People and Infrastructure

Landed at Port Moresby airport a little before twelve noon Sunday 14th April 2019; my first trip to the nation of Papua New Guinea was greeted with heat just as I was told it would be. On our way to our billet I was impressed with the infrastructure. As I compare with Fiji and other pacific nations, I quickly come to the conclusion that Papua New Guinea is more advanced in their roads and ongoing development evident in what we saw on the way.
Another unavoidable aspect that cannot be ignored is the people; how they are dressed, the manner in which they treat the environment. Their streets are littered with empty cans and papers, together with unmistakable red stains that coloured their streets. Worth mentioning the red stains comes people spitting out beetle nut juice after chewing of what is recognised as a nation past time activity. Recent study has proven that the practise causes mouth cancer. However people still insist on the habit.
Increase in crime is also a concern to the government. People who come from the rural and interior for a better life find themselves with no employment and resort to crime for survival. Clearly there is big gap between the rich and poor. I put the question to a local to tell me how local millionaires attain their wealth. He said that if one wants to be a millionaire; one needs to be a minister in the government. This was evident when we observe minister’s property; acres of fortified located in the vicinity of the CBD; should they be resold demands three times more than the current price.
Suddenly I realised the infrastructure, no matter how impressive and advanced it may be, cannot improve the attitude and lifestyle of the people. While the infrastructure is developed outward from the surface, the people are developed from inside out.
This encapsulates the reason I was there in the first place. In Port Moresby, I await the arrival of six church ministers from Fiji Monday morning 15th April 2019. On Tuesday the group flew one and a half hours to the province of Ennga in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, for the ensuing Christian Crusade held in the Tsar Valley in the village of Londo. People walked for miles to the meeting place. Children come and touch, looked up and down as if we come from a place unlike theirs.
For a start I struggle to understand why a country rich in minerals, agricultural resources, have people so poor compared to other pacific island nations. I can only compare the nation of Fiji with the nation of Papua New Guinea. Being from Fiji myself, I realised the difference is Christianity came to Fiji first before any infrastructural development began; Papua New Guinea led with infrastructure before the development of people through Christian teachings. I am glad to say that it gives great pleasure to know that my trip to Papua New Guinea as a Christian missionary hopefully plays a little part in the development of people.
To god be the glory.

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