As much as is humanly possible, I avoid the highway bus stop in Lae. It is a chaotic mess of large and small buses that exist in a world of their own. Their drivers, oblivious to the rules that govern the rest of us normal human beings, pay no attention to the needs of hapless passengers desperate to get their K60 kina worth of travel.
The bus stop is always jam-packed with a crowd fit for the riots that never quite happen. The ‘K5 bosskru,’ as they are called, take up the seating and outnumber the passengers in the mornings. Their methods of passenger collection a mixture of flirtations to actions that border on harassment and intimidation.
So on the weekend, I got on a bus to head to Madang for the passing of a friend. It was a sleek operation, avoiding all the K5 boskru and ending up at the service station just as the bus was about to leave. But inside the bus, some of the chaos outside had already found its way in. The walkway of the bus was lined with bags and every imaginable cargo the Japanese didn’t consider when they built Toyota Coaster buses.
The jump seats were worn and broken by the weight by countless heavy, large bottomed Papua New Guineans who sat on it over the course of the year. The bus was ancient. The geniuses who operated the vehicle, had a long pieces of timber placed to prop up the abused jump seats. It didn’t work.
And so a guy and his wife and four kids sat on the row in front. Three shirtless kids occupied the window seat while the guy sat on the broken jump seat. Wifey and a little one occupied aisle seat between dad and shirtless mob.
The bus was full and we didn’t have to endue the long hours of passenger collection as is usually the case – the subject of another blog article, when I muster the courage after this trauma.
So the journey began. Or so I thought. I should have known. We stopped at Nadzab. They think they’re doing you a favor by stopping at markets because “you might be hungry or thirsty.” But who am I to argue? What do I know?
As the bus rolls out from the Nadzab world trade center, some idiot in front lights up a foul smelling cigarette as if it’s her frigging God-given right to frigging do so. I sat in the back, sweating and stinking from the heat, imagining a thousand evil ways to kill her and her poor excuse of her husband. This scene, was repeated several times before we reached Madang at 10pm.
So after a blissful two days attending to a haus krai, another self-inflicted episode of a return trip began.
The bus arrived, I got on, this time in the front seat. Fifteen minutes out of town we stopped at 4 mile Market Madang’s version of the Nadzab world center. The most notable passenger was Mr. Buai bag whose cargo of green gold lined the walkaway in the bus. Chaotic, messy and uncomfortable.
After a long quarantine check at Tapo conducted by a bribery prone aged member of the local “kanda polis,” the bus tried to climb the Tapo mountain. It was painful. I will say no more. Too traumatic.
At 11pm, near Mutzing, we have to stop after one of the back tires went PFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS…. It too quit after 12 months of abuse.
It took an hour before the tires were put back on and the bus was ready to go or so I thought. While the crew were fixing the tire, Mr. Buai Man was engaged in some late night transactions. They say patience is a virtue. That’s rubbish! Where is Confucius and the great masters when you need them? They’re all dead from the stress of talking to idiots like the ones I had to live with on the bus.
Finally, the diver, impatient with the Buai Man starts up the bus and insists on leaving immediately. Buai Man gets without a sense of urgency. No sale. A waste of time. Unapologetic.
As the bus takes off, some guy in the back, whose father should have been given a one of those rubber thingies well before his accidental birth, lights up a cigarette as if his smoking rights are enshrined in the constitution. Again I imagined a hundred thousand of ways to do him serious harm.
By the time we reached Nadzab, it was 2am in the morning. The speed of the bus had slowed from that of a struggling beast of burden to that of a pregnant duck ridden by the potbellied driver.
At 2.30pm. Bus stops at the gate. I cursed the rider of the pregnant duck and the smoking rights campaigners and jumped off, pulled out a pump action shotgun and unloaded a few into the tires. Naaaaah. Just kidding.
