Saturday, September 26, 2015


I am proud of my faith, it has contributed in some way to this journey that I am on today. Faith or religion is one of those things that for most of mankind is a preordained aspect of your life. The majority of us are born into being Seventh Day Adventist, Jewish, Muslim, Latter Day Saint or like in my case – Catholic.

Most of my earliest memories are associated with some kind of church service. My father was in seminary, not to say that he was exceptionally good or kind, but in my world he was a genuinely good, giving, caring and extremely humble person. My father was a lawyer. He genuinely cared about people that he ‘helped’ as he termed his work. I never once heard him saying ‘client’ or ‘represent’ or any of that legal jargon that you hear on cop shows. To me the way he lived his life, the way he treated others, the dignity and simplicity he radiated are things that I can only hope to duplicate in my life. I hope that wherever my father is - he is looking on with some sense of pride in the work I am doing today.

Which brings me to the crux of the matter. My work. My faith. My work. To say that they are opposite is and understatement! Catholicism and modern contraceptive methods are like oil and water. Conflicting opposite beliefs and views. My church has a very firm stance against modern contraception. I work for an international NGO called Marie Stopes International. Marie Stopes provides informed, quality family planning. Family Planning. Contraception. 

Today the 26th of September a handful of international NGOs, government organizations and medical science organization will be commemorating the 8th World Contraceptive Day. A day where ideas, information experiences are shared to reaffirm and promote that every birth should be wanted, to empower young people to make informed choices for the good of their sexual and reproductive health.

So where do I stand? The statistics and the stories that many women have shared with me over the last 12 months, prove and confirm for me that modern contraception is a necessary tool. Like any other tool it can also be used as a weapon and be harmful. Like any other tool it is the wielder of the item that makes it either helpful or destructive. 

Like a bush knife. Put it in the hands of a subsistence farmer and it becomes a hoe, a grass cutter, a spade, a crow-bar. Put it in the hands of a serial killer and it becomes a weapon of mass destruction, a means of overpowering, a means of exercising dominion over another and the list of evil one can do is endless.

I have heard many influential and educated people blaming the tool for wielders individual choice and behavior. It is not access to contraceptives that makes one promiscuous! It is not access to contraceptives that make a man leave his wife for a young women! No! The thought to have sex, the act of getting undressed, the act of and sharing your nakedness and going through the process of having sex...the thought was always present prior to one seeking contraceptives! No! 

When we are blaming modern contraceptive methods for society’s moral decay and rot, let us remember the majority of women in our rural areas. These women come to seek modern contraceptives, these women listen to what can happen, what does happen and how dangerous STIs are. The majority of these women are faithful to their husbands, the majority of these women wake up at the crack of dawn to prepare food for their family before they go off to the garden! They spend hours without eating or drinking, sitting at a market to sell what produce they’ve worked hard to harvest so that their children can go to school and have the opportunities they wish they had. The majority of women that seek Marie Stopes services walk barefoot, on an average of two hours to get their nearest health facility to get their sick child medical attention, they walk hours to buy soap and salt and other necessities. The majority of women seeking and accessing modern contraceptives are the average mothers in the village, not your femme fatal that wants to get that super rich-old-married-man!

Yes! Yes contraception is a tool that must and should never go without in-depth and thorough counseling, and this responsibility to counsel and give information should not be the responsibility of the person giving the contraceptive! Oh no! That responsibility should fall on parents, on ALL fathers and mothers. All of us in society are responsible to make sure that all our youth understand that sex comes with a cost ALWAYS! It is never just a one-time thing, it is not ‘samting bilong pilai pilai’. As a society all adults have a role to play to ensure that our youth understand the consequences of sex.

I am Catholic. It is who I am. I work for Marie Stopes, that is what I do. I believe that contraceptives are a useful development tool that should not be denied to any woman or man that seeks them. In the end we all know what our thoughts, desires and future actions will be. As a society we are responsible to inform our youth on the dangers and reality of having sex. Let us educate our youth so they make informed and responsible choices, so that they have children by choice and not chance!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pink, Faux crocodile Skin shoes

Pink, faux crocodile skin shoes, colourful fingernails, leopard style dyed hair combined with greasy cut jeans and shirt that has had its sleeves cut off to make way for shoulders that connected these black bulging muscles. 

Unfortunately I wasn't thinking of writing a blog when I saw this sight at the famous Pikus Market in Ward 3 of Arawa, AROB so I didn’t take a picture. I should have though.

I wanted to laugh! Not because the sight was funny but that the-world-is-about-to-burst-out-of-your-heart-from-prid-and-admiration kind of laugh! You know? I was so proud because this wantok man was not in anyway inhibited or embarrassed by his attire, what he was wearing in no way contributed to or defined his masculinity.

I watched him for a bit, I assume he was sent by his wife or sister to pick up some kumu and buai from the market. It was one of those rainy weeks so the market was pretty muddy and the shoes could have been that wife or sisters, it was obvious that they weren’t his (a fraction of a size too small). He most likely was wearing them because he didn’t want to have muddy feet, a simple action to prevent an unwanted outcome.

Without the hindrance of being ridiculed because of the negative connotations to do with dress sense, what a refreshing idea!
God forbid if a man in Mosbi were to wear pink shoes; that man would rather be dead than seen outdoors, because everyone at that market, male and female alike would make fun of him for wearing pink shoes!

I spent twenty-nine out of my thirty-two years in Port Moresby. I am Mosbi’s child, but I never for some reason totally fit in. I wasn’t by any means socially awkward or a loner, but there were some things that I just didn’t get.

It is only after moving back to Bogenvil and having that opportunity to observe the social norms, people’s reactions and actions and generally just people watch that I realized that some part of me is essentially Bogenvilian, the part that disjoints the external from the internal.

Bogenvilians are typically non-superficial, the richest men are not those that drive around in Landcruisers with the latest mobile phone, nope the richest are those carrying frayed edged bags, clean trousers and shirts that are faded from over wearing.

I digress, the point is, that it is something to be proud of for all of us Bogenvilians! Although many living outside will judge negatively and say we’re backward and anti-development, we are a society that is not caught up in the superficial nonsense that the rest of the world seems to be brainwashed into, we are a society where our women and daughters can roam freely without fear of having being pick-pocketed, fear of being raped, fear of leaving doors unlocked. You can wear what you want as long as it is clean and modest without being seen as ‘out-of-fashion’.

Hopefully in our spiral toward ‘development’ we don’t lose that ‘realness of self’ that has nothing to do with how we dress or how we talk.


Thursday, July 30, 2015


Imagine a reality where we all could clearly hear the echoes of our past.
Imagine tearing down that curtain between this reality and the smoky world of beyond.

Where yesterday, today and tomorrow are all one moment.
Would that scare, shock or please you?
Would you be proud, scared or indifferent?

Truth be told, all of us in moments of extreme sadness, of ultimate solitude and great danger get a glimpse into this reality.

But what about those that face these reality as a simple truth? 

How tiring, how exhilarating how depressing to be plagued with such a gift? To have that ultimate knowledge without the pleasure of sharing that knowledge?

These are different times, these are volatile times, these are dark times. 
The world instead of having a bright morning after a deep and complete night seems to daily be waking up to a slowly demising, cold morning, where time is no friend to any soul. 

These times are for the lover of jealously, spite, lies and deceit. 

These are the times where one must learn to wear their armour proudly and hide their weapons as discreetly as possible, for it pays to show that one is protected but it would be life threatening to show the damage one can inflict.