Monday, October 15, 2007

Bubu Anna and Cousin Taube visit Alotau

Mums Anna Nilkare

Kaure's paternal grandma or Bubu Anna came over for his birthday along with Kaure's little cousin sister Taube (Rob's younger brother JJ and Anna Usurup's daughter). They both ended up staying with us for about a week. Mums Anna, as she's affectionately known, was quite content, as long as she had her supply of buai (betel nut), she was happy. It was her first time to spend quality time with her grandson since he was born, so both she and Taube got to know Kaure a bit better and vice versa.
If you can't find an umbrella, grab a banana leaf!
Mums Anna,Little Taube Nilkare and Rosita William
Jamon Simpson- " Max, This banana leaf is so not cool!"

There were some hilarious moments. Taube speaks only tok pisin (Pidgin English) while Kaure speaks only English so watching them communicate was priceless! Taube, although younger than Kaure, has a very strong personality and is quite vocal. She had no qualms in telling Kaure off if she wasn't happy with him, and even though he didn't understand a word she said, he responded right back in English. By the the end of the week Kaure had started saying some pidgin phrases like " Mi les!" and Taube was also saying some English words like "Enough Talking!".
Brekky time for Taube and Kaure-one minute they're smiling,
the next they're scowling!
Taube is just adorable, at 2 years of age she's a little Sine-bada (old woman), very independent with a cheeky streak. I don't think Kaure knew quite how to handle her. After much squabbling though, by the end of the week, they were best of friends.
All dressed up at Gurney Airport

They look so cute!
(L-R) Patty Sinyoi with Taube,Lucy at the back,Mums and Maxine

It was lovely having them over. Both Kaure and I enjoyed their company and I know my friends and family really took to Mums Anna. She's very down to earth, open and I think she enjoyed the change of scenery after being in Moresby all the time. She's already made plans to return soon. I've suggested that perhaps the next time she visits, Kaure and I might take her swimming and snorkelling at our village on Sariba Is.
"Yeah Daddy, Bubu Mums is coming on da plane now,
can you pick her up at da airport?
A tearful Mums Anna saying final good byes to her bubu.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kaure's 3rd Birthday Party

Kaure and friends, preparing to blow out the candles.

Each year we try to do something a little different for Kaure's birthday. When he was born, his father (Robert Nilkare) would buy a muffin from Andersons Foodland in Moresby (they have the best muffins in Pom). We'd put a candle on it and sing Happy Birthday to him when he was just a week old, two weeks old and so on until he was a few months old.

The cake from Alotau Int'l Hotel

On his first birthday (we'd already moved to Alotau) I held a small party for him at Wanigili with close friends and family and as usual cooked waaay too much food with the help of our fantastic chef Richie. First birthday's being a big deal,his father had to do it the "Chimbu" way and hosted a HUGE party at Bluff Inn, Port Moresby.We flew to Pom for the event. Rob must have invited about a hundred people (most were his side of the family and numerous friends), then there was the live band, coke bouncing castle, two huge pigs and lots of food. We must have brought back 7 rainbow bags full of nothing but Kaure's presents. We were still opening them by X-mas! So yes, being the only child of the first born son of the Nilkares , he is spoilt (especially by his father who lives in Pom and rarely sees him). One of the many things Rob and I differ in is that with him it's all about excess whereas for me, I like to keep things simple and uncomplicated.

Mum and all the young Aunties put on a feast!

Kaure's second birthday was a more intimate affair at Napatana Lodge. It was a lovely day, the Napatana staff did a wonderful job with catering, and decorating the place. They really took care of us and Kaure had his little play mates over. I baked the cake,his father also turned up. No pigs this time! Just a normal kids party with party hats, games and finger food of course there was wine and beer for the adults too. We even had Alotau's "local celebrity" Habona turn up.

Robert's mother-Bubu Mums Anna flew in from Moresby along

Kaure's little cousin sister Taube for his party.

This year, I booked Island Adventure Tours (IAT)Recreation Park at Divinai (@ 25 mins drive out of Alotau). We packed all of Kaure's pals into the IAT van and drove them out to the park which is on the beach front. It was a cloudy day but we managed to cross the rivers without too much drama and despite a little bit of rain, the weather cleared and everyone had a ball. Here are the photos......Next year, my Uncle's already suggested we have Kaure's b/day at Sariba Is. (where I'm from). That'll be interesting.....maybe we'll hire a boat and do a camp out with all his pals on the island.....hmmm.....20 screaming kids on a 2 hour boat ride?.....then again maybe not!We'll see.

Jessica Ellis & Buta Chris
Uncle Ben and Nimrod caught in the rain.
Dad playing cricket with the boys.
Father and son.
Ariel,Javier & Zuriel digging into ice-cream.

