Jamie Oliver step aside…Coconut chicken PNG style (with a few additions)

Add a bit of lemon grass and you should be fine. 

You know what?  Forget the Jamie Oliver stuff.

What you want are  those  BIG Maryland pieces  of  chicken.  Large ones that refuse  to fit into a pot.   So get a few of those.  A few… I mean PNG ‘few.’

Stuff them into a large pot  with a bit of  water and boil the heck out of  them. ‘Go in’ with two large onions, four whole Mt. Hagen size shallots.

This is where the flavor gets interesting.

Add two cans of  coconut milk. You can say all you want about  canned coconut milk. But hey… who wants to sit on a scraper grating away at two large coconuts when you’re hungry.  So… yeah,  canned coconut milk it is.

Then,  add  half a handful of lightly crushed  black peppercorns and four large dried mushrooms.  Black peppercorns and mushrooms are the missing magic ingredients in PNG cooking.   Add one large Lae market type ginger.  Don’t chop. Crush and dump that into the pot.

Add  four large carrots. Go to Mt. Hagen  market and buy those damn carrots.  They are the ONLY  ones you want.  Don’t chop them into bits (Jamie Oliver crap).  Just peel them like a kaukau,  quarter them lengthwise then cut them in half.

Dump those in the pot.

Do the same with four large tomatoes. You don’t want those that are very ripe.  Quarter them and into the pot seeds and all.  Why celebrity chefs remove the seeds?  I don’t know.   Add  one green  and red  capsicum.    Tomatoes,  capsicums and carrots have mild flavors but add a lot of punch when cooked with all of the above.

Don’t worry about timing  your cooking. As long as the bottom of the pot doesn’t burn you are fine. Stir occasionally and cook until the chicken skin starts to disintegrate when you poke it with a spoon and when the bone on the drumstick becomes exposed.

By now the tomatoes will have blended into the soup with the  tomato skins looking like pieces of broken red balloons. You’re on the right track.

When you can stick a fork into the chicken thigh and twist.  That’s the time you turn off the stove.

I am assuming that you greased  a large pot of rice hours earlier  and it has cooled ready and waiting for the  chicken.

Eat in  bowl  so that the soup doesn’t spill.

Ok. Go imagine.



After the fall of Cardinal George Pell in Australia, what’s next for PNG Church?

170726085308-02-pell-melbourne-court-arrival-exlarge-169It was bound to come to light sooner than later.   Over the last 20 years,  the  Catholic Church has been under intense pressure to admit to  cases of sexual abuse within its ranks.

Admitting is one thing. But investigating and brining criminal proceedings against  the offending priests and other members of the clergy is another matter altogether.  It is something the  Catholic Church has  shied away from for  many decades.

This week, people around the  world  read in horror as  the Vatican treasurer,  the third highest ranking  Catholic clergyman down from the  Pope,  George Pell,   was  found guilty of  sexually assaulting  two boys when he was archbishop.

There is no need to go  into the details  here because there is  enough of  it online.  But what we  should note  is that the abuses happened over several decades and that  large amounts of money were used to silence many of the victims and their families.   Why is this event in Australia significant and why should it concern Papua New Guineans?

There are 2.7 million  Papua New Guinean  Catholics.  Nearly a third of Papua New Guineans state “Catholic” as their  church denomination.    We have the biggest Catholic population in the Pacific.   The  Church has played an important part  in the  early development  of the country  from the construction of schools, health centers and economic activity.

Those at the  helm in Papua New Guinea as well as well as the people need to take stock of what has happened in Australia.  Serious questions need to be asked.

With the recent developments, many critics argue that the church has lost its moral compass and maybe, lost its relevance as well.  George Pell, may be just one person. But he represented millions in Australia.  As the institution argues against abortion, same sex marriages and  family planning the Pell  trial has exposed ongoing abuses  and the moral hypocrisy  that were covered up  until the trial and exposure of   Pell as a child abuser.

 What should also concern Papua New Guineans is that over the last 50  years,  Australian Catholic Dioceses and orders  transferred  priests  and religious brothers to rural parishes in  Papua New Guinea  to  prevent  Australian authorities  following through with child abuse  investigations   and making arrests.

One example… In 2014, Australian priest, Fr. Roger Mount,  stalled a deportation from Papua New Guinea. Previously known as Br. Roger Mount, he was  investigated for  child abuse whilst in Australia and was later sent to PNG where he  worked  at the Sogeri parish  for  20 years after his abuses came to light.

