When you live so far away in a foreign country, away from home and families, you feel isolated and lonely. But it is always exciting to return home and it gives you a sense of family connectedness.
Sometimes, it is hard to find where to start when you have been away so long from home. It has been almost 4 years ago since I last returned back home to my village in Papua New Guinea. For the last 30 years I have been away living abroad, I have only come back about ten times to visit my families. Every time I have returned there has been always changes. We live in a time of profound changes and challenges – economic, environmental, political and social. These then creates a change in our lifestyle or standard of living. The most ominous of these changes is the impact of the ageing which I have seen my mother, aunties, uncles and cousins have changed, including me. For many others – including children are sure to face it in years to come.
It was time for me to take a flight back home to Port Moresby international airport. I was totally filled with joy, excitement and most of all, I couldn’t wait to see everyone. Though, it was only a short flight from Cairns, the flight seems like eternity to me. Finally, as I stepped out of the automated exit door I was greeted by my family members. I felt that, I have come home at last. As we headed towards our waiting vehicle, I could see the changes all around the place. We then, headed out of the airport to the main city roads, I could see and sense the smell of uninviting atmosphere. It looked to me, most of the places were a dumping ground. The streets were crowded with people, public buses were very unsafe for public transportation and the pot-holes on the road were eminent. I felt like, I was on a dirt corrugated road in the outback of Australia. After few hours on the road, I became immune to the bumpy and swaying of the vehicle. I thought to myself, this is certainly, a very unsafe place to come for a vacation on my own without knowing anyone. However, my main priority was to visit my families both living in the city of Port Moresby and back home in the village.
As we got onto the main road – Magi Highway, it was the direction where we headed home to Inuma village. I could see the vast changes along the way. Inuma village is located within the Rigo District in the Central Province, south-east of Port Moresby. Historically, the villagers at Inuma were part of a larger community based in Alepa village, which is south-east of the town of Kwikila.