Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country.
Two weeks ago, after suffering symptoms of a writers block, I went out for a walk. Nowhere spectacular…just around one block of top town in Lae.
In front the pharmacies, I met Cletus Inap from Angoram in East Sepik. He had in his hands, a small pukpuk. Cletus is a typical Sepik wara guy. Good sense of humor, proud of his heritage and straight shooter.
So what was he doing with the young pukpuk in the middle of Lae city? Cletus said he was trying to sell it. But so far he had not been successful.
Earlier, he wasn’t able to sell the crocs at the 8 mile pukpuk farm because the people there wanted salt water crocs only.
The pictures were good. So what the heck… I recorded him on my phone. Cletus told me the pukpuks had been with him for about a year. A year.
How did he bring them to Lae? He laughed.
“Mi putim ol lo bag,” he said. “Mi tokim ol yupla noken sigaut!”
(I put them in a bag and I got on a plane. I told them, don’t make any noise)
But that’s not all. I found out Cletus was also looking after bigger crocs. I didn’t want to ask where. The bigger crocs had escaped during two weeks of heavy rain in Lae City.
I asked him what he was going to do if the crocs were not sold. He grinned and as if trying not to let the pukpuks hear him, he made a gesture… no words… that he would eat them.
For those swimming in the Bumbu River (and I’m assuming it’s the Bumbu River) be on the lookout for two pukpuks from Angoram on the loose. They know Cletus Inap.