CORRECT ENDING: “At 2.30pm. Bus stops at the gate. I cursed the rider of the pregnant duck and the smoking rights campaigners and jumped off. The end.”
On an island not my own
In an ocean not the Pacific
As I chew pamei pe wara*
Wondering how historians would explain this cultural similarity
As I roll my daka leaf between my palms
I see the hands of the Chilia Women
My grandmothers, my mother and my aunties
The beautiful women of my grandfather’s clan
Their palms that have held families together like the fabric weavings of their Manus baskets
Hands that have always carried the weight of their world
Strong like the kipwe*
Melanesian runs deep in me
The spiciness of the ginger with my pamei ignites
That fire within me of my Melanesian roots
From the early morning karai blong chauka
To watching sunsets long bet blong kanu out at sea
Melanesian runs deep in me
From hiking mountains and collecting greens near rivers on my grandfather’s land
To collecting seashells near pristine blue sea water
And white sandy beaches of my grandmother’s island
Melanesian runs deep in me
It is the way I respect my elders
It is how I learn to carry myself as a woman
It is where I see strong women
It is where I hear wisdom in my father’s voice
It is who I am
Melanesian runs deep in me
*pamei pe wara – buai na daka
*kipwe – large traditional manus basket for carrying heavy things
Good quotes, weird quotes, unusual quotes, shocking quotes, ancient quotes, wise quotes, stupid quotes, long quotes, short quotes, thought-provoking quotes…
I love ’em all.
And I’m not really sure why.
I think it has to do with the human connection you get from realizing that somewhere, at one time, someone you don’t even know articulated your exact thoughts in his/her own words, and shared it with the world – and therefore it resonates with us on a deeper level.
This holds equally true for the world of Karate.
Where so much, yet so little, has been said at the same time.
So, in the spirit of nerdism, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite Karate quotes today.
These quotes come directly from some of the biggest names in the history of Karate, and range from the short to the long, from the spiritual to the practical. But no matter what shape they take, I’m pretty sure of one thing:
They will resonate with you.
On one level or other.
(And if they don’t, then, well… perhaps that’s even better.)
Like I often tell myself: Unless I’m feeling confused, stupid, awesome or provoked, my day hasn’t been complete. And great quotes tend to help with that.
So let’s grow today, shall we?
Here are 32 mega awesome Karate quotes from some of the most legendary masters of our art (including some “bonuses”). Read, think, apply and share.
1. “Karate aims to build character, improve human behavior, and cultivate modesty; it does not, however, guarantee it.”– Yasuhiro Konishi (founder of Shindo Jinen-ryu Karate)
2. “The more understanding you have about Karate, the less you need to change or modify it.”– Tsuguo Sakumoto (former World Karate Champion and master of Ryuei-ryu Karate)
3. “Many Karate teachers teach a watered down style – no hip action and no depth of punching – so it is easy to say that these teachers have no depth to their knowledge. You are what your teacher is, and if he knows a lot, you should be able to demonstrate this knowledge.”– Yuchoku Higa (founder of Kyudokan Dojo, Okinawa)
4. “Karate has no philosophy. Some people think that the tradition of Karate came from Buddhism and Karate has a connection with the absolute, space and universe, but I don’t believe in that. My philosophy is to knock my opponent out, due to the use of only one technique. One finishing blow!”– Mikio Yahara (former Japanese World Cup Champion, known for single-handedly defeating 34 local gangsters (yakuza), knocking out a mobster with a gun, and turning up for a competition with a knife wound.)
