Thursday, 29 December 2011

one small step.

Like everything seismic and earth-shattering, it began quietly. A wee ripple in the calm and tranquil pool that my life had become.

Moving to PNG had been seismic enough. I gave up my career of seventeen years to follow Husbang to the other side of the world. To a country where I can't work.

My days had become a round of internet surfing and lunching. All the things I used to despise. But after a 10 year-stint working in the high-pressure world of surgery, the idea of NOT having to get up at sparrow's fart and deal with the egos that inhabit the surgial theatres of large hospitals, I was guiltily enjoying my Nanna naps and mid-afternoon brandies.

So our haus mari came to me one day and asked me:

"how long are you planning to live in PNG?"

I thought she was concerned for the longevity of her position, so I answered her without much thought:

"oh, we're planing to be here for YEARS"

The sigh of relief this was greeted with, as it turned out, had nothing to do with her job.

Two days later she came to me again. And this time, I could feel the sand start shifting.

As it turns out, there was a 3.. maybe 4.. definitely not 5 year old girl in her village. Her mother had died in a car accident when she was five months old, and her father had been killed recently.. maybe last week.. maybe 2 years ago. She was living with her grandfather who was old.. maybe 80.. maybe 40 and crazy.. maybe Alzheimer's... maybe too much smoke and buai. She was living in a pig pen.. or maybe a goat pen.

And she had no-one.

I'll get all political on your ass later, but believe me, the statistics for rape and assault and violence against women in PNG are appalling.

So, before I knew it I said yes. Yes to turning my quiet an tranquil life upside down. Yes to taking on a child with multiple medical and social issues. Yes to a child who didn't speak my language (and I had only a rudimentary grasp of hers).



  1. Hello just stumbled on your blog from the expat blog site - just read your most recent posting & looking forward going through your archives!

    Thanks for a peek into your lives. I've been to PNG once and find it amazing, fascinating and intimidating all in one go!


  2. Hey SoYi, Thanks for dropping by. Where and when were you up here? And you pretty much summed it up!

    1. Just to POM a couple years back for work - wish I had a chance to explore other areas, perhaps in the future but in the meantime look forward to your postings :) Btw did you find a way to deal with the hair care issue? I could ask some friends since they know how to handle these sorts of things!


    2. I ended up buying HIDEOUSLY expensive "Moroccan Hair Oil", which has helped. I am currently advocating cute little girly-dreads, which The Husbang can't stand. It's a dreadlock deadlock! (Ha! I slay maself!)

  3. Just found your blog :) You and Dr Wendy would have had so much fun I think ;) Take care, will enjoy reading the rest of your posts,


  4. Hey Aaron!

    Dr Wendy and I, together in the same city, let alone the same hemisphere, is no longer allowed under International Law. The shenanigans nearly caused a rift in the time/space continuum.