Monday, 31 October 2016

1st November 2016 - Bagaman Island (PNG, Louisiades)

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Today in Hobart it is…cold and blustery; warm and sunny; overcast and brilliantly blue – all within a few minutes.  Challenging and fascinating!  I am enjoying being able to wear what I consider to be “real” clothes – socks and boots, black trousers, long-sleeved t-shirt under long jumper.  Proper clothes!  Comfy and warm!

Michael is on 2XS in Breakwater Marina, taking care of business.  He has been fishing and is looking forward to catching some big ones. Yesterday he and his friend Adam, fishing rods aloft, watched as some workers on a large boat further down the pontoon carefully lifted a broken pump out of the boat and on to the pontoon.  Or rather, they tried to…There was a gap of less than a metre and yes, oops, down went the 100-kilo pump, down down down into the dark waters of the marina.  The poor apprentice had to dive in to try to hoick it out.  Michael very kindly lent him some goggles…The water is murky and…there are, potentially, crocodiles!

Bagaman Island Sunday

Sunday morning we both went for a long swim.  It was Pete’s first time in the water for many weeks.  He hasn’t been able to get his leg wet in salty water because of his festy wound but it is now all healed up.

At eleven(ish) Moses came to get us in the banana boat, to take us to church.  He and Lyla belong to a minority church with a very small congregation. 

There was an hour or so to wait before everything got under way, so we strolled along to Simon’s house and sat on the veranda with a large group of giggly children.

I handed out bracelets, which were wildly popular with the girls.

We all sat in the airy little school hall where – oh joy – there were two plastic chairs.  (I really don’t enjoy sitting on the floor…every bone in my body aches and creaks and complains!)  The first part of the service was very nice – lots of singing, in harmony.  And then a VERY VERY long sermon, NOT in English, by a severe woman who seemed to be haranguing the poor three or four worshippers in no uncertain terms.  I was SO grateful to have a chair!  Eustace, the minister, very kindly said that we probably didn’t need to stay for the second half, which was a long session on how to prepare a sermon, so Pete and I were set free to wander along the beach, with two faithful small boys (Emanon And Elijah – Elijah is Lyla’s son, a year or so older than Mark) making sure we were safe and behaving ourselves.

There was a big sailau pulled up on the beach, and much activity surrounding it.  It was, apparently, due to leave within the hour, taking a cargo of children and food to school on Moturina Island, about two hours sail away.  

Loading the sail
The children were to stay there for ten weeks, keeping themselves fed from the supply of bananas, plantains, taro and dried fish being loaded aboard.  Well…we know about boarding school, in PNG.  If you don’t bring your own food, you starve, or go home!

Sailing off to school
All along the beach in the shallows there were small boys sailing model canoes.  We thought these were just lovely, and they sailed most beautifully, skimming across the sea.  

Occasionally they would disappear towards the ocean, but everyone was calm about this – they will come back, apparently.  The boys just set the sails, tweaking them expertly, give them a shove, and off they go.  

No strings, no remote control!

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