5. “In the past, it was expected that about three years were required to learn a single kata, and usually even an expert of considerable skill would only know three, or at most five, kata.”– Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan Karate)
6. “To all those whose progress remains hampered by ego-related distractions, let humility – the spiritual cornerstone upon which Karate rests – serve to remind one to place virtue before vice, values before vanity and principles before personalities.” –Sokon ‘Bushi’ Matsumura (legendary Karate grandmaster)
7. “Once a kata has been learned, it must be practiced repeatedly until it can be applied in an emergency, for knowledge of just the sequence of a form in Karate is useless.” – Gichin Funakoshi
8. “A kata is not fixed or immoveable. Like water, it’s ever changing and fits itself to the shape of the vessel containing it. However, kata are not some kind of beautiful competitive dance, but a grand martial art of self-defense – which determines life and death.”– Kenwa Mabuni (founder of Shito-ryu Karate)
9. “In the old days we trained Karate as a martial art, but now they train Karate as a gymnastic sport. I think we must avoid treating Karate as a sport – it must be a martial art at all times! Your fingers and the tips of your toes must be like arrows, your arms must be like iron. You have to think that if you kick, you try to kick the enemy dead. If you punch, you must thrust to kill. If you strike, then you strike to kill the enemy. This is the spirit you need in order to progress in your training.”– Choshin Chibana (founder of Kobayashi Shorin-ryu Karate)
10. “We should open Karate to the public and receive criticism, opinions and studies from other prominent fighting artists.”– Chojun Miyagi (founder of Goju-ryu Karate)
11.“Nothing is more harmful to the world than a martial art that is not effective in actual self-defense.” – Choki Motobu (founder of Motobu-ryu Kempo and notorious Okinawan Karate street-fighter)
12. “My old ways of Karate was not readily accepted by everyone. They thought it was too outdated and too crude – I think it was just too hard or maybe my training methods were too severe. Whatever it was, it was the way I learned and the way I taught. It was only later, when the Americans came to learn, that I changed my ways.”– Hohan Soken (founder of Matsumura Seito Shorin-ryu Karate)
13. “It is necessary to drink alcohol and pursue other fun human activities. The art (Karate) of someone who is too serious has no flavor.”– Choki Motobu
14. “Recently, some Karate men have used funny and strange sounding names for their own styles of Karate. A Karate man of this kind does not have a real understanding or knowledge of the orthodox Karate or he has no confidence in his ability as a Karate man. He uses these funny sounding names for his own style of Karate as an evasive answer when he has a hard time demonstrating a very difficult technique or even an incomplete one. […] Karate does not have any one style. Karate molds an individual to be the only object of defense or offense and, through this, it teaches the fundamental concept of self-protection.”– Kanken Toyama (founder of Shudokan Karate)
15. “A student well versed in even one technique will naturally see corresponding points in other techniques. A upper level punch, a lower punch, a front punch and a reverse punch are all essentially the same. Looking over thirty-odd kata, he should be able to see that they are essentially variations on just a handful.” – Gichin Funakoshi
16. “Our teachers did not give us a clear explanation of the kata from old times. I must find the features and meaning of each form by my own study and effort, by repeating the exercises of form through training.”– Tsuyoshi Chitose (founder of Chito-ryu Karate)
17. “Even in the forty years that I have been practicing Karate, the changes have been many. It would be interesting to be able to go back in time, to the point when the kata were created, and study them.”– Shigeru Egami (founder of Shotokai Karate)
18.“You may train for a long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning Karate is not very different from learning a dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of Karate.” – Gichin Funakoshi
19. “Do not fall into the trap of thinking that just because a kata begins to the left that the opponent is attacking from the left.”– Kenwa Mabuni
21. “Whatever luck I had, I made. I was never a natural athlete, but I paid my dues in sweat and concentration and took the time necessary to learn Karate and become World Champion.” – Chuck Norris (American martial artist and actor. Also, the only man who has counted to infinity. Twice.)
