A young lady died yesterday from stomach problems and as we passed through the small village we saw a number of men digging the grave – right next to the trail. The reality of death here unlike a number of western cultures which puts it at bay for a longer period of time – is more a part of daily life. Life spans are much shorter, injuries are common, as is illness – from these remote villages you cannot easily get to a hospital. All the villages we have visited have a disproportionate number of children under the age of five.
We have had a great time trekking these mountains with unique and authentic experiences. Finishing the trekking part of our stay in PNG, we arrived back in Beleni today – we waited for an hour for a truck to pick us up from the trail-head but it never arrived so we headed out on foot (the truck actually ended up arriving 90 minutes after we reached the trail-head).
We hiked with a young girl and at one point she saw three boys ahead of us on the trail. Apparently she knew them because she became scared, hiding behind us and saying, “I am scared – they like to attack people with knives.” I put some large rocks in the pocket just in case but by the time we arrived they had already walked off the trail.
View a common Cicadia we spotted while hiking – the noise bug!
Supplies here are incredibly expensive – especially meat. We paid $27 for a live chicken – and then visited a small shack shop on the way back. They only open the “wooden window” when potential customers arrive in their small village. Apparently the shop owner has had a problem with crediting his customers.
A hand written sign on his main door read exactly as: “Dear Valued Customers!! There will be no accepting any more credits due to failure in payment. Unless all outstanding credits are paid off”
Our first few nights in the “base” village was spent under a roof that leaked like a sieve. Upon arriving back at this village we were upgraded to where the family sleeps. However, we soon found out that the inside of the home was infested with rats and mice. As soon as the sun set these furried friends came out to play – they were scurrying right next to where we were sleeping and by the sound of things, some were quite large as pots and pans kept crashing around in the kitchen. At one point I woke up to the noise of many little feet, shone the flashlight around and caught a number of beady little eyes running across the floor.