Package tour

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Oceania » Papua New Guinea
November 23rd 2003
Published: September 3rd 2005EDIT THIS ENTRY


Without a package
PNG - News #5 - Package tour

"There are two types of tourists: those who go on packages and those who package the tour as they go."


The tour is packaging me. Last weekend Valia (my previous housemate see PNG News # 3 and now we are neighbours) returned from Port Moresby. She met the ‘who’s who’ in PNG media.
8:07 am She shows up at my door to say we are hiking Mt. Nobanob. Martjn a VSO volunteer from the Netherlands arranged the trip.
8:15 am I am in the back of Tibo’s 4 wheel pickup truck with Giselle a French Canadian CUSO worker most recently from 10 years in the Yukon and Doug from Brockville, Ontario working in Goroka, Eastern Highlands. The Highlands has about 60% of the 5 million people in the country and it is famous for the colourful mountains people and brutal tribal paybacks. He works for an expat governor of the province.
8:55 am Mumo, Napoleon and a crew of six young men take us through their gardens down to the stream and then up to their scenic hut on top of the mountain. Our lack of planning meant we were short food and water. Our host/guides picked coconuts and bananas.
2:37 pm Drinking coconut juice called “kulau” never tasted so
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Qualitative research
good. We were served lunch on the top of the mountain. It was a great exhausting day.
4:15 pm We return to the truck to find it decorated in this wonderful traditional way. A branch is split off many times to produce fine string like pieces and flowers are tied to each piece. It is lovely and smells so sweet.
5:41 pm We swim in Tibo’s boss house to get clean (there had been a whole lot of falling in the mud)
7:30 pm We eat our pancake dinner at the house. Tibo is working for a vanilla bean company in France. He is helping farmers produce better quality beans for this new cash crop. (It is literally the flavour of the month because of last year’s draught in Madagascar.)

Maquerite’s quote that I began with actually comes from the distinction he was making between quantitative and qualitative research. In qualitative research the theory or hypothesis are not established a priori. This is relevant to describing my reality in PNG. Remember I’m at a university. This country attracts anthropologists for example Margaret Mead and Bronislaw Malinowski. For the last 2 weeks we had a medical anthropologist teaching qualitative research
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to medical staff and Divine Word University instructors. Dr. Lawrence Hammars’ research with female prostitutes in Manus Island is attempting to penetrate the use of condoms. We do already know that they are used for fishing. Handing out condoms is easy, the puzzle is when, how and with whom are they being used. How might we influence the current practice? There are many HIV/AIDS awarness campaigns and it is difficult to determine their impact. Although you come across boys with the Christian name of Condom.

Development work is inconclusive. How is it different from colonalization or rather territorialization? From missionary work? It is no wonder that development agencies around the globe are rethinking how they can have impact.

These pictures represent qualitative research techniques, asking people to draw and label parts of their sex organs. To say that Papua New Guineans are shy people, who become embarrassed to talk about sex is an understatement. This is a stereotype that I have seen supporting evidence. While watching movies with the university students, they begin to laugh nervously in each love scene. They become very uncomfortable when a couple shows affection for each other. This situation only occurs with
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whites; as here same sex friends are the only people that show affection by holding hands.


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