Thursday, October 28, 2004

Night Study with 9 Purple

Here's me being cool with my home class! They just cannot take a photo without fingers being featured, so i figured I'd better get in on the action (thereby proving what a daggy old-lady teacher I really am!) Posted by Hello

The Wild 9 Yellow girls

Not brilliant quality photos, but here's a couple I had taken tonight while I was on night study duty. I borrowed the school's old digital camera, and the girls were very happy to be in more photos, esp when they heard i was sending them on to family and friends. Please note the hot pink Marobe style meri dress! Posted by Hello

Monday, October 25, 2004

Fashion Statement

Well today takes the award for the sleepiest day yet – I had only 3 on-class periods today, and had so much trouble staying awake in between them I took to reading in the staff tea room! The humidity has climbed to about 300% and it’s just unbelievably sapping.

The weather has been so hot lately I succumbed on the weekend, and actually bought myself 2 meri blouses at the Boroko market. Now for the uninitiated, a meri blaus is the usual garb for PNG women, seen all over the streets and in the classrooms here at Marianville – a big loose sack-like caftan type thing, usually worn over a lap lap (sarong), with lace edges and a round neck. (For more stories on PNG fashion, see my mate Jeremy’s site at

Now I’ve resisted the urge (strong tho it was!) to purchase such an item for many months now (although Sister Anita did make me a very long one earlier in the year – some of you may recall photos of me looking somewhat like the side of a house in a mumu that, although very pretty in colour and design, probably would fit Roseanne Arnold a little better than it fit me), but with the wet and extremely hot season well on it’s way, something had to give…

And would you believe, I actually had some success! I found myself not one, but TWO meri blouses that DIDN’T make me look like an elephant, and weren’t made of 100% synthetic fabrics (amazing that here in the tropics no one wears cotton – it’s all polyester girl). One B&W, one hot pink with Indonesian flowers all over it, that according to Sister Antoinette makes me look like ‘the sun walking down towards her’.

So today was the big test day – could I pull off wearing them to school (the girls’ and teachers’ reactions were never going to be a problem – they get so excited when you wear or carry anything that’s part of their culture – necklaces, billums, earrings – whatever you wear you get a huge smiling reaction) – no the question was twofold:

1) Would I be brave enough to wear a meri blaus in public? and
2) Could I manage to wear the lap lap without it falling off me half way through the day?!

And the answer to both fortunately was yes, with a very high approval rating in both the classroom and staffroom.

Though the lap lap bit did require Pia wrapping me into it like a baby’s nappy in the morning, and using two big pins to fasten it so it wouldn’t fall down!

Ah the things we do in the name of fashion…

PS Happy Birthday for yesterday Marg!!

(I won't tell the world just how old you are... Aunty...)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Words of Wisdom

What do you do when your life turns to shit?
You run away to a tropical paradise...

that’s what the opening lines i just heard coming from the TV had to say - think it’s a new Oz Channel 9 series on EMTV.

reminds me of another favourite line from our AVI in-country conference, that I can't believe I'd forgotten to share. First night there, first night we'd all met up with each other since January, first time to meet a lot of others - lots of talk, some shyness, fair bit of get-to-know-you stuff. First night's activity was a Trivia night, testing what we know about PNG and AVI (a bit embarrassing for some of us - i.e. me - actually!)

In the AVI round, one of the questions was 'what's the motto/quote on the back of every copy of the AVI quarterly magazine?'.

(BTW, it's 'be the difference you want to see in the world' - either that, or be the change, I've forgotten which - all i remember is i got it wrong on the night and despite pleading my case that the sentiment was the important bit, not the actual wording, the pedants surrounding me refused us the point!)

Our newest AVI recruit , who's in his early 20s and had only been in the country a week or two, called out an immediate answer:

Escape your problems at home!

His second version of an AVI catch-cry was even better:

You're pregnant?!

End of days

Been a busy week, haven’t blogged in a while. Humidity’s soaring, and by the end of the day I’m wrecked – and morning’s even worse. Nights are impossible to sleep in, and the mozzies are making a comeback, even if the rain hasn’t.