22.“Karate cannot be adequately learned in a short space of time. Like a torpid bull, regardless of how slowly it moves, it will eventually cover a thousand miles. So too, for one who resolves to study Karate diligently two or three hours every day. After three or four years of unremitting effort one’s body will undergo a great transformation revealing the very essence of Karate.” – Anko Itosu (the grandfather of modern Karate)
23. “Karate may be referred to as the conflict within yourself, or a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training, and your own creative efforts.”– Shoshin Nagamine (founder of Matsubayashi-ryu Karate)
24. “A punch should stay like a treasure in the sleeve. It should not be used indiscrimately.” – Chotoku Kyan (pioneer of Shorin-ryu Karate)
25. “Karate is a very boring sport, but when you know the technique you can go further and further.” – Jean-Claude Van Damme (Belgian-American martial artist and actor)
26.“The techniques of kata have their limits and were never intended to be used against an opponent in an arena or on a battlefield.” –Choki Motobu
27. “No matter how you excel in the art of “Ti” (Okinawan precursor to Karate), and in your scholastic endeavors, nothing is more important than your behavior and humanity as observed in daily life.”–Junsoku Uekata (Confucian scholar), written in 1683!
28.“All kata use the so-called postures (kamae). In fact, there are many kinds of postures and many kinds of kata. While learning these postures should not be totally ignored, we must be careful not to overlook that they are just forms or templates of sort; it is the function of their application which needs to be mastered.” – Choki Motobu
29. “The ultimate goal in Karate is to defeat opponents in a real life-or-death situation”– Teruyuki Higa (pioneer of Okinawan Kempo Karate in USA)
30. “The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.”– Gichin Funakoshi
31. “There is no place in contemporary Karate for different schools. Some instructors, I know, claim to have invented new and unusual kata, and so they arrogate to themselves the right to be called founders of “schools”. Indeed, I have heard myself and my colleagues referred to as the Shotokan school, but I strongly object to this attempt at classification. My belief is that all these “schools” should be amalgamated into one, so that Karate may orderly progress into man’s future.”–Gichin Funakoshi
32. “Karate is a lifetime study.” – Kenwa Mabuni
Now, here’s what I want you to do:
Choose one of the above quotes.
Post it to your favorite social media (Twitter, Facebook, forums etc.)
And include a link back to this article (so people can read the other quotes too).
Because the purpose of knowledge is not to have it.
It’s to share it.
That’s when it turns to wisdom.
(And yes – you can quote me on that.)
Keep keepin’ it real!
Is Your Karate Dead or Alive?
10 Small Karate Pieces (pt. 2)
The Shiisa Dojo: A Pictorial Journey
August 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm
A quote from Tsuyoshi Chitose Sensei! Don’t see those every day. Where did this quote come from Jesse-san?
Thanks for chiming in Terry-san! I first encountered the Chitose quote through a collection of kata-related comments from various authorities, compiled and researched by Patrick McCarthy. It has been sitting on my HD forever!
Thank you, Jesse, a very enjoyable read! And here’s one more… “Our lives often get int eh way. Our careers, families and responsibilities come first. Our karate practice is more personal toward our development, and we must have a balance. Our body changes, sometimes due to injuries incurred during our younger training days. Therefore, the way we do our personal training has to adapt to these special circumstances. It would be stupid to do the same kind of training when you are 50 years old that you did when you were 25. We have to be smart enough to adapt the art to ourselves. That’s budo; that’s why karate-do is a way of life.” Alex Sternberg in Karate Masters 2 by Jose M Fraguas
“The purpose of knowledge is not to have it. It’s to share it. That’s when it turns to wisdom”. – Jesse Enkamp (notorious carrot cake fanatic)That works for ya? 😛 No seriously, this is beautiful, people who make such lists in the future should definitely quote you on that! 😉
