Saturday, September 21, 2013

Arehava Village, Papua

My first posting as Teacher-in-Charge of a school in Papua New Guinea in 1962 was at a village named Arehava. 
Arehava was on the beach on the western end of Orokolo Bay.   The school and my aluminium SOQ (single officers quarters) was only 80-100 metres from the beach and on the other side about 100 metres from a tidal creek.  
A woman washing a pot in the creek.   Nearby another woman was taken by a crocodile.  I was told that it wasn't a croc, it was a sorcerer from another village who had turned himself into a croc.  Payback time!

I was the first and last European teacher at that school and the SOQ was built specifically to house me.  I spent almost three years there and at the ripe old age of 25 transferred to Madang to teach at Madang Technical College.

Arehava was a pressure-cooked growing up period for me, dealing with village politics, sorcerers and some teachers who resented the young Australian teacher in charge of the school.    I look back on that period of my 73 years as formative years.

Click the  photos to enlarge them
Arehava Primary School Std V..  much older than regular Std V kids should have been

At the school garden some miles from the coast.

Maisevese, my cooky who guided me through the village politics

Arehava warrior 1962. What is he doing now?

Arehava Village and the school were demolished by a sunami and the village is now some kilometres inland.


Anonymous said...

Great pic of the great white hunter Kev. Paul. :)

hailai said...

Its good you still have pixs of your students..
One of them is my dad.
Moses Hailai.jr