Papua New Guinea

Country #72

Moresby's rolling hills,
Rough edge of Melanesia,
Uncertain future.

In September 2016, I made a brief trip to Port Moresby for a day or so. Of course, clearly not long enough to get to know Papua New Guinea, or even the capital city. I must admit I was extremely nervous about visiting, because I had heard so many scary stories of attacks, robberies, hold-ups - usually at gun-point. Of course, PNG isn't always that bad, no doubt. But it's very sad to hear all of this, especially having visited while I was living in another Melanesian country, Vanuatu, and seeing just how much the security situation affects every day life in PNG, having to think about where to go, what to bring with you, and how to stay safe.

But luckily (or naturally) I faced no problems during my short stay. Port Moresby is a large city for Pacific standards, and it reminded me a lot of Abuja, Nigeria, because of its wide roads, malls, construction work, and modern buildings mixed with shanty towns (highlighting the enormous gulf between rich and poor). However Port Moresby is much more hilly, and when you're up on one of the hills the views down over the rest of the city are excellent. I visited a lovely cafe at the Harbourside in Town, and also spent a short while at the Nature Park which was very relaxing. I'm glad to have seen even a tiny bit of PNG, not least to compare it to the other Melanesian countries, but I hope the security situation one day can be resolved - it sure won't be easy though.