11 october Goroka (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

[Stefy]: "Peter leads us up the mountain and from the top we enjoy a magnificent view! Everything is lush and bright! There is such a wide variety of flowers sometimes better than the most beautiful botanical garden!

We get to a cave and before entering it, Peter collects some leave that we will use as a "key" after obtaining the permission of the spirits of the mountain!

We go one at a time in a tiny slit while Mark gets stuck because of the backpack just when a bat slams on his head!

We are in Gurupoka, guests of Himakupo tribe. These men have their bodies painted white stripes, they are masked and emit guttural sounds by moving the penis sheath while dancing the evocative "moko moko dance". 

 

We meet Susan, the chief of the village, a beautiful big woman fair and authoritative; she tells us that all the land that we see around us belongs to her, she shows us an avocado tree and collects a whole bunch of bananas for us.

She tells us that her husband has been sick for about two weeks, it has happened because the envy of family has been transformed into a curse because they possess a car and a "permanent" house. We see him suffering in the distance with a huge swelling on the right side of the neck.

Susan then decided to bring her husband to a group of  "prayer warriors" and so she received the "Answer": everything was caused by envy of relatives.

We ask her if she did see a doctor but her answer leaves us stunned: "Many people waste time taking them to the hospital but not me! I’m not dumb! "

We do not know what to say, we try to explain her what we would do... but she assures us: "Tomorrow everything will be resolved, our relatives will come here to beg pardon and he immediately will heal!"

12 october Goroka (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

We reach the village of Keiya, the suburb of Goroka. The scenery is spectacular as always.

We meet Steven and some members of his tribe. We enter into a "secret place" on the edge of the Asaro river, crossing suspension bridges and tucking in high grass paths, walking in the mud along the bank of the river just as it began to rain.

Steven says that until about 40 years ago the rite of initiation was practiced towards teenagers who turned into "men".

They were locked up a couple of months in a hut far from the village where the wise of the tribe taught them to become adults! Everything was sealed by a ceremony in which they were twigs stuck in the nostrils of the initiate until it started bleeding profusely then, with a small bow and arrow, they used to leave a series of small cuts on the tongue.

Along the bank of the river, while it starts to rain and a friend of Caspar covered us with a big banana leaf, freshly cut with a machete, Steven and two elders, in traditional dress, recall this old rite banned by religion decades ago.

13 october Port Moresby (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

We leave the Highland of Papua New Guinea inbound the capital flying with PNG Airlines... what an adventure! Check-in takes place in a dirty room with two men who hand-write the name of each passenger without even checking the documents or luggage...

The passengers were so great to admire! Some barefoot, other with torn shirt, all bewildered, some had as hand luggage a hen or a lettuce or a pineapple...

While we were waiting to board, a huge lady comb her daughter head, like a monkey, sometimes even approaching her fingers to her mouth when she found something...

The flight takes an hour and a half and we're back in the chaos of Port Moresby... but our attitude is different now, we are not so fearful as ten days ago...

now we come from the Papuan Highland and as Keiya teenagers who become men in Asaro river now we face without fear the dangerous capital!

 

Tomorrow we fly back to Australia...

 

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