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Parker's Trail - PNG

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Created by FormulaNova A week ago, 14 Jun 2019
FormulaNova
NSW, 8794 posts
14 Jun 2019 8:48AM
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I have been watching Parker's Trail, and the whole idea that PNG was pretty unexplored is interesting. I remember reading about this in Guns Germs and Steel, how isolated it was, and also how many millions of people were there.

It shows you how dry Australia is in comparison to PNG and the number of people that each country can support.

Anyway, just while googling around I found some historic clips about the first recorded contact in some areas. Its amazing that this has happened in recent history and recent enough that it was able to be recorded.

aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-contact/clip2/

Gdog6
38 posts
14 Jun 2019 2:25PM
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Thanks for that Formula Nova, I lived and worked in the highlands in the early eighties, and yes it's hard to believe how isolated and remote it was at that stage. We had our two children with us ( 5 and 3 at the time ) and places we went, people had never seen western children before. Our kids used to get annoyed at all the people staring at them and touching them. We had a fantastic time up there and loved every minute of it.

FormulaNova
NSW, 8794 posts
14 Jun 2019 6:53PM
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PNG seems interesting to me, but not enough that I would risk going there. It sounds like there are too many conflicts amongst the locals.

On Parker's Trail they show that the people are normal, but when it comes down to it, their history is quite violent.

In Guns Germs and Steel, it talks of the highlanders being completely different to the lowlanders.

I did a training course with a guy once that worked there and met his wife there, and he was telling me it can be quite violent.

FormulaNova
NSW, 8794 posts
14 Jun 2019 6:54PM
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Gdog6 said..
Thanks for that Formula Nova, I lived and worked in the highlands in the early eighties, and yes it's hard to believe how isolated and remote it was at that stage. We had our two children with us ( 5 and 3 at the time ) and places we went, people had never seen western children before. Our kids used to get annoyed at all the people staring at them and touching them. We had a fantastic time up there and loved every minute of it.


Was there any animosity towards you? It sounds like it would better in the countryside than it would be in the city/cities.

Wollemi
NSW, 292 posts
14 Jun 2019 7:26PM
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www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12238606

On June 5, New Zealander Colin Monteath, 71, and Australians Chris Hoy and Greg Mortimer had all their belongings stolen near the city of Mt Hagen while on their way to visit the popular destination Rondon Ridge Lodge.

Razzonater
1889 posts
14 Jun 2019 5:41PM
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Been up to a few mines in the highlands, spent the first 5 years of my life in a compound in Port Moresby,, dad had a job over there..
I wouldn't walk around the highlands by myself,,,,,,,,,,, We went to Haagen to see the cultural festival when all the tribes do trade and pick wives from other tribes it was the best cultural experience I've ever seen or been too by far...
Theres some epic surf over there on the islands as well....
Had to do a job at Lihir a few times the island is a volcano and let's off thermal steam 24/7 a bit intimidating...

Up in the highlands it's a whole new world, the people are awesome but it's not safe at all... Once on a four week job up there two of our crew went back to the villages one of them didn't come back as he lost a spear fight and got badly wounded..
The other fellla his one talk described it to us like we discuss our team losing the footy.....

Its pretty raw up there, our bus had no windows and mesh over them so when they threw rocks and axes at us we would be ok....

Mind you the minesite which is now government owned was owned prior by a large global mining company and they were to put it bluntly assholes....

The highlight of one trip was when they did a blast and I had never seen so much gold in the side of a hill,,,straight after the blast some locals 20-30 of them cut the fence like a military operation and got through the fence with hessian bags and filled them up with rocks ( full of gold) the security man also a local gave them about 5 minutes and than unloaded his automatic into the air.... it was like the times up brothers warning.....

he he looked at us and said everyone has to pay the tax and laughed.....

he he was an awesome human,,, I made sure he got a pack of smokes everyday cause I wanted him to know I understood and also didn't want him to shoot us if it got real while we were there....

fella on 25 kena ($15 aud ) a day guarding the blast site with an automatic rifle who is a local...... he ain't gonna shoot his brothers

many other fun things happened during trips there but that one was one of the best

quikdrawMcgraw
1111 posts
14 Jun 2019 8:01PM
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Contracted malaria in png

Rails
QLD, 1158 posts
15 Jun 2019 6:01AM
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New Ireland is what Bali was
Paddled around up there a few years ago, where the incinerator comes from, great fishing, diving, waves, people. Poor as all get out but don't seem to mind as long as there are nuts to chew and fish in the sea.

