08 october Whagi Bridge (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

[Stefy]: "We meet a Pigini 50 year old that had been adopted by a Dutch family when he was a child, and around a warm fire in a hut, he tells some anecdotes of his life and his memories as a child.

He tells us that his mother, when she was menstruating was moved away from the village for a few days because this phenomenon was considered as an evil event!

We talk a bit of the courtship,  and shortly after, we can see it in a reconstruction by the villagers through the "sing sing dance".

Occasionally held, within villages, it’s a kind of big meeting of all young single people...

they sit next to each other and sing moving their shoulders and a head full of feathers to attract the attention of the boys not only for their beauty but also for the colors of their makeup...

The night is tough! Mark shake and round all the time in bed… in the the morning he will confess to have seen several giant cockroaches and even two rats in the room but he hadn’t told me anything not to make me worry! "

09 october Kundiawa (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

[Stefy]: "In an hour by PMV we reach Mingende; Caspar shows us the place where we should spend the night: a shack. Really dirty and full of holes in the walls... who knows what is hiding in those holes. After the previous difficult night we refuse to stay there and, escorted by two other men, we seek a more decent place! 

Done! We leave our backpacks in the guesthouse, we wash our hands and we are soon around once again. However our hands remain clean for a few minutes as all the people we meet on the street stop to shake them... everybody... even those who walk in the opposite lane, cross the road just to touch us!"

We enter into the jungle again and this time we are guests of the "Ghost” tribe. Men and children painted by skeletons representing the story of the ghost (a mythological figure half wolf and half a rat) that terrorized the village.

The performance and the background is impressive, very picturesque, hidden among the large bushes, there is the whole village that looks on curiously.

Shortly after we move to another village. Narku tribe shows us clips of their everyday life, from the search of honey to the cultivation of sugar cane to the rite of marriage. The offer of the father of the groom, the negotiation, the meeting of the two families until the separation of the bride from her family permanently.

10 october Goroka (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

The transfer from Kundiawa to Goroka lasts about two hours and a half and, despite the PMV, it is really nice to climb up those hills and then down into the valley.

While we admire this thick and dark vegetation the unexpected happens!

We note, at the edge of the road, a stopped truck full of people like ants on the carcass of a huge dead insect.

A man tosses a large bamboo cane on the ground just in front of us.

All passengers, afraid, close the windows and I admit I get worry when I see the look of terror on the driver face.

Immediately our van is surrounded by a dozen men armed with machetes and sticks screaming and beating on the windows of the PMV.

The petrified driver observes all with dazed expression. Stefy sinks into the hood of her black sweatshirt, our small backpacks are instinctively hidden under filthy seats; these angry men continue to scream and from a hole in the window some passengers hold out some money.

I only hear someone shouting: "pass through" and the driver, still stuck, accelerate while a truck travelling in the opposite direction is stopped and assaulted.

No comments, no one speaks, someone timidly opens the window and we continue on our way.

The "Gehetoka Lodge" hosts us in Goroka; it is very modest but at least it's clean!

In twenty minutes of rough road we reach Ali, despite his long beard and Islamic name he is not Muslim but he proudly claims to be "Christian evangelist."

Here religion just depends on which church is closer to your hut!

 

 

Shady character that leads us down a muddy slope between huts made of twigs and plants. We arrive at the entrance of Giremiaka village, guests of Asaro tribe and the legendary "mud men".

Some women cook the "mumu", steamed vegetables underground and surrounded by large banana leaves.

[Stefy]: "The Mudmen suddenly appear behind some huts, they move very slowly scrutinizing everything around them. They wear big and heavy clay masks that are used to scare enemies. Some have a bow and arrow, other huge sticks. They show us how to light a fire with twigs of bamboo and twigs of wood.

We shakes so many hands... sometimes, when I step on the streets I happen to see distant looks, almost hard... then in two seconds irrepressible explode a nice smile that makes you win every little distance! The language of love and kindness belongs to the heart".

 

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