hi Jesse,i have some further quotes for you:”We all have a little weakness in us. On the one way or another, we sometimes want something for free. But in the martial arts there is nothing for free. The rank, the progress, the status or the degree is achieved through hard work and dedication and can be maintained only through their steadiness. There is no shortcut, but only work, sweat and pain.” by Choshin Chibana”There are only a few differences between the Shorin styles, which are taught on Okinawa, but the Japanese styles derived from Shorin have changed a lot. Their kata have removed so far from the originals that the techniques have become virtually ineffective. But to maintain the correct shape is of the utmost importance.” by Katsuya Miyahira”As the techniques of Yamanni-Ryu are very different from those of other schools of Bojutsu, experience in another school may not be helpful, and may even be a hindrance. Diligent practice [in Yamanni-Ryu] produces the smooth, continuous, fluid movement that is the signature of the school, and the envy of all weapons enthusiasts.“ by Toshihiro Oshiro”Like the bare surface of a Lake everything reflects what’s in front of him, and like a quiet valley carries on even the weakest sound, the Karateka is to clean his mind from selfishness and malice, to in particular, which could meet him, to act appropriately. This is meant with KARA, or “Empty” in the Kara-te” by Gichin Funakoshi
“Nothing is more harmful to the world than a martial art that is not effective in actual self-defense.” – Choki MotobuWhile I think I understand the intent I can think of a boatload of more harmful things: serial killers, child molesters…
I think you’re gonna like one from Masutatsu Oyama too: “A shepherd has the duty of taking his cattle to the river everyday, but it’s up to the animal to drink the water.”Isobe-shihan wrote it here at South America Kyokushinkaikan Branch and credited it to Oyama-sosai.
Probably my all time favorite quote is by someone who didn’t have the decency to associate their name with it. ;-)”I am not afraid of the 1,000 techniques you know, but of the one technique you have practiced a 1,000 times.”~Unknown Shaolin Monk
Its easy to confuse. Motobu, Choki Soke called his book and his art early on Okinwan Kempo. Some people use the terms inter-changeably, especially here in the states. Grandmaster Ed Parker uses Kenpo, while many Hawaiian styles use Kempo. I am sure its important to the person, but also easily confused
Even though this isn’t from from one of these instructors, one of my favorite quotes is from an American karateka I have trained with, kyoshi Larry Mabson: ” you must practice with sincerity, practicality, and with the intent that these techniques will save your life if need be. While in your Dojo, push your partner and challenge them to rise your skills. The Dojo is the only place you can die and come back to life, so use it.”
12/06/2014″…The Dojo is the only place you can die and come back to life, so use it.”How true AND you can get your errors corrected immediately so a real-life situation does not do it ‘permanently’.Good advice.e
I was expecting to see this quote from Mas Oyama which I believe to be the most profound that I have ever read. What do you think???There are no secrets in Karate – at least none more profound than this” The only secret to skill and power in the martial arts is the sweat poured into daily demanding training. Train harder today than yesterday, harder tomorrow than today. Set goals along the way and do not allow the mind to fall into the belief that the body has limits. The mind leads the energy in the body and the energy leads the flesh. Only through demanding training will anyone ever achieve greatness in the martial arts.Mas Oyama
You can’t have awesome karate quotes without including Ed Parker. I’m not a kenpo stylist, but I do love some of his more famous quotes: “I come to you with only karate, empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my honor, or my principals, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then here are my weapons, karate, my empty hands.” and “There are no pure styles of karate. Purity comes only when pure knuckles meet pure flesh, no matter who delivers or receives.”
Sila is the daughter of late Thomas Maniwavie, one of the country’s pioneer scientist in Marine Biology.
The family resided at Bootless bay while Mr Maniwavie researched extensively around the bay and neighbouring Motuan coastlines along the Magi highway.
Sila as young as twelve would pack her dad’s under water writing pads and science apparatus and send her dad off to work in the morning.
While many dads use land transport to head back home, Sila would eagerly wait on Bootless Bay wharf for hers to arrive home by boat.
She would rinse off the equipment with fresh water and set them up for the next day adventure for her scientist dad and would hit the sack.
Not an obligatory exercise, but because she enjoyed it, something she was able to do at that age. Not the big complicated stuff like holding down the boat.