End of days for our Grade 10s and 12s at the moment – Grade 10 national exams are this week, and the Grade 12 ones are the week after (I think). We had our Graduation Mass on Friday, and this is the last Bomana weekend (boarding weekend) for half our students. They had a big firehouse (dance party) last night to celebrate, and these girls’ moves make Lamana seem lame – they hold nothing back, and every song’s a new challenge to out-dance the others. They had a brief competition, with each dormitory holding the floor for a song, and I have to say I saw a whole new side to some of my supposedly-shy Grade 9 girls! No surprise to see some of them up on the benches, shaking their stuff at the girls on the dance floor, but there were one or two who I think having been playing possum with me all year… they’ll be in for a bit of teasing on Monday!

The Graduation Mass was lovely, with a real mix of PNG and catholic tradition. Again, another reason to lament the loss of the digital camera charger, as I would have loved to post some photos of the Sepik girls in their traditional skirts and billum-tops and shells dancing and singing the Father down in the processional, or the Southern Region girls’ graceful swaying as they led the Bible in several hymns into the service. And the Nth Solomons girls bringing in the cup and the bread.

They finished with the Grade 12 prefects passing lighted candles onto the incoming Grade 11s, and forming a candlelit passage way for the recessional, as the rest of the school sang the hymn ‘Pass It On’ – it only takes a spark to keep the fire going… Lots of tears at this point, and lots of camera flashes – I never knew so many girls had their own cameras! I took some too on my SLR, so hopefully can get them transformed into digital format.

Because Grade 10 and 12 finish up so soon half of the staff will lose their classes, so the class load will get spread around. I’ve already told Sr Antoinette I didn’t want to give up either English class (although I seriously regretted that last Thursday – dragon Riss had to re-emerge when half of each class didn’t do the work I set them in the periods I wasn’t able to be with them, and I was not amused…) so will be handing my Grade 11 Computers class over after next week. I’ll be sorry to lose them – they were a lovely bunch of girls, and it was pure luxury having a class of only 16 (a stroke of luck afforded me due to timetabling of various electives), but I’m not sorry to be giving up trying to teach Excel to myself at the same time as I had to teach it to them. Yeah I’ve got basic understanding of how it works, and I’ve gone through the various teaching chapters ahead of the girls, but it seems really boring compared to word and publisher and power point, and I was having real trouble coming up with ways to make it fun, never having really used it much before.

So, the year moves on, with changes along the way. Really feels like it should be the end of term now, what with all this goodbye stuff, and having just passed Inspection last week – sort of seems like there’s nothing else to be rushing for now, we’re just filling in time. But, another 7 weeks to go…

And counting the days.

PS Just finished reading The Da Vinci Code (hence the title of this blog) - one of the Grade 12 girls lent it to me - and it was a lot of fun reading it - although how these girls followed it I have no idea, considering when I constructed a quiz for Grade 9 ages ago none of them knew who painted the Mona Lisa, or had any idea who Michaelangelo was, and I can bet they'd probably never heard of the Louvre either! Though I am pretty sure they'd have heard of Mary Magdalene... Now I've read it will have to ask them what they thought of it! Love a good conspiracy...

Saturday, October 16, 2004


Well, it was my real first night as local last night, going in to town with the teachers to Wally’s Bar and Grill. It was a fundraising dance at one of the Moresby nightclubs, charging 10 kina a head in the hope of raising money for over due rents (!) A few of them asked me and Pia about it a couple of weeks ago when I first came back, but I don’t think any of them really expected me to come along, and Pia didn’t want to go as it was bound to be a late night. But I was pretty keen, not really having done much outside school with these people, and always up for a night out of Bomana.

So, 7.30 saw me spinning with Josepha and the driver in the de la Salle boys’ truck (the bus they’d booked having broken down), driving round the backstreets of Bomana and 9 Mile picking up people to take them into town. It was a bit disconcerting at first, being out on the road at night (I usually make sure I’m not!) but having a truck full of big black blokes makes a difference, and it was actually really nice just driving (or being driven) – I ended up staying with Josepha for the second round of pick-ups rather than going straight to the bar as I was just enjoying the breeze and the dark, and seeing what Friday night holds for the people we were passing.

