My family and I spent the last 3 weeks of December 2008 in the village. This was the longest time we have spent in the village for a long time. And we enjoyed every day of it. In fact 2 of our children could have enough of village life so we left them there.
The holidays started with me speaking at a seminar orgainsed by the Western Highlands Students & Graduates Association. The topic I was assigned was Management. I started with personal management, followed by money and business. Indications are that the young people enjoyed it.
I also attended two bride price ceremonies and one funeral. I used these opportunities to speak to people about the need to be careful with traditional activities which are burdensome in today's world. I felt to highlight this because of the observation that people are so concerned about spending money on customary obligations to the detriment of their own well-being.
We had a large gathering on New Year's Day where I was the keynote speaker. I spoke on many issues related to community development and progress over a period of 2 hours.
Two years ago we initiated a project to connect electricity into the community. The project receivbed funding under the Government's Rural Electrification programme to the value of some K500,000. This project was the subject of much discussion. I encouraged people to get ready to connect power into their houses. I especially challenged young men to build better houses (semi-permanent and even permanent) within the next 5 years. The project will be opened in April this year.
I took the opportunity to approach PNG Power Limited about connecting power to another community. The response has been positive. The Provincial Manager and I visited the community to promised the people that initial survey work would commence in January 2009. I also approached the local Member of Parliament (Hon. William Duma) who made a verbal commitment to fund the project.