I’ve known Sila for nearly 30 years now, only girl child in the family of three. A real tom boy and has the neck of a real mafia.
No one messed with me in primary school, though we both petite, I was more timid and vulnerable. She off course was like a honey beaver shoving off big bully kids in school when they try me.
On school holidays, I would jet off to Magi Highway to spend holidays with Sila and family.
We roamed Bootless bay with Mr Maniwavie while he measured mangrove seedlings.
Sila and I would pick up old shells for decor purposes or tried new diving stunts on the wharf when tide is up while we wait for him.
Sila and I have deeper connection to the marine life and the sea was and is our element.
When we were in high school, Mr Maniwavie had a nasty fall, resulting in lower limb paralysis.
Sila as daddy’s girl was devastated, the whole family was. The lively, talkative and adrenaline junkie dad was reduced to a wheel chair.
In late 2008, Mr Maniwavie passed away. I cried like I was on meth. I couldn’t get over the news for days, I couldn’t console much as I was away in Madang.
I was crying over all the warm memories around Bootless bay and Motupore Island, but more so at the loss of my best friend’s beautiful bond with her dad.
Sila off course was composed and openly recieved the departure. She told me, “Don’t worry Bee, Dad was in so much pain. He’s gone to rest.”
The childhood memories of that simple seaside life that most of us city kids wouldn’t have the pleasure of knowing still visits me .
After Mr Maniwavie left our shores, Sila was renewed in his mission. She wanted to finish off her dad’s work of planting the seedlings her dad had in their backyard nursery.
She took up Marine Biology, graduated with her degree in 2011 completed her honours in 2012 and went on to continue planting the seedlings.
Sila secured some climate adaptation funds and guess who she called up to cover her awareness and education program. Me off course. You can only imagine my joy!
Watching her present the seedlings to visiting delegates at the event was more of a special moment. Standing at the exact spot her dad used to kneel down when naming mangrove species.
Sila is now in her first year of a three year masters program at James Cook University under the Australian Aid Awards Scholarship.
Her work took her around the world and to all maritime provinces in the country, and landed her some funding to continue her dad’s passion and love for the marine life. She also took out the Young Wespect Women Awards 👍
I have great admiration and love for this sister.
Much respect to those who continue the good work in saving our environment, including my very own Sila the sea saver.
Among the backdrop of high infant and maternal deaths in Papua New Guinea, the survival of a set of triplets and their mother has brought a ray of hope to health workers and rural villagers.
Two days before Good Friday, 23-year-old Rose Arbias from Semega village in the Eastern Highlands, gave birth to a set of triplets.
With no road access and no medical facilities able to warn her, she went into full term without knowing she was going to bear triplets.
The only medical expertise she could draw on was from Sota Paiyo, a village birth attendant trained by Australian NGO, Care.
“She gave birth to three babies in the bush all by herself without assistance,” said Paiyo. “Then she came and got us.”
Apart from making Rose and the babies comfortable, there was little Paiyo could do. The placenta was still in Rose’s belly and if it was not removed with professional help, she would develop complications and die.
What followed was a rush to convey the information of the condition of the mother and babies the babies and to pass on the approximate location of a village not located on maps or GPS systems.
It took at least a day and a half before, the message reached health authorities in the Eastern Highlands. A request for a medevac was sent to Manalos Aviation in Lae – the company tasked with conducting medical evacuations in the Obura-Waninara District.
In Lae, the the job of finding the location and planning the rescue fell to the Chief Pilot, Jurgen Ruh, a veteran of 30 years who has flown multiple rescues into in some of the most difficult terrains in Papua New Guinea.
“It was very difficult. We had to do a lot of research about the villages that were closest to their village.”
After a full day of planning, it was now up to Jurgen Ruh and the medical team led by medevac nurse, Pendek Sitong, to make sure, the mother and babies were brought out alive.
“This job is very different,” said Pendek Sitong, who recently joined the Manalos team.