Dad showing the ropes to Kaure and Buta Lani.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Miss Milne Bay girls photo shoot

Miss Milne Bay- Gabrielle Ova and
Vivien Norris (Miss Masurina)

After Gabrielle Ova was crowned "Miss Milne Bay 2007", (for more on the crowning night,please scroll down) Jean and I decided to arrange a photo shoot to feature the swimwear that I designed for our Recycled Clothing label- "RAGS2RICHES". PNG Women love to go second hand shopping,Jean and I are no exception, however we've decided to take our passion for SH shopping a bit further and start making our own garments using second hand
materials,especially denim and jazzing them up with bits of fabric,buttons,sequins etc.

Currently we design for women and are making recycled denim skirts,jeans and bags with plans to do more. For the crowning night, we decided to design swimwear using second jeans and skirts. The jeans were cut up,bleached and printed using contemporary Milne Bay designs. They were a hit on the night.

On a Sunday afternoon, we picked up a few of the Miss Milne Bay contestants including Miss Milne Bay herself-Gabby. We took a drive towards Eats Cape and pulled into a secluded beach to take the shots. Our mate Sean who was visiting from Oz jumped at the opportunity to be photographer for the day. The girls were natural and we all had fun........check it out.

Gabby in a one piece suit featuring
traditional Milne Bay bagi and lime
Margie in bright blue one piece suit Vivien in blue bikini & matching sarong Julie,Margie,Gabby & Vivien
Rags2Riches also designs Casual Wear
inlcuding bags like this one made from
a pair of jeans.

On the night of the Miss MB Crowning,

we also promoted education & literacy in

PNG by printing educational messages on t-shirts.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I'm a BIG BOY now! (Kaure turns 3)

Yaaaay! It's my betdey!
Mi an Aunty Lucy, my baby sita.

I can wid a book aaall by myself

I can bake biskets too!

My betday was on Thursday 16 August. I was 3 yias old, so now I’m a BIG BOY!
On my betday my Mummy cooked me my spesol bwekfast and my Daddy came fwom Pot Mosbi in da big plane. I was weely happy det Daddy came to see me. Daddy bought me my wota pistols and lots of pwesents!

On my betday Daddy and Mummy took me to Alotau Intanesonal Hotel and we ate dinner deya. Daddy bought my favewit….. PWAANS! I love pwans!

Afta da pwans I ate ICE CREAM!! YUMMY!!

Daddy got me stwabewee ice cweam. Dets me an mummy.

Mummy's lookin' a bit spak fwom da wine!

My stomach was weely weely full afta dat. I was playing monsta monsta wid Daddy

and biting his nose off! Haa haaa…… My Daddy’s making funny monsta faces!
I like playing wid my Daddy
I’m always happy when Daddy comes home to visit me!

Mummy tinks I'm going to look like dis

when I'm a big man like Daddy!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Miss Milne Bay Crowning Night!

Article in Post Courier-Wednesday 8th August '07
The newly crowned "Miss Milne Bay 2007"-
Miss Gabrielle Ova (Miss Education)

The contestants with outgoing Queen Mimousa Mark &

current Miss PNG-Genevieve Robert in the background.

A few months ago, I was approached by the Red Cross to help with designing some of the Casual Wear and Swim wear garments for The Red Cross Miss Milne Bay Quest Crowning Night which was held on Saturday 4th August at Masurina Lodge. I jumped at the opportunity having no idea what I was getting myself into and with the assistance of my good friends Jeanie Callister,Aila Nabwakuleia, a few screen printers, seamstresses and anyone else who was around to help, we put together the hottest fashion show ever to be seen at a crowning night in Milne Bay!(Well, I’d like to think so anyway!!)

It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. We designed 12 garments in total for Casual Wear and Swim Wear under the label " Rags2Riches". There were only 6 contestants so at least it wasn’t too much of a load. I love working with denim, It’s durable, always in fashion and looks great torn or tailored. Rags2Riches by JAM is the inspiration of three Milne Bay women-Jean Callister,Aila Nabwakuleia and myself. Rags2Riches is all about recycled fashion. We love nothing more than to buy worn out old jeans and make them into something more exciting.

As The National Book Week was held in the second week of August, we decided to create clothing with a message and to promote education and literacy in PNG. It was also an opportunity for us to create a bit of awareness for The Milne Bay Book Drive, something Australian AYAD Volunteer Jane McKenzie and I initiated before she left us in March this year . We’re basically sourcing new and used books from Australia and distributing them to schools around Milne Bay. With over 500 registered schools in the province, it’s a big task, but one we’re passionate about. Currently we have a lot of books in storage in
Australia (Sydney,Brisbane,) and we need to raise funds to ship them up here. To date we have received over 1,000 books and have distributed to 19 different schools (Elementary,Primary & High Schools) in the province.