His victims in Australia were reportedly paid the equivalent of  K400,000 to shut up.

Roger Mount is one of several other members of the clergy sent to Papua New Guinea to ‘hide’ from Australian authorities.

Many of those decisions were made primarily   because our systems were and still are  too weak to track down offending  members of the clergy and there is little awareness of  the different forms of abuse in rural areas.

Cardinal John Ribat,  the most senior  priest in PNG  seems to have taken a strong stance against abuses.  But his words need to be enforced in a country where abusers of the worst kind tend to hide.

Here is some work by PNG artist, Kipling Ninawale

Kipling Ninawale is a graphics artist at EMTV. Recently he has been publishing some of his work on Facebook. I asked his permission to post on my blog. From time to time, he goes back to the basics – pen and paper. This guy is brilliant!

The picture of a grieving mum from Western Province that told a million stories…


A few days ago, I asked Sally Lloyd about the picture she posted on Facebook of a distraught mother weeping over the body of her baby who had died.  This is the story behind the picture.

“They are from Fomabi Village near Nomad.

It’s in Nomad LLG – I think… middle Fly in Western Province. The child got sick with pneumonia, I believe and Nomad Health Centre could not help them. The facility there has been very run down and ill equipped for a very long time.  They then had to make the long walk to Mougulu health centre for many hours to get further help.

Unfortunately, the child died the following afternoon, and without any helpers with them the parents had to walk back to their village with the dead child.

They were of course heartbroken and very hard to send them on their way into darkness and a storm. The woman has already faced some difficulties in her life. She was totally distraught, waving her arms and crying out. When I went to the clinic she said it’s her first time to visit Mougulu and this happened.

Earlier on Facebook, Sally posted:  “That sound I hate…the grief of the parents of this precious eight-month-old indicating the worst had happened.  This evening they have the long walk back (6 to 8 hours at least) to Fomabi Village with a very heavy burden – almost too much to bare.51168223_10157067201174189_3222924870299942912_n

“The father offloaded some heavy food items and we gave high protein food and fish, a torch and umbrella- it’s going to storm tonight. God knows how much we need that emergency vehicle – to bring patients more quickly, but also for parents who should not have to walk a day (or all night) to get home and bury their child.

“RIP Ezekiel.”51547945_10157067201219189_974107864157126656_n

Student journalist & eldest of 4 quits school, says he’ll support mum pay fees for his brothers

Suli Suli 

My name is Suli Suli. I was studying Communications Arts (Journalism) in Divine Word University.  I  completed my second year in 2018.

My parents divorced when I was doing grade 5  in 2009. I’ve spent almost my  life, living with my grandmother in the village. My  mother has always been the one who bears the  burden in terms of school matters. I’m the eldest in the family of 4 brothers.

After  completing grade 12 at Sogeri National High in 2016. I applied to study in DWU and was accepted. I wanted  to study Law in University of Papua New Guinea but I doubted that I would make it because I was afraid of the possibility of  failing my exams and getting a lower GPA. So I applied to DWU to study Journalism.

I don’t regret the decision I made because I am content with what I am studying today.

My biggest achievement in life will be  to wipe my mother’s tears away with a graduation gown and a degree in  hand.

I aim to be an investigative journalist in the future and also become a human rights lawyer.

Even though my mother and father  remarried.  My mother  has always been the one who gives us the  hope and determination  to excel in life. She is  a receptionist with IPA but manages to make us happy all the time. It takes a strong woman to raise children, face challenges, go through struggles and hardships just to make me and my three brothers happy.

I am  grateful that she’s still alive and well. I can’t imagine life without her. Last year, my second born brother was not able to school. Only  my two  brothers  and I continued our studies.

Since my first year in university, my father had paid my school fees. But this year he wasn’t able to pay my school fees as well as that of my brothers’.

So, this year,   I decided to stay out of school  and let my three brothers to go to school while I look for employment  to save some money to pay my own school fees next year.

I’m happy to stay home this year, but I will still continue my studies whenever I have enough money to pay for my school fees. If this is God’s plan, then let it be. I am happy to take on this challenge.

Staying positive with whatever that comes my way. I’ll see this problem as a stepping stone to be better in life.

*Suli Suli did an internship with EMTV in 2018.  He is unable to continue with his second year of studies because his dad is unable to pay. 