“On the ground, things a different. When you are up there, there are so many uncertainties.
“You have to stabilize the patient and take into account many other factors you don’t have to deal with on the ground.”
At 6am on Good Friday, the lone chopper, headed to remote Eastern Highlands in search of a mother and three babies in need of help. Sometimes, rescues don’t always go to plan, but for this one, everything was executed with precision.
“We were lucky,” said Jurgen Ruh, “The weather was kind and we found the village.”
As the chopper retuned to Lae, it was all hands on deck for the staff at Manalos Aviation. The trusty village birth attendant, Soto Paiyo, stepped out of the chopper carrying one of the bilums with the babies. The other two, in another bilum were taken to the small hanger as Pendeck Sitong and her team, wheeled Rose into the waiting ambulance.
“This is a jackpot!” Pendek said in between excited. “Usually we rescue one baby. For this trip, we got THREE!”
A little over a month later, on the day they were going to be discharged, Jurgen, who had been keeping me updated on the progress since the rescue, sent an SMS at 11pm saying: “2of the triplets have fallen ill and will remain in hospital for two weeks..”
The return trip was been cancelled. For the Manalos staff and many others, who has supported the triplets, Rose and Soto, their survival hung on the nurses and doctors at Angau Hospital and on the many prayers and wishes for their recovery.
Pendek, medevac nurse and unsung her was at her usual station when we went to get an update. She was reflective.
“I don’t want them to become statistics,” she said. “If I have a skill I can use to help others, what good is it, if I keep it to myself?”
At least two weeks after that interview, the babies got the OK to return home and his time Jurgen Ruh, knew where to fly to.
On the way to Semega village, the helicopter stopped by in Yonki to pick up another passenger, Obura-Waninara MP, Mera Kipefa. Last year, the scientist-cum-politician made a decision to use district funds to pay for medical evacuations into isolated communities. He was attacked by critics who said the decision was politically motivated and was too expensive.
“Sometimes, mothers and children die because they can’t get to a hospital,” he said. “For the people help like this is very important. It saves lives.”
At Semega, the whole village turned up. Men, women and children in traditional attire, came out to welcome Rose and her three babies.
While the crowd gathered in the village circle, Soto Paiyo, the brave village birth attendant, who took care of the triplets and spent more than a month away from home, broke down in tears as her six-year-old son hugged her.
This time your leave us for the Ramu forever. May you take that mighty dugout of yours and paddle steadily on your journey.
I see you with that dirty white t-shirt with the sleeves cut out. That’s Poin. Bare footed… But this time, without a care. Unburdened. Untroubled by the pains of this world.
I write this not as an obituary. For your passing is insignificant. What is death anyway for a warrior of the Ramu and defender of Melanesian land? It is but a passage to another life.
I write this as a celebration of your life, Mr. Chairman. I choose to think about Poin Casper – the funny, the serious, the passionate and the fighter.
I choose to think about the fun moments and conversations.
You never liked tinned fish. So the guys would make an effort, or so they told me, to buy Ox & Palm or tulip on patrols. (Talk about being picky, phew!). You never minced your words. Always direct. Always honest and blunt.
There is no other guy I know who, in the heat of the moment, could say “F##king a##holes!” with such force and cause the foundations of Waigani and the MCC HQ to rattle and shake. That was always a classic line… and I waited for it before I burst out laughing.
You are a bloody crazy dude! And I mean crazy of the highest order.
To others, you were a guy who talked a lot about things that “should be left alone.” Unwavering in your resolve. You challenged community leaders to look beyond the money and the cargo. Sometimes, there was a hint of insecurity… about what to do… what to say. But you always found a way.
Today, through the people who worked and lived with you as your family and friends, We see your spirit and determination.
We still have a lot of work to do, our Warrior brother from the Ramu. But you can rest easy knowing that whatever you could have said to the young people trained, you have said. And what you want to say, We will continue to say for you.