So many schools in the province and throughout the country have limited resources and access to basic tools for learning such as books, stationary even desks and classrooms! All this does little to inspire children to develop a thirst for knowledge and to stay in school.

Miss Raven Estates-Margie modelling one of our

revamped denim jackets.

Our Casual Wear clothes featured a funky range of revamped denim skirts and jeans that were made from second hand jeans and skirts that were cut up, re-sewn and decorated with sequins,buttons,scarves,lace & bits of fabric. For the tops, I bought t-shirts, cut them up again into different designs and then printed educational quotes on the front and back.

Miss Masurina Ltd- Vivien in another one of our creations.

The hunky male escorts!Poni and Nimrod in Rags2Riches T-shirts.

Miss Samarai Mariculture-Sylvia Benoma

opened the show by bursting through

the Rags2Riches banner.

Sylvia in funky jeans.

The clothes were all about having fun,being bold and confident. On the night, the contestants walked out with books or magazines in their hands and pretended to read on the cat walk. Tanya Doyle's catwalk coaching certainly paid off on the night. I was so proud of the girls, they were so much more confident and it showed! It was certainly something new for Alotau!

Lady in red- Gabrielle

The Swimwear Category was just as exciting. Again, we used recycled denim, this time using stretch denim. We couldn’t find any white denim jeans in the second hand stores so we bleached the jeans instead.Local screen printer-Rohan Bate, dyed them and printed them with traditional Milne Bay motifs and patterns in contemporary colours. It was damn hard work for all involved, but Thanks to the fantastic local talent we have here in Alotau, we were able to make 6 pretty unique and sexy swimwear for our contestants. Pauline Ponifasio sewed the swimwear.

Sylvia strutting her stuff and shown' some leg.
The normally shy Miss Friends & Family -Dako

was nowhere to be seen that night!

Julie-Miss Baycabs, must have had the loudest cheers on the night.

I didn’t expect the response from the audience on the night. As soon as the girls walked out in their bikinis, everyone (ok, mainly the men!) swarmed to the stage to get photos and to get a closer look! What is it about bikinis?? I mean when the girls were in traditional dress with no tops on, it certainly didn’t have the same effect.

It was nice to hear some people saying “Did they make those here or overseas?”You wouldn’t have guessed the swimsuits were made from old pairs of jeans that's for sure!

It was also my first time to make crowns and I can assure you it was not easy! It’s one thing to sketch a design on paper and another to actually make the thing! Thank Goodness for Lucia Warren who was most helpful in helping me source the beautiful mother of pearl shells from Samarai Mariculture to make the crowns. My boss Simon was really supportive too. I also have to Thank our carpenter Philip Pima who almost lost a few fingers in cutting and shaping the shells! I don’t think either of us ever want to see another shell after that experience!(well, not for a while anyway). Jean as always, stepped in to give a hand with the last bit of stitching.

The original sketches for the crowns.
If only you knew how many necklaces

Jean and I cut up to make the crowns!

Miss Charity Queen- Sylvia Benoma.

I'm not even going to mention how many times

I pricked my fingers sewing on the fabric.

As I was too stressed trying to complete all the clothes, my dear friend Henz (Hennah Joku) came to my rescue and organised our clothes for the evening. I totally trust Henz's taste so when she offered to organise our shoes,dresses,make up,jewellery (underwear!! -trust me, Victoria's Secret is still very much a secret here in Alotau!), I jumped at the opportunity! Henz lives on Java Is. in Indonesia where shopping is great and sooo cheap! So after a frenzy of emails trying to specify sizes,and what particular style or cut of dress,shoes etc etc...we finally received our outfits in the mail via Post PNG's EMS service .....on the day of the Crowning!Talk about relief!You should have seen Jeannie and I opening up the parcels!We were like a pair of squealing 2 yr olds at x-mas! It was one of those do or die moments as we held our breaths not knowing if we'd like the outfits or not. Of course we loved them! Jeannie had a lovely green halter neck dress with plunging neckline and strappy silver heels. I went for a more Spanish look with a soft black flowing dress, red hair piece and a pair of red hot heels...which I am totally in love with!
Jean Callister-my partner in crime!

Isn't she gorgeous!

Maxine and Jeannie. Wherever we go, the noise follows!

The contestants in traditional attire. Back view of Sylvia.

She is mixed Suau and Logea Is. Dako dancing gracefully to the kundu drums.
Julie is mixed Manus and Raba Raba.

The Raba Raba costume is quite stunning. Vivien Norris proudly holding her family's mwali.
Margie -"the catwalk queen",

she walked like a professional model

and was a natural

on stage.

Vivien looked great in her dress.
Gabrielle's dress was uniquely Milne Bay with bagi shells hanging down her