#63: Walking the Tropics is not at all pleasant.

If you haven’t already, you should follow the Guardian’s Cities’ series talking about all things cities – a fantastic resource for spreading thoughtful insights about our urban built environment.

A recent article from the series that caught my attention featured a compilation of stories about people walking their neighbourhoods in their respective cities. As a self confessed urbanist, I revelled in these stories, reminiscing about the days I used to walk all the time.

Continue reading “#63: Walking the Tropics is not at all pleasant.”

#62: Three Great Ways To Catch Polio in Pom Siti

Since the outbreak was declared in PNG in mid June 2018, a dozen cases have been reported, and we are still counting.

One case has already been reported in Port Moresby’s 5 Mile.

But how does it spread and how can you get amongst the latest craze to sweep the nation?

Continue reading “#62: Three Great Ways To Catch Polio in Pom Siti”

#61: P in PNG: The Second Coming

It’s the week of Independence.

A young mother, elegantly attired in her PNG meri-blouse, huddles amongst the murmur of other young parents under a tent at the Gerehu Hospital.

With all her attention, she watches the nurse-meri, her eyes trailing every movement of the nurse as she squeezes two drops of a liquid into the pinched mouth of her four year old son.

She exhales in relief knowing that the monster lurking in the dark won’t take her son. At least, not this one.

-Hans Lee

AS we settle into the days after our 43rd Independence festivities, we will be confronted with the dawning reality that may haunt us more in weeks to come.

No, it’s not APEC 2018. And it’s not the nervous toea-clanking at the bottom of the governments empty purse.

It is something much, much, worse.

Continue reading “#61: P in PNG: The Second Coming”

#60: Pasifik Diplomacy: Lost in Australia

Enter stage left: Foreign Minister, Marise Payne.

“Stepping up [in the Pacific] isn’t an option for the coalition, it’s an imperative…”

Exit stage left: Foreign Minister, Marise Payne

AS the US experiences a bout of Political cold, the Pacific is experiencing a space of increasing tension between traditional and non-traditional players.

Continue reading “#60: Pasifik Diplomacy: Lost in Australia”

#46 Poem: Behind Steel Bars

Behind Steel Bars

Steel bars line the edge of this world.

Clad, cold, courage,
rust bearing steel bars.
Be strong.

Guard us.
Vestige reminder –
the colonial knights armour,
there is faith in steel.

Guard conscience, pray they
from perils that lay await.
Still, idle imagination loiters.
Give colour to grey steel bars.

Think.
Keep safe, this world.
Guard against, the light of night
Come what may.

Tall – stand picket.
Poke sharp, the heavens soft whites.
Reach high, the blue distant moun-tains

Or is it sky?

Picket steel bars,
stand watch.

Yet, the darkness in day
pierces the safety of this
prison.

@ Hans Lee

Where I wrote this
This piece was written in one sitting at the Airways Hotel in Port Moresby. I was looking for place to sit, read and write and this was the only (third) space that I could really work in. I highly recommend it, though I don’t know how busy it gets here – I was lucky enough to have it all to myself (and the security guard) while I wrote.

As you may have guessed it already, coffee definitely had something to do with this post. Nothing like a bit of caffeine to get the creative juices flowing.

Why I wrote it

wp-image--210183966
Dr Steven E. Winduo’s ‘The Unpainted Mask’

At the time of writing, I was reading Dr. Steven Winduo’s book, The Unpainted Mask, which had weaved through the stories these ideas of objectivity and reflection. Telling his story from the first person, he observed the irony of the residents in Port Moresby who work to be part of a life that was ironic, bordering moronic, according to him. People who work so hard to keep an image that is expensive to maintain (the masks).

It made me reflect on where I was at in that moment of writing, looking out into the distant natural landscape through steel bars designed to protect me. From what? Well that was just it, I didn’t know. Maybe it was to protect my conscience from whatever was out there. In the distant was the cloud and blue mountain (or sky) but in the foreground was the protruding steel picket fence.

I was taking refuge behind these fences to carry out the art of being this version of me. It is definitely part of this Journey Home for me. I can’t say anything because I am (unfortunately) part of this group, but I shed no regret for this lifestyle. I wouldn’t be who I am, writing what I write, if it were not for my experiences.

I’ll leave it at that.

@ Hans Lee