Well, PNG advertises itself as "The Land of the Unexpected", and yesterday was a good example of that! We managed to get to the (well before) dawn Anzac service, run by the 2 Aussies at the local military base. As there are only 6 other Aussies in Wewak, and no Kiwis, we were glad of the 20 or so PNG military, the governor and several other local folks who came along to raise flags and lay wreaths at the memorial in town.
Aitape is a small town where CBM just completed building a new bookshop to avoid more high rental. It is also the site of a fatal MAF crash in 1979, when a whole Australian CMML missionary family of 5 was lost, along with their pilot, on their way home to Aitape from conference. The community built an elementary school dedicated to them, and yesterday the new little bookshop was dedicated and named Wilkinson Hall.
It was a stinking HOT day, but we walked around town to get an idea of the size and surroundings ...and found everyone VERY friendly, and lots of civic pride. The beach and little river are picturesque, the shady Rain Trees sheltering the vegetable market are huge, and there are 8 little grocery shops, 2 small places to buy cooked food, and 1 sole bookshop. We went with the driver to visit the Wilkinson Memorial elementary school. They agreed to bring over the second graders to the little ceremony, and afterwards everyone got coconut water to drink, and a writing book and other interesting things from the shop.
When we landed, Jim had spotted a wrecked American WW2 bomber down there, so we had to find that and have a look! A B25 Mitchell medium bomber, sitting in a school yard!
It was a very interesting day, and certainly unexpected! ....enjoy the photos!
Robyn and Jim