Lots of people sitting in the dark in groups in front of the little kai-stands that sell deep-fried food, SP (beer) and coke to the local settlements. Little fires along the road where people were cooking something or another to eat for dinner. Kids playing basketball in the dirt as the sun dies against the mountains. Bright red sunset glancing off dead cars and burnt-out PMVs fallen sideways in the long grass at the side of the road. A group of men throwing darts against a tattered board hanging on a tree. The market at 9 Mile curiously deserted, a lone plastic bag (rather than the ubiquitous tumbleweed) bouncing across the dirt and onto the road. A group of 3 security guards walking to their night job at the seminary, guns swinging against their backs, and a pink leopard-print plastic top-hat in one of their hands (who knows?!). Later, darker, on the second round of pick-ups, confusing the graves in the cemetery for the people who spend their afternoons selling flowers by its gate; the bundles of wood for sale standing like strangers staring onto the road; the potholes craters on the dark side of the moon; and the best sight of all – the crowd of 30 or so kids and adults gathered in the dark in the area just behind the corrugated iron kai-stand out the front of the Vanuatu settlement, sitting in the dirt and on pieces of wood, watching the TV that’s been set up outside (no doubt using electricity illegally siphoned from the Canossian School of Life), watching the bright lights of Survivor together…

The trip into town was just as surreal. Everything looks so different at night – as Josepha pointed out, the streets almost looked beautiful with the dark shadows of trees covering the houses, and the scent of frangipanis and wood smoke in the breeze almost dissipating the lingering smells of betelnut and decay. The dark hides all manner of sins… but not for long, because soon we arrived at Wally’s Bar (again) and this is when the real PNG nightlife began to show itself.

The dance itself was actually pretty fun. Now those who know me best know that music for me is usually about listening and maybe singing, not dancing, but it was one of my grand ambitions to lose those inhibitions whilst here in PNG, and you know, I think I’m actually getting somewhere with that! Even though I did dance for a couple of songs last weekend at Lamana, I spent most of the night watching, coming to the conclusion after several hours of scanning the crowd and joining in with Ben at one (brief!) stage, that white people just can’t dance. Or maybe they can, just not these white people! I’m sure it’s all about confidence, and there’s something about being in a crowd of funky young thangs who love nothing better than to show off their stuff that kinda makes you feel less than adequate when you try and join in. Or maybe it’s just that most of the music is black music (either American R&B/rap/dance, or PNG-style music, which is certainly in a category of its own), and as one of a handful of white people in the place you feel less authentic when trying to match their moves. Or maybe it’s just realizing that, again, as one of the only white faces in the place you certainly stand out, and when you know everyone’s watching you, you really don’t want to look stupid. Or when your other AVI mate are watching you!

Anyway, all of the above were still true last night – the music was the same, except maybe even more PNG stuff (I hardly recognised any of the tunes), I still feel a bit stupid dancing at all, and this time as the ONLY white person AT ALL in the place (and a lot taller than most of the people there - Papua New Guineans are short!) I knew everyone’s eyes were on me whenever I went up to the dance floor (and even when I was off it). But, I still had fun! And danced most of the night! And it didn’t even really require alcohol! (although I think the fact that I sunk a couple of SPs made the other teachers who still don’t know me all that well relax a little bit more). It was a good night – I spent most of the time dancing with some of the other young female teachers, but there were people I knew from school hanging out in a few places around the bar, so although I was the only ex-pat there (there weren’t even any Indians or Filipinos, which surprised me) I felt like people knew I was there with friends – and the few drunken or otherwise blokes who tried to come near were hustled away by various mates quick-smart!

Still didn’t stop our driver’s cousin from having a go though! Asked me straight out (after he’d bought me a drink I said I didn’t want) if I was single, so of course I said no, I had a boyfriend in Australia (couldn’t tell this one I was training to be a nun – he already knew me!). So then he told me he’d be in Darwin next year to box, would I come watch him? I told him I’d still be here in PNG next year, so sadly I couldn’t. And to that he replied that if I was going to be in PNG for 2 years then why bother with the boyfriend back home – I needed a black man while I was here - one for here, one for there! Oh dear! I just laughed and told him I was a good girl, no thanks. Hopefully that’ll be the end of that!

Anyway, even that little exchange ended with a laugh, and on the whole it was a good night. The only problem was the driver coming to pick us up 2 hours late, by which time i was totally buggered and very ready to be at home in bed – but as I could sleep most of the day away today (thereby missing most of the hours when the water was shut off) it was a small price to pay for a fun night out which was both a good time at the time, and will hopefully also create a huge rise in my ‘she’s one of us’ stocks with the staff…

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Fellow Comrades

Have to publish this assignment given to me by one of my Grade 9 English students today. We’ve been doing formal letter writing in class, and they were asked to write a brief letter of complaint about a subject of their choice, after we’d done a couple of model complaint letters in class. And, as you’ll no doubt pick up from this assignment, I’ve also recently introduced them to the thesaurus, in the hope that they might expand their vocabulary when writing…

Dear Sir/Madam,

RE: Blinking of Power

As a valued customer I am writing on behalf of my fellow comrades, we have a gripe about your abysmal service and it has come to our attention. We would be appreciative if you could resolve the situation.

