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Continuing furthur.

July 11 2004 at 5:16 AM
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Ralph Hamilton 

Response to Contiuing

Mornin wantok,
it is now 0348 snd I havw the time to conclude my comments.

I thought you would like NZ. I spent a year there based in Auckland, due to my work. My wife and I enjoyed our time there immensely. We spent most of our spare time, surfing and fishing. Logical I guess, for I am a coastie. I guess employment opportunities are not so good. That is why so many Kiwis are in Australia. My best friend is a Maori guy, living in the Townhouses I manage. He was 20yrs NZ Army.

You are right about the betel nut. Chewing it is not compatible with a major city. The red spet over white walls, looks terrible. When tourists arrived at Jacksons, it really turned them off. I know it is a cultural thing, but it is not suitable in a city. I tried Buai once, with the guys from the Govt Printer Printshop in Mosbi.

We had had lunch at the Aviat Club, and far too many pots had slid over the teeth. Well we all had miles of work to do, especially me. I had to fix their typesetting computer. I said to Tomas, (the leading hand), have you got some coffee. He said, I have something better, and handed me 3 Buai nuts. So, I chewed them up. I could see the guys watching me out of the corners of their eyes, to gauge my reactions. To me, the taste was highly astringent. Obviously full of vitamin C, and with what felt like as much caffine, as twenty cups of black coffee. I assume it does not achieve its "narcotic?" effect, until one adds Kambang and Daka. I guess that is also what causes one's spet to become red. Hope I didn't bore you with that, but it is an accurate record of someone from another culture, trying Buai for the first time. I had wondered what it tasted like.

Organisations like the KSI should be moulding the future of PMG. But, like you say, too much of their energies are spent jockying for power. Also PNG people are too impatient. If an organisation or a government does not achieve instant results, people are calling for it to be replaced, or its leaders dismissed. Long term planning does not seem to be part of the national psyche. You have to have 5 and 10 year plans, especially at a national level.

I am always surprised that Christianity caught on so well in PNG. It seems so at odds with the traditional beliefs. I feel the christian attitude has much to do with the world's ecology problems. I can still remember the church teaching, that man was given dominion over the earth and the beasts of the field, to use as he saw fit. A disasterous conviction, if there was ever one. To be fair, it does date back a bit furthur than Christianity.

When the Indo-Ayrian tribes swept down out of Europe, and replaced the animistic Gods, with the Gods of the heavens, this left people free to treat the earth as they saw fit. No longer did you have to sing the song of a tree, (the Aboriginal way), before you cut it down, or appease the Gods of the forest. Or in the Maori way, return the first fish or animal caught. You were free to do as you pleased. The Maslai of PNG's tradition, were a much better guardian of the forest, than the present way.

When I took my friend Kelvin, (the Maori guy), on a bushwalk in Brisbane Forest Park, I intoduced him to a large Eucalyptus Saligna, (Sydney Blue Gum), in this manner. Putting my hand on the tree. Kelvin, I would like you to meet one of my friends. (For indeed I have known that tree since I was 17.) He did not look in the least surprised. All my white friends have looked amazed at my words, when I have done the same to them. The aboriginal ones don't count, as I would expect no less of them. Kelvin's people are from Raglan, (west coast North Island), so I guess he is a coastie like me.

I guess the point of this rambling narrative, is that the immediate concern, is to stop the rapacious loggong companies at work in PNG. Selective logging is OK, and if done properley can improve the forest. This could be done at Village level though, surely. If the timber was sawn into boards at Village level, well, you have a value added product. Then the return is going directly to the Village. When the product s sold in the major cities or exported, the Government can then get taxes or royalties.

So many things to do. This has to be a priority though. Fisheries too of course. Else these will become a non-renewable resourse.


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