Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Time has no meaning in a world with no clocks. Which, perhaps, why getting to a destination in PNG on the same day as scheduled is considered the same as getting there on time.

Today's transfer was tricky because we could only get a 5 seater cesna, which meant two trips to get everyone from Simbai to Madang. It was a satisfactory arrangement, provided that the plane was punctual (a term that they may want to look up in the dictionaries that Bob donated).

First, it was the early morning cloud cover. Then, the pilot was missing. Then, the airplane needed to stop at two other villages before coming to get us. When the plane finally arrived, the pilot advised us that, although there were five seats on the plane, he could only take off with three passengers from this gravel and grass runway. So, what was intended to be a day at the beautiful beach town of Madang instead became an exercise in waiting and transport logistics.

Now that I'm here, though, I think it was worth the effort. Madang is like what I imagine Hawaii must have been like 50 years ago. A few hotels, but not much evidence of a booming tourist industry. My hotel room looks out at a lighthouse that is located on the beautiful volcanic coast line. It's quiet enough that I can only hear the sound of the waves. A great way to spend my last night in PNG!


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