Saturday, 2 September 2017

Daru Island, My Arrival

One of the few things that I thought would not come to pass was the possibility of going to Daru Island. For starters, I always have the notion that life in Daru is particularly hard, having heard about the grievances in shortage of water supply or the intermittent power loss or the lack of mobile signal therein. Hence, I came up with a foregone conclusion that nothing on Earth could make me go to Daru.

 Well, almost.

On Monday, 7th of August, I booked for a flight to Daru via Air Nuigini. The company that I am currently working with has a branch in Daru Island that is being renovated and I was sent there to help. My directives were to install network cables, CCTV cameras and its public address sound system. Aside from those, I am also tasked to assist Harsya, an Indonesian national, and to make sure that the new POS Systems that our company has acquired from him should be up and running before the grand opening on the 21st of August.

The purple luggage is mine and is packed with a week’s supply of fresh clothing.


I had successfully checked in my baggage two hours earlier before the flight. I figured that if I had to endure the long wait before boarding time, I needed to, at least, eat something to keep my mouth busy during the whole waiting process. Luckily, there’s a small cafeteria near the boarding gates, which has an adequate variety of pastries to choose from. 


When embarking on a long journey, I made it a habit not to indulge myself in a heavy meal. Therefore, my ideal choice of food in the cafeteria at the time being has involved a combo of fruit slices and a chicken sandwich. On the left side is my boarding pass. The typical air fare to Daru from POM is around K500 to K700. I’m not sure though what kind of variable is at play here for the price shift but the frequent flyers might figure that out easily.


Turboprop planes are the main mode of air transportation to Daru.  During take offs, the plane may bank sideways to adjust directions. This can cause the plane to appear like it’s stalling. But one must not fear that moment because turboprop planes are highly efficient while flying slow and are less efficient when flying fast.

I always like to think that airplanes are safe.


Unlike jet planes, turboprop planes show little or no visible exhaust gases that produce the trust, and instead direct all of its exhaust gases to turn the propeller. The land mass below was of Port Moresby. Shortly after taking this view, the pilot has announced that we are in for a long flight. An hour and fifteen minutes later, we were on Daru Island.


For such a short flight, I wouldn’t expect the crew to be serving us any meals. But they did serve us with these nice treats. I finished them all in five minutes. The flight attendant seemed delighted.


Daru Airport was relatively small compared to Jackson Aiport at POM. But again, turboprop planes can operate on short runways.  And if the pilots were to try, they could land the plane on someone’s front lawn without a problem.

Just kidding.


The huge door in the building is the departure area and on the left side is the arrival area. The building doesn’t have a conveyor belt that brings your luggage to you as you wait but rather relies on the human workforce to stockpile your belongings on a large table where it is good enough for everyone to see.


When I arrived at the airport, this fellow was already patiently waiting for me. By the way, kuya Levi is in Daru at the time being and Sarigi (this guy) said that it was kuya Levi who arranged for him to pick me up at the airport. Thanks for the effort Sarigi.

Good job kuya Levi. Cheers!


They say that Daru Island is quite a small place. It only has a population of more than 13,000 probably. Wikipedia says it actually has an area of 14.7 km2, and it’s quite big for an island. You could fit in it around 1,400 soccer fields. 

Now that’s a lot of soccer fields!


This is the view from our branch in Daru. We are located on the beach side. The boats in the background seemed to have been stuck on the muddy shore, but it was actually low tide when I took this photo. Later that night, all of those boats are floating on the water.

Well, it turned out that life in Daru wasn't as hard as what I thought it was. Telikom PNG is operating in the Island so there is a telephone line except for its mobile services. Telikom ADSL internet is available through landline connection which suits those who'd like to stay longer. Digicel internet is available through mobile 3G and it's quite fast for the average internet users although most of the time the network is down.

Water supply comes from the rainwater collected into reservoirs which you can safely use for cooking and bathing. There are also deep wells that serve as a backup system in case there's hardly a rain. I didn't a have problem with water supply since the day I arrived. For drinking, it's most likely that you're offered to drink bottled water instead.

Electricity is also consistent, thus far. During my stay, I only experienced two power outage at least.

That’s all for today. Have a good Sunday everyone! :)



2 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
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