If you are ever going buy a carton or two of spears when you get there, you can trade these with the locals for just about anything. Take some bics from home to give to the chiefs. A kilo or so of rice will get you a meal and a place to stay in pretty much any village. Byo mozzie net!

FormulaNova
NSW, 8794 posts
15 Jun 2019 7:38AM
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Razzonater said..
The highlight of one trip was when they did a blast and I had never seen so much gold in the side of a hill,,,straight after the blast some locals 20-30 of them cut the fence like a military operation and got through the fence with hessian bags and filled them up with rocks ( full of gold) the security man also a local gave them about 5 minutes and than unloaded his automatic into the air.... it was like the times up brothers warning.....



They showed this sort of thing on Parker's Trail where huge numbers of locals have flocked to the gold mines and live around the perimeter fence. They climb over and raid it for rocks, or anything, to make a living.

I was wondering about why they seemed quite willing to do it if they risked getting shot, but your explanation makes sense. Why would you shoot one of your own people when the rich gold mine can afford it?

I would hope that some of the money from these sorts of mines gets back to the people, but I think in a lot of developing countries the politicians get rich but not the rest of the population.


As a general question, do you think the tribal conflicts everywhere would allow PNG to develop or is it always going to hold it back? It seems like a place that has promise for agriculture, at least at first glance, but there doesn't seem to be fields everywhere.

Gdog6
38 posts
15 Jun 2019 8:38AM
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FormulaNova said..

Gdog6 said..
Thanks for that Formula Nova, I lived and worked in the highlands in the early eighties, and yes it's hard to believe how isolated and remote it was at that stage. We had our two children with us ( 5 and 3 at the time ) and places we went, people had never seen western children before. Our kids used to get annoyed at all the people staring at them and touching them. We had a fantastic time up there and loved every minute of it.



Was there any animosity towards you? It sounds like it would better in the countryside than it would be in the city/cities.


Things have changed since we were there. But no, no animosity toward us.
yes ,things were worse in the coastal towns,cities in our time there. The bad guys had guns in the coastal areas, but were still fighting with bows and arrows and axes in the highlands.
We got on well with the locals, have stayed with them out in their grass huts in their villages. Were told we were the first white people to ever stay in the village. Also went to plenty of big pig kill- feasts, in the villages.
We drove through a tribal fight one day, arrows flying over the track, when they saw us coming they all stopped and waived us through.
We still have fond memories of our time up there, it was a great place, and a wonderful experience.

Crusoe
QLD, 875 posts
15 Jun 2019 9:04PM
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Did over 16 years in the highlands, I wouldn't take my dog there, let alone my family. Most of the PNG people are nice enough but the crime is high. Saving face is more important than life. They are brought up from an early age learning which villages are owed payback. They have no respect for the police and only understand violence as a way of punishment. They will proudly tell you how they lied to get a job or anything they want. There is no social disgrace in lying or being caught out lying. I remember (will never forget) talking a guy out of killing his landlord. After doing the deed, he would have just went back to his village and would be safe. But the village people where the landlord came from, would most likely killed one of my other employees. Another time one of my local apprentices was begging me to get him into workers camp (for his own safety) because he was involved in a dispute where 5 guys were killed in a argument over a dart game.

It's a beautiful country and the tourism potential for hiking and cultural learning would be big. But way to dangerous to wander around unprotected. They were amazed when I told them we do not have fences, guard dogs and security around our homes in Australia. I originally thought back in 92, when I first started working there, that things might improve, buy they just got worse till when I finally left in 2013

FormulaNova
NSW, 8794 posts
16 Jun 2019 9:06AM
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Crusoe said..
Did over 16 years in the highlands, I wouldn't take my dog there, let alone my family. Most of the PNG people are nice enough but the crime is high. Saving face is more important than life. They are brought up from an early age learning which villages are owed payback. They have no respect for the police and only understand violence as a way of punishment.


I wonder if this is just the result of a fertile country existing with a huge population in close contact with each other?

If the climate is agreeable, and food is easy to obtain, I guess the population expands to fill the available land. With huge numbers living close together, it looks like war has become the way to resolve any disputes.

From what I have read it sounds like tribes there are locked to ownership of the land and probably the cause of disputes.

How could it change?

It seems like an interesting country, but change is probably a long long way away.

Buster fin
WA, 1902 posts
16 Jun 2019 7:38AM
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@ Crusoe
no disrespect, but I can name a dozen suburbs of Perth where spot lights, high fences and guard dogs are employed in an attempt to secure families from their feral neighbours.



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Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...


"Parker's Trail - PNG" started by FormulaNova