We implore for the lights to be renovated in June and no workmen came until last term. Furthermore they have fixed the light but its blinking.

Could you please take this into consideration and patch up the light. We trust you that the work will be done by the end of this week.

Thank you in anticipation of your quick response

Yours sincerely,

Can you pick which bits are thesaurus, which bits are Ms Conolly, and which bits are Rose? Hmmm

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Hua and Antonette Posted by Hello

My home class, in their very recognisable uniforms - very smart planning on someone's behlf - there's no way they can wag in that orange without someone spotting them and calling the school to say they'd seen a Marianville girl in the wrong place! Posted by Hello

Spinach rising

Well... We had our big parent – teacher – student meeting yesterday afternoon, and whew was it an eye-opener! All parents of all students were told to come as it was to be an information session about the rise of generation names amongst the students, a PNG phenomenon that seems to be sweeping the country.

Generation names are group nicknames that are handed down from one group of girls to another. Each ‘senior’ selects a ‘junior’ from the Grade 9s, and hands on their nickname, and tells them what group it belongs to. Sometimes they even go recruiting amongst primary kids before they hit secondary school. Sounds fairly innocent, and I think in most cases it is, but usually the nickname carries some sort of signature action or character that the girl has to live up to. And again, I think a lot of that is just silly stuff, but some of them are fairly serious names or characteristics, like Black Sabbath has to wear black and do bad things on Sundays, or other names mean you have to get drunk all the time, or sleep with as many boys as you can, or steal, or smoke pot etc etc And there are often initiation rituals in joining a group that involve all kinds of things like withstanding being punched 50 times in the chest to prove you are ‘strongpela meri’ (a brave girl), cigarette burning and other charming stuff like that. Sogeri National High School had several of its classrooms burned down in generation names activities, and there‘s been talk of cult practices and witchcraft at other high schools in the NCD and around PNG related to generation names.

So, Sister Angela and the Board of Govenors wanted to crack down on any form of nicknames or generation names that were springing up at M'ville by taking a hard line early. Several girls have already lost their boarding places because they were found to be involved in these activities or cult activities (using a ouija board in the dorms when they were supposed to be out playing sport, and apparently satanic card games in the middle of the night) (not sure how seriously to take that one, but Sister sure did!)

And yesterday was a meeting to explain the situation to the parents, and to have all the girls denounce their nicknames in front of the Board of Governors, their parents, and all staff and students. Let me tell you, it was a big deal! About 75% of the girls had at least one nickname from one of these underground groups, and many girls had several names. And the reaction from some of the parents was unbelievable – shouting, yelling, threats to their children about what would happen when they got home, demands to kick out any girls doing the wrong thing etc etc. It was an incredibly intimidating situation for the girls to be faced with, having to individually come forward and denounce their names, facing this mob of largely angry (and vocal) parents. Sr Angela was actually really good, trying her best to stop the parents from yelling and telling them not to remonstrate with the girls but accept this as the first (and very brave) step of doing the right thing – but it was hard to contain the crowd's emotions.

And the girls… some of them broke down in tears because they were so scared or so upset that they had to come forward for something they didn’t think was bad. And most of these girls had nicknames in name only – they’d accepted a name, but didn’t know anything about the group that meant they belonged to, or what the name really meant, and certainly hadn’t carried out any actions related to it. And for lots of girls there was confusion about what kind of nicknames were being targeted – a lot of girls got up to renounce names they’d been called by their families since they were little girls, or the innocent name shortenings everyone collects as they grow up – like me getting up and renouncing the name Riss in front of my family and the Board of Governors in the name of Jesus – because that was the way they had to do it!

But there were one or two funny moments, like when a beautiful and very religious girl got up to renounce the name Jericho… that actually got a laugh from the crowd.

And the moment when one girl came forward to renounce her name in the name of Jesus, and Pia turned to me and said ‘Yah! Why is this girl’s nickname spinach?’

Actually it was Phoenix.

