping I still have a job to go to on Monday...)
I'm standing by!


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