Woke up at 6:15 hearing the lovely sounds of the nearby bird population. So I recorded it!
I killed 2 mosquitos that found their way into my room and applied suntan lotion then deet. The nozzle broke off my deet so now I just dump it into my hand and apply it that way. It\’s more efficient but it gets my hands gross, so I wash them thoroughly afterwards.
Got ready and hit breakfast. First course lots of fruit. I told the waitress that I didn\’t want much more so I opted for a two boiled eggs and a single piece of toast. Had a mount Hagan coffee and local juice which looked like orange juice but definitely was not oj.
We head out via Jeep to the boat. The muddy stairs leading to the house are actually more solid than I expected after last night\’s rain.
Plantsonia tree – used for firewood only, it\’s the huge trees found on the side of the river, you\’ll see it in my photos
The river is not deep. Maybe 6-10 feet deep. It\’s the dry season, so that\’s understandable.
The name of our boat driver is julian
First tribe is the karaim tribe, which is also the name of the language – it\’s Paul\’s tribe so I better watch myself. Yamas is the village same.
Some pidgeon language to remember.
Youmigo = let\’s go
Oh (with a hand wave) = bye
Hello = hello
We were greeted by the tribe and made our way to the grass open arena. The arena was surrounded by souvenirs \”artifacts\”, which Rosanna wanted to look at right away. I told her we should do a quick sweep then purchase afterwards. It took too long anyway.
The tribe danced in a circular pattern each with quite interesting body paint and outfits. It was fun!
After I bought a crocodile wooden statue whose base is a different croc that shared the same tail. Souvenir was 20 kina ($6)
I also looked at a bigger bird statue which looked cool, it was 10 kina but I passed. This is only the first stop for me. Thanks to Rosanna i actually shopped and found something to buy because I took my time.
Next up the spirit house, only men allowed, but female tourists are also allowed in. Yes there\’s still sexism in the remote jungle of png. Inside the men were wearing costumes and singing and dancing and playing music – drums, flute, and more. It was neat. The walls were covered in story pieces that were even in the ceiling. The stories were not connected but each was it\’s own singular story. Perhaps this is how they remember their history and fables without books.
I noted one was a drawing of a man with an extremely long penis and laughed. My guide said he\’d tell me the story later. They\’re were some kind of porny looking stuff in there which may explain the men only rule
Next we entered a locals house. We took the ladder up the stilt house and entered. The floor payed between my feet as I took each step, but I was not concerned about falling through for the most part. I avoided the areas that had holes in them. Inside it was dark, there were a few men in they\’re to greet us who I couldn\’t immediately see.
They actually had 1 big room to house 3 large families (grandparents and uncles included) and had a fire pit in the middle, party of the floor and made from the same material. There were two additional \”rooms\” one was a living room and one was an outdoor patio space. The home would only last 10 years due to the \”white ants\” which are termites. The floor is made our of palm and sago tree. The ceiling was Palm.
Then we headed to lunch we were going through a lake when our vehicle got stuck. The team jumped in the water and unstuck us in about 20 minutes. We had lunch on Yimas lake. I saw a bunch of birds including one of my old favorites – the egret. We seemed to navigate the lake for a long time and eventually anchored for lunch.
After lunch we found out that the third spot was skipped because they thought it was too shallow to get through to the weavers.
We were both upset that we weren\’t even told at the time that decision was made and we took it up with them. Rosanna is a sport and said she\’d wade through the water for a bit to visit the tribe. I said I would too and we eventually negotiated a return to that spot.
There may be some walking in knee deep water so I empty my pockets into my bag and move my money out of my wallet into the hidden zipper pocket of my pants. I move my phone to my shirt pocket which is surprisingly deep and prepare to zip off the bottom of my pants to convert them to shorts.
But water walking isn\’t required as somehow the water rose since we were last here! Or they just didn\’t realize they could get through it.
The Weaver time is still the yamas tribe, it\’s the main part of the village which had a bunch of buildings. They showed us how they weave the baskets, but it was a little off. Each weaving step appeared behind a set of goods available for purchase. I got a little parrot for 9 kina ($3) and a bracelet for 10 ($3.33). This makes me wish I got that bird for 10 kina at the first stop.
Afterwards we are told that we needed to skip the final stop of the day, which would be a skeleton people. Rosanna and I negotiate to ensure that we will see it tomorrow.
Touring days start at 9:00 a.m. and end by 5:00 p.m.
Villages on the water have one thing in common, kids swimming excitedly towards our boat trying to wave and get our attention. They run on the shores to best match the speed we are going and continueally try to get our attention. It\’s cute and funny.
I realize how light my bag is and how much Rosanna is buying and how heavy it is and I realized that I shouldn\’t hold back as much I should purchase more if I like something cuz it\’s cheap and I\’ll never see it again. I should not be concerned in regards to weight of my bags on the plane I\’ll figure something out, plus I am way underweight.
Dinner was good, the birders opened up a bit and the man was excited to show us some of his pictures. They were ok. The woman looks tired of birding so I suggested that she should join me in lake Murray on the last day for a cultural tour. She seemed to like the idea, we will see
It\’s still humid. Tonight I\’m prepping for tomorrow by trying not to get any more mosquito bites and laying out my clothes beforehand. I did a was of one set of my clothes so that will probably be what I wear