It just remains to be seen whether the renouncing of these names means they are gone for good or if, like spinach, they will rise from the ashes…

Friday, October 08, 2004

Marianville Cultural Day

Edea - Miss Hiri Motu. My favourite picture from my little digital camera Posted by Hello

Koriom, one of my lovely 9 yellow girls Posted by Hello

One of the many photos from our Cultural Show at the start of Term 3. This is the only shot in 5 rolls of film where I actually have a starring role! Just didn't think of it at the time, which I really regret now. Also wish I'd had time to get a bit painted up too - would have been fun. These girls are from the Eastern Highlands Province, and just after this photo they all started dancing and singing around me (I'd shyly declined their offer to dance with them, so they figured they'd just do it around me instead!) - I couldn't understand what they were singing (it was in their Tok Ples - own langauge) but it got a lot of stares from passers-by! Lapieh (the girl 2nd on the left) who's one of my students had her mum with her, and she told me afterwards that they were singing all about me being their teacher Posted by Hello

Me and Pia's place (How's that for English!)

the place where i spend my Bomana nights Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Some days are like that

Well it’s not often I write a black kind of letter from here – usually make sure it’s (mostly) sweetness and light – but today just SUCKED!!! And I guess if I’m going to do this blog/journal thing properly, it comes warts and all…

The day started in a mad panic because I knew I was going to be observed teaching my Grade 11 Computers class this morning, with a report written for the Inspector to view next week on his visit. And normally this kind of thing wouldn’t phase me at all – give me an English lesson, or Library, or teaching how to use Word or Power Point or even Publisher – but today I was supposed to start Excel with the girls, and I’ve only ever used it in a format made by someone else, with very explicit instructions. I wouldn’t even really know how to begin myself, let alone teach it! And all the notes I printed yesterday from the intro package didn’t really give me any clear guidelines or definitions or even starting points – so I did what all good techno’s do – hit the internet at 11pm last night. Now you’d think the Microsoft web page, esp the training bit would give you a brief blurb about what the software is, and how it works, wouldn’t you? Think again!

So I got up early, figuring I’d have time to check out the computer lab for notes before class, and time to practice in Period 2 which I thought I had off. Silly me forgot I had a Class Patron meeting before class, then a double Grade 9 when I thought I had a free – so I’d be walking into the Obs lesson cold - no notes, no practice – nothing!

The lesson itself actually went ok, because I ended up doing a revision lesson on tables and Word formatting (the fact that the Excel student notes hadn’t been photocopied yet gave me a legit excuse to not be able to teach the ‘planned’ lesson), but it wasn’t exactly the way I had hoped things would turn out.

The rest of the teaching day consisted of lessons that went ok, but at lunch time I realised I had 45 English books, 45 fairytales and another class load of Library books to mark before Monday’s Inspector visit, as well as Grade 11 record sheets to complete, Term 4 programs to write, and Term 3 evaluations to do (to say nothing of organizing the piles of paperwork Papua New Guineans seem to adore creating into orderly labeled bundles) – all before Monday. With Night Study Boarding Duty til 9.15pm tonight; Ben’s farewell stuff on the weekend; and a (probably most of the day) Parent Teacher meeting on Sunday leaving very little time to get it all done.

Then this afternoon I had to supervise Grade 9 Work Parade (mowing the oval by grassknife); help the Magazine Committee continue working on re-writing last year’s Yearbook which some absolute #@!*head managed to lose from the server (a year’s worth of work down the toilet, and which I – for some unbeknownst reason considering I wasn’t even here last year – have to organize the replacement of); download & edit digital photos of the Mufti Day for the Prefects and help them judge the winner (the best dressed from a bunch of young girls wearing ‘street’ clothes – I ask you???); and recruit new Specialists to work in the Library in the afternoons. All in the same 1 ½ hour block of time. I don’t know how the hell I ended up with all these extra-curricular jobs – also trying to coordinate the ordering and sale of photos from the Cultural Day as a fundraiser (which I’m already beginning to realise, after just seeing how many order forms have been picked up by the girls, it going to be a HELL of a headache); organize a different library monitor system; and get the library cleared of the 5000 odd books that are sitting waiting to be covered and catalogued. And start a monthly newsletter written by the students. Aarghhh! Capacity building??????? Who has the time?

But actually, the bit of the day that really took it to (almost) the top of the ‘Worst Days in Moresby’ list was this morning when one of my classgirls (their terminology – it’s stuck!) came to see me just before first period to ask if she could go home because she was really sick. Her eyes were totally puffed up, with little pustule type things around them and she said it was a reaction to the medicine she drank for her sickness. She was absent yesterday, and when I saw her not in class then my stomach just sunk because I’d warned her at the end of last term that she’d been absent 30 days and reached her limit – I’d give her one more day, but after that I couldn’t do anything to help her. Here at Marianville (maybe all throughout PNG?) there’s a 30-day absence limit – once they’ve reached it, regardless of the reasons, they get de-registered, dis-enrolled, kicked out. Even if they have legitimate reasons.

Now this girl had certainly been anything but a committed student – never did homework, lazy in class, rarely motivated – and probably wagged a lot of those 30 days. But she had missed the first 12 days of school because she hadn’t paid her school fees yet and wasn’t allowed in until she had paid them. And she was legitimately sick at least the last 2 days she was away. But unfortunately the rule is a hard and fast one – based on the premise that whether they’re sick, didn’t pay yet, or just plain wagging, they’re too far behind after that many days off – they can apply to repeat the next year, but places are much sought after and if they’re not going to use their spot, well they lose it. Which I guess is fair enough.

But having to tell a crying girl who’s begging you to let her stay because “my daddy will belt me good and proper if I go home and tell him” (and a PNG daddy’s belting means business)… How do you cope with that? And it’s even worse when you know she probably won’t be allowed to try again next year because they’ve already wasted so many kina on this year’s education. Where will she go? Will she even go home? Chances are she’ll run away to escape the belting – that happened to the last girl in my class who reached 30 days – she ran away before things even got that far along, back when she was just afraid to show her report card.

I just ended up crying at my desk while I wrote her a letter to take home, explaining that I knew she was legitimately sick but rules were rules, and there was nothing we could do. How do you find a way to say ‘please don’t beat her up’ without actually saying that?

Some days here the sun just stops shining, even when it’s bright outside.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

election issues...

Well, it’s later on in the day, and we’ve just come out of an 8-or-so hour blackout. Was beginning to think we’d be going to bed in the dark. I don’t know what it is about Tuesdays (well, I have my suspicions), but blackouts always seem to happen on this day of the week.

Anyway, I did get into town to the High Comm, which was kinda exciting in itself coz I hadn’t been in there since our first week in Moresby, all those months ago (ANZAC Day doesn’t count because we were only in the courtyard). Then was led into a little room to vote, with about 4 other people who were in there for the same purpose – two of whom were from Leichhardt! Amazing that you can be so far from home and run into people who are from just around the corner from you (well, I was a Balmain girl for a while there, and Burwood kinda counts as inner-city too I think!). Actually, speaking of coincidences, what was even weirder was realizing that Widya, one of the AVI’s who came out with me in January, lived in the same street in Burwood as us, and remembered Andrew very well, even if she didn’t really remember me. Funny, huh?

As for the voting, well it didn’t take very long – I had a big grin on my face when I told the guy giving out the forms that I was in Bennelong, which was why I was making sure I didn’t miss out on putting my vote in… Was fun, actually – a nice little reminder of being an Aussie citizen – another thing that seems more important once you’re away from home.

So, here’s hoping I’ll be happy girl on Saturday night – have already warned Pia that chances are I’ll be in a really crabby mood.

Happy voting, people, and may we (finally) end up with a PM we can cheer for.

some of my girls Posted by Hello

who knew HIV/AIDS awareness could be so fun? Posted by Hello

World Teachers Day

Well, in one of those strange PNG moments, I'm currently celebrating World Teachers Day by having a day off school, as voted by the majority of the staff in a last-minute staff meeting on the first day back after holidays yesterday! Most of the rest of the teachers have gone to the stadium in Moresby for football and other sports - me, I chose to sleep in instead.

I'm planning on going in to the Aussie High Comm later on in the day to have my say in the Federal Election, and meantime was playing around on the net, checking emails - and was inspired by my AVI friend Jeremy, who sent me a story and an ad for his blogg site. I've been wondering for ages how to set up a web site of my own - and now here (hopefully!) it is!

I'm still learning how to do all this, but hopefully will have a picture of me being a teacher (as seems appropriate for today) somewhere on this page - if you see a banana somewhere, you'll know I've succeeded!