I wake up sticky from the humidity in my bed at 5am. The mosquito netting held up overnight, I didn\’t go under the covers to avoid the heat.
Killed a few mosquitos after applying deet. Watched the sunrise and prepared for my day.
Breakfast at 8am – fruit and a small omlette. I specifically asked for a small breakfast with a one egg omlette.
I talk to our guide about the day and highlight that we want to see every tribe and that we needed to organize around that – I talked to him because of the issues experienced the day prior. He said that we would have lunch at the lodge and I said no, let\’s have it on the boat. I\’m fact I could skip lunch if it helps us to see every tribe.
9am – scheduled departure time. The Jeep is not at the lodge so I walk with Rosanna down to the boat. At 9:20 or guide joins us.
The first tribe we see is the mongimai tribe also known as konmai village.
Hello = me va
Here we watch a fishing demonstration.
Each boat has a different portion of fishing. Each person is wearing face paint and leaves as body decorations. This group of local boys, naked of course, follow is down the river as we watch their tribe catch, kill, clean and cook the fish for the tribe from our boat.
It was interesting to watch. They actually caught fish whole we were watching and were preparing lunch or dinner. The photos are really neat.
Now we head to their village.
I see balls for sling shots made from mud. They aren\’t too heavy and are still a bit soft. Inside the home, the floor is more solid than yesterdays hut floor and they\’re is only one room. They are actively cooking sago and fish inside the one room house. The girls cooking were away for a month at town selling some goods.
I see a depiction of the story of the man with an extended penis from yesterday in the hut. It made me laugh, I feel in on the joke. It seems to come up often in Papua New Guinea
Outside there was a little market place. I reminded Rosanna that we needed to be faster so that we could see everything today
I bought a big flute with a top that looked like mask from the front and a bird from the side. Neato. 25 kina which is about $7
Back on the boat we inspect it for maggots, there are none!
Beyond this tribe the river turns into a black swamp where the crocodiles live. We are not going there which I\’m actually surprised about.
Next up konmai tribe, the river is now named konmai too.
We see the victory dance. Hunting, etc. Upon the Killing if an evil person, the persons body is placed outside of the spirit hut and their body was eaten. Then they do this dance where they sing and then walk in a circle men before women in interesting costumes and makeup with music.
This is the wood carving tribe. We learn how they carve the wood, first by hitting it with a makeshift pickaxe, then smoothing the sides with other tools. Then coloring it with mud.
Here a bought a full crocodile. I should note that it was the second smallest that they had but the carvings were quite nice. It was 20 kina, about $6.
It\’s 12:30, had we done the skull tribe yesterday, this day would be over! That\’s crazy early.
Instead we are headed to the skull tribe.
On the way over we continue to see naked boys running to match our boat speed our digging into the water to get closer to us, on the side of the river. Then we see a bush shaking, they\’re trying to get our attention. They just want to wave to us and see us look at them. We all wonder why we don\’t see many girls, I mean beyond the sexism, our guide says that they are shy and stay inside work their mothers.
Alum black village – larger tribe from the hold to the villages on the river. Village name Tanganbit
\”Rattan\” are the vines used in the village for the following tradition.
When people used to die they would remove the brain using the vine to pull it out, and make the brains into human brain soup. Men also liked eating womans breasts with cinnamon and other spices.
We saw stack of skulls, about 6 in total, that were the town founders. The building itself was a spirit house being torn down due to termites \”white ants\”.
They were in the process of building a new one.
Then we went to the village where there were a number of curious people. Our guide was telling is about the town then pointed over a log bridge saying that we wouldn\’t be able to cross it. At which point both myself and Rosanna said we would cross. All of the curious faces looking at me, I was about to cross the log when I waved them to come with us. They were suddenly very happy and excited followed me across the log and for the rest of our time there.
The ENTIRE village was following me! So I interacted a bit more by talking to them and showing them their faces in my camera. Then I took some photos of all of us.
Meanwhile we learned about how they make the roof tops for each building. Since it was a large town they even had a church, which interested Rosanna more than me so I exited earlier than her. I saw a man with a sling shot around his neck and pointed to it. We chatted briefly about the shot, which I had seen drying earlier.
Then he demonstrated how to shoot it at birds.
Then he wanted me to try, after a brief tutorial I shot my first slingshot. It went straight and far the whole village was in awe. These sling shots are made to kill birds and other small creatures and aren\’t just toys they are a weapon to hunt with.
Then we headed back to the boat, again the entire town followed me and were quite interested in me. This time I crossed the log without any support and jumped off triumphantly.
I shook hands with a few people I met early on, said goodbye to everyone and hopped into the boat, after a walking down a muddy pathway.
It was nice to have a fun interaction with the locals.
Back at the lodge at 3:30.
Rosanna and I look over our purchases. She said she went a bit overboard and is nearly out of kina. I offer to convert some of it for her because I have too much Kina anyway. We will do the deal at dinner.
In the room, it\’s hot and humid. Everyday I\’ve been here it\’s been like this so I sat down and watched the sunset while fighting off mosquitos leaving a shower for after dinner. Tonight I need to pack instead for s tomorrow\’s flight to lake Murray, an even more remote part of Papua New Guinea.
Dinner is good, the sauce is the same, delicious. The main course is meat of some kind.
I learn that we are leaving at 8am tomorrow to make a 9am flight. This time there are going to be 9 people on board. *I only remember 8 seats on the plane!
After dinner I shower them go to sleep around 9pm. It could be related to the despite to be under the mosquito net to avoid applying another round of deet.