Experiencing life in the village gives you a glimpse into the life of a villager that you could only dream of in a remote place completely off the grid. To get a better understanding and appreciation of what life is like for the majority of the people who haven’t travelled to a developing country, you should really consider spending couple of days staying at a homestay in one of the local villages. You will get a life changing experience, an escape from urban cities way of life. You not only have the opportunity to experience village life, living alongside locals in the villages but you get to visit places out of reach for most travelers and an unique opportunity to meet local people and see real village life.
For me, returning home and staying in the village with families gave me a snapshot of what life is like in the village after migrating to Australia. However, it is the simple way of life that wanna keeps me going back home.
My home “Inuma” village is located in the region of Central Province in Papua New Guinea. To reach the village, it takes approximately 3-4 hours drive along the Magi-Highway, South-East of Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea.
After landing in Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby from Australia at 10am on Friday morning, I began my adventure road journey on a public motor vehicle (PMV) to my destination – Inuma village. Without spending a day in Port Moresby, I left the country’s capital city of Port Moresby on an early cool Friday morning and headed south-east along the Magi-Highway, the official route to Central Province.
For the first couple of hours we drove on hard on good roads (much improved since the 90s when they were pot-holed dirt roads). Once we past the outskirts of urban areas and half way down during the journey, the road conditions began to change. The road by now had deteriorated much from the tarmac of earlier and we bounced around in the vehicle as we dodged or hit pot-holes.
Riding on the PMVs with no safety seat belts made the road trip very uncomfortable. It was rough, dusty and bumpy. At this point, I was incredibly eager to escape the dusty and bumpy roads of Magi Highway. As we drove, along the highway, we headed into rural areas ascending up the windy roads, through vast areas of lands and forests untouched by developers and passing through many small villages so the views on the way were nothing short of magnificent. The air became so much cleaner and life became so much simpler.
The journey was long, as we stop on occasion to pick up and drop of locals along the way. I began to realise that when taking public transport to go to the village, there is a certain amount of patience but we did made it to my village… eventually.
Home – Inuma Village
After a long 3-4 hour road journey, I disembark from the rusty PMV on the side of the road and made my way down to the house. Yes, I finally arrived home to warm, gracious smile of my aging mother, down-syndrome eldest sister, cousins, uncles and aunties brought tears of joy. As a little boy, I remember my mother cooking food for breakfast or dinner in a very old aluminium pot and very little we had. I remember, my mum once telling me how poor we lived and wanted me to get a better life and someday convert this old tin-shed house into a more comfortable and liveable home. That memory is what sparked my dream of building a home for my mother before migrating to Australia to live. In returning back home for a short time has refreshed me a lot of my childhood memories living in this beautiful part of the world that I still call home.
My Village Time
The whole village is predominately home to Kwaruve clan that owns the land. Though, born to a different clan but I am so privileged that everyone is an extended family through both patrilineage and matrilineage that lives in the whole village, who are clan landowners.
Having the glimpse of the village, today not much has changed in the village, except for more houses in the village and their quality way of lifestyle have slowly improved over the years. However, the life here in this tiny village of Inuma is much simpler than Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. It is a lot more easier and relaxed way of life. Many villagers go about their ways – go to the rivers for swim, gardening or hunting. Below is everyone taking part in community project in stress and trouble free atmosphere.
What I enjoyed the most about my stay in the village was the traditional style of cooked meals, going down to the river for swim and children getting fresh coconut juices, fresh and organic garden fruits and diving for shrimps for me. The best moments was being surrounded by families and spending quality time at night by the fire under the stars and doing things together by day.
While I only spent five days in the village, I loved my stay there and the experience of living like a local again. Seeing my mum, cousins, uncles and aunties added to the magic of this place. Not much has changed which is pretty special to me.