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Doomed in Goroka


Another morning dawns on us in Goroka. Usual warm weather, and usual sun up at 6am. Saw it come up cause I was already coughing my guts out before dawn. Rachel was up as well, how can you sleep when someone coughs like I do most mornings!

Because of the strong antibiotics and the ventolin I can sleep the entire night. It was going to be a good day today, I felt it in my bones. But my lungs were after a ventolin hit with the noisy nebuliser.

Made my way to the lounge to start up the nebuliser, maybe Rachel can get some more sleep in if I don’t do it in the bedroom. I turn on my new Triple J Loud Compilation CD at moderately low volume. Just loud enough to hear over the nebuliser’s sound. Yelling from the bedroom reminded me that Rachel does not appreciate Tumbleweeds and the Mark of Cain first thing in the morning (any time of the day!).

Rachel looked at the clock and raced out of bed: ‘Pitti is coming! Gotta go to the airport!’
A dog coming from Wewak was flying in today, its owners had to ‘go pinis’ and we volunteered to look after their dog for a few years….

We raced to the airport bleary eyed, down the atrociously pot-holed dirt road from North Goroka burbs into Goroka town, a mere 2kms. The airstrip is virtually in town. There we sat in the car waiting for the little plane to land. Bored in the car Rachel wondered what it was like to get burned with a car cigarette lighter, and pushed it onto my lower thumb flesh not thinking it could be hot. It was hot. She was surprised I got upset at her for burning me!

Adrenaline in my blood I shoved the car into first, second third, and a minute later we were home where I dunked my hand in the dogs water bowl on the driveway under the pole house. When the pain receded I got back in the car with a still stunned Rachel and we went back to the airport (see photo of arrival hall below!).

It took another 10 minutes there before we realised the plane was not due till noon, morning panic on our behalf. We retreated back to our safe and secure guarded compound to enjoy the rest of the morning.

Power is of a poor quality here. 240V is a little much to expect at the best of times, and spikes are not uncommon. I now had time to unpack the new $100 protective power-board for the computer and plug it in. In the process I hit my head on the corner of the draw under the desk with fierce force. It is amazing just how hard tropical hardwood is when it hits you on the skull. My new round burn mark on the arm was temporarily forgotten.

Pitti, the dog, arrived just fine at lunchtime; it came complete with rags, bowl and $80 for its de-sexing. I now recall sticking the money in my short’s rear pocket, but never saw it again. Pitti fortunately got on well with the other two resident de-sexed dogs and Astro the cat. Mintok the 6 months old stray cat with litter was hiding in our laundry. One of its two out of three remaining kittens was ill and dying. We had a work meeting scheduled, but we postponed it for now.

Steve my neighbour came over to tempt me into a game of squash. I went and not only lost 3-0, 3-0 and 3-2, but also scraped my knee as I slid on the floor in my valiant attempt at returning the ball.

Burnt, scraped, beat, broke and lump on the head I decided not to push my luck. Back to the ventilator, another antibiotic and an early night!

Over 'n out.


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Goroka Mudman