What is AES & HECAS? 1st year UPNG students told to pay up to K10,000 if they want campus accommodation

Games vill

So today as a first time UPNG parent, I was confronted with the UPNG fee structure.

For a first year arts student, we were told to pay K4242 in compulsory tuition fees.  As parents, no problems there. It’s a bit of a pain but we are willing to pay for tertiary  education.

What annoyed me the most was that the cheapest  accommodation on campus – a basic twin share room cost K8562.  Accommodation is actually more expensive than actual teaching and learning and it’s handled by student services.

Students were told for the board and lodging, you will have to ‘consult Student Services and have that sorted out.’

Here are the accommodation costs for BASIC TWIN SHARE ROOMS:

  1. Waigani Campus – K8,562
  2. Taurama Health Services – K8,890
  3. Taurama BOH/BOS, MMBS, DAS – K10,247
  4. Tauram Nursing – K9,883

And the prices go up with the highest being the Games Village TWIN SHARE ROOMS  leasing (yes, “leasing” because that’s what it is) for  K12,000.  That’s K1000 per month plus the K250 for the bond.  Also note in the costs above that It costs more for a future nurse and doctor’s accommodation at UPNG. I would understand if the tuition fees are high.

Retired PNGDF Commander, Major General Jerry Singirok, took his son to register today at the Games Village.  He was disappointed after paying a hefty accommodation fee. He posted on Facebook.

“Games village accommodation showers and toilets are not working and rooms are in a mess. I spent most of the morning carting water and cleaning my son’s room. But no running water in the ablution block. UPNG admin had over six weeks to prepare. Even grass overgrown and many furniture thrown on the lawn and rusting away.
This is supposed to be a premiere University?”

In short, a first year student on the Government Academic Excellence Scholarship looking for the cheapest accommodation on campus will have to pay  K13,0554


The UPNG Student Services Division has attempted to explain the reasons for  demanding the fee payments in their current form.  In short,  they are saying the  parents  must pay up because funds for the government HECAS and AES scholarships will not be paid on time.  The memo didn’t have any official letterhead and was unsigned.

For the University of Technology in Lae, the costs are more than 50 percent lower than UPNG and accommodation costs  cost 90 percent less.  Parents  and guardians of  a student on AES  will pay K4,139.7 This includes tuition (K1771.56),  Board and lodging (K424.59), a Compulsory fee (K1096.61), and a laptop. Bottom line is parents know what they are paying for.




A journey not for the faint of heart| By Pisai Gumar


It is no faint hearted human’s walk to interior of  Kokosan & Damet villages. The journey took over two days beginning at Torowa, Upper Erap, Nawaeb District  in Morobe.

The villages  share inter-district borders with Sapmanga in  Kabwum & Wantoat.

I walked, walked & walked. Up & down steep mountains, around & around steep cliffs, down & across fast flowing streams that find their way crashing down into Erap River  and  gushing down against huge boulders to marry with Markham River.

Through the  green coffee gardens decorated by red berries, I kept walking. In some coffee  gardens, the aromatic perfume from newly blooming   flowers filled my nostrils.

The smells kept up my strength and kept my  mind awake, although my ankles were  already exhausted. My toenails  and the  soles of my feet rubbed against rocky pathways causing  blisters.  Blood oozed. My feet trembled  and my  body felt like it was about to fall down when krusako leaves trapped my legs. 

Yet I pursued this interesting experience for four  reasons: 

1. To experience & explore hardships in remote areas and meet people who struggle to live with it.

2. See the source of mighty Busu & Erap Rivers that split & find their own ways down… The Busu ending at  Wagang (Sipaia) & Erap into Markham river.

3. To spend five  days  of  2016 Christmas  with  the Kokosang people.

4. To meet and  elder (pictured)  who I wrote about  two years earlier in mid 2014.

 I read the two daily newspapers each day  and  feel a hole  in my kind heart, when politicians make a  mockery of the people   saying:  “…The health delivery system is okay… drugs & TFF, school materials are reaching schools…” Or   “…we’ve committed this much to construct this/that road. It will improve/develop people’s wellbeing…”

In actual fact, the picture depicts real struggles in our rural Papua New Guinea.

Many still haven’t seen a vehicle tyre, nor even the tyre tracks on mud.

One wonders how the mothers give birth.   Which aid posts do they go to for family planning?  Where do kids go to school?

Despite the odds, you will find  Church buildings t in the middle of all these villages.

God Bless my heart for Morobe & Papua New Guinea!