Friday, 17 March 2017


One of the few things being in the bilum bags of the few elder people who come to visit our place of work on some random days to peddle various home-grown vegetables is okra. Surprisingly, when I asked for okra's local name from the two of our staffs on separate occasions, none of them knew because neither of whom had tried it yet, which seemed odd to me because there was always an okra on the market stalls anywhere here.

The street sellers who come over here to sell call this the lady finger. Wikipedia, on the other hand says that most English-speaking countries call it the ladies' finger. One can probably surmise that naming it after a lady's phalanges is unquestionably deliberate because of its shape.

But an okra can also grow longer than 4 inches, and with such length, one cannot help but think of a movie character with which we can imagine of having such a humongous finger. My imagination has led me to think of Neytiri of the Na’vis from the movie, Avatar.

The okras in the picture are what I bought today from a persistent but polite street seller. They only cost K1.00 a bundle and by some Papua New Guinean standards, 1 kina is neither expensive or cheap, but is rather affordable. I bought five bundles, not because it was my favorite number, but because a K5 note was the only money left in my wallet.

While I’m not an expert on nutrition, I can cite out some of its benefits that I've read from Wikipedia. But why Wikipedia, you say? Because that website is pretty cool! 

Just kidding! 

It's probably tempting to discuss about the advantages of trusting Wikipedia but i'll make my reason simple for now. Contrary to other informative websites of the same category, Wiki has many anonymous contributors  and the articles are always updated to the current events. These contributors mainly consist of professional editors and amateur writers and they write collaboratively  within the boundaries of Wikipedia's Five Pillars by which it operates.

Not sure if I'm clear enough.

Anyway,  let's go back to our topic. According to "them," okra is rich in essential things that our body needs to keep it in good health, having 20% more of the daily value in dietary fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Another source on the internet also talks about okra’s wonderful benefits, saying it is good for preventing and improving constipation, lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk for developing some forms of cancer like the colorectal cancer and improving energy levels due to its high carbohydrates and vitamin contents.

One must also learn to keep in mind that okra is a functional food. That is, it's a disease-preventing food. In Papua New Guinea, when we buy an okra from street sellers, we are not only supporting the local communities but we are also packing in some good stuffs to our own health once we eat it. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Coffee, Anyone?

When one's life finds itself in a similar ride like that of a roller coaster rides, the constant vicissitudes are wearing.

But the wearing does not always result to exposing the boundaries within, sometimes and probably most of the time, what ensues is a lesson learnt. Therefore, the person bearing that life may mystically morph into something else in the end like a determined butterfly emerging from its deep slumber in a claustrophobical cocoon.

Hopefully, into a wiser person.

To honour those who persevere in the difficulties of life, here is a brittle biscuit and a cup of coffee to cheer you up in a true Filipino fashion of consuming both. Yes, I think you may find it a bit odd that I dip the biscuit into the coffee but I guess that's one of the peculiarities we Filipinos have that can be easily forgiven.

Enjoy your coffee!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Gutpela Dei!

Hello long ol man meri!

Disla dei, mi laik traim long writim wanpela post
long tok pisin.

But tok pisin bilong mi, em no gutpela yet so mi tingim
mi bai writim short post tasol.

Anyway, yupela olgeta husait ridim disla blog,
mi laik toksave long yu na gutpela dei!

Tenk yu tru long ridim!

For all those who may have knitted their eyebrows for trying to understand what I just wrote, it was my another attempt to write a supposed-to-be form of English-Tok Pisin hybrid. But before I posted it here, I had asked Rodney, one of my staffs, to check the Tok Pisin grammar for me. To make things easier, I sent him an English version of my originally written thoughts and told him to translate it in a conversational way.

My original sentences in English:

Hello everyone!

Today, I like to try and write one post using Tok Pisin.

But my Tok Pisin isn't good yet so I will just write a short post.

Anyway, all of you who are reading this blog, I'd like to say good day!

Thanks for reading.

Here's Rodney's own translations:

Gutpela dei long yupla olgeta ridim pos bilong mi.

Tete mi laik raitim wanpela pos long Tok Pisin.

Tasol Tok Pisin bilong mi i no gutpela tumas olsem na mi bai mekim sot.

Gutpela dei long yupela olgeta ridim pos bilong mi.

Tenkiu long ridim.

His translations seem to suggest that Tok Pisin is probably easier to convey in words than in writing. I believe I was able to get some of the words correctly but I still think that my skill in Tok Pisin is still in its infancy.

But learning Tok Pisin is fun and it comes with an ocean of intangible benefits. While majority of  the nationals are known to speak English fluently, some will still uphold the colloquial way of verbal communication by letting Tok Pisin be the language of choice for any given situation. I have once been confined in a situation where a national assumed that I knew the local language very well and spoke to me in pure Tok Pisin without prior hint of hesitation. My immediate reaction was to explain to him in English and in the politest way possible that I didn't know his language yet.

Perhaps by some humanitarian reason, he said, "You should learn Tok Pisin while you're here."

Since then, I realized how important it was to reflect on proverbial things I initially thought I never had the need for, like learning Tok Pisin for example. Adding Tok Pisin to my vocabulary arsenal marked yet an another turning point in my life here in the land of the unexpected.

I have since acquired a considerable number of Tok Pisin words that I am still figuring out how to use effectively in times necessary. As a man of patience, given how patient I am on being patient, I worry not about not getting it right for most of the time. For I believe that there comes the day when one shall reap what one has sown. 
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