It is no faint hearted human’s walk to interior of Kokosan & Damet villages. The journey took over two days beginning at Torowa, Upper Erap, Nawaeb District in Morobe.
The villages share inter-district borders with Sapmanga in Kabwum & Wantoat.
I walked, walked & walked. Up & down steep mountains, around & around steep cliffs, down & across fast flowing streams that find their way crashing down into Erap River and gushing down against huge boulders to marry with Markham River.
Through the green coffee gardens decorated by red berries, I kept walking. In some coffee gardens, the aromatic perfume from newly blooming flowers filled my nostrils.
The smells kept up my strength and kept my mind awake, although my ankles were already exhausted. My toenails and the soles of my feet rubbed against rocky pathways causing blisters. Blood oozed. My feet trembled and my body felt like it was about to fall down when krusako leaves trapped my legs.
Yet I pursued this interesting experience for four reasons:
1. To experience & explore hardships in remote areas and meet people who struggle to live with it.
2. See the source of mighty Busu & Erap Rivers that split & find their own ways down… The Busu ending at Wagang (Sipaia) & Erap into Markham river.
3. To spend five days of 2016 Christmas with the Kokosang people.
4. To meet and elder (pictured) who I wrote about two years earlier in mid 2014.
I read the two daily newspapers each day and feel a hole in my kind heart, when politicians make a mockery of the people saying: “…The health delivery system is okay… drugs & TFF, school materials are reaching schools…” Or “…we’ve committed this much to construct this/that road. It will improve/develop people’s wellbeing…”
In actual fact, the picture depicts real struggles in our rural Papua New Guinea.
Many still haven’t seen a vehicle tyre, nor even the tyre tracks on mud.
One wonders how the mothers give birth. Which aid posts do they go to for family planning? Where do kids go to school?
Despite the odds, you will find Church buildings t in the middle of all these villages.
God Bless my heart for Morobe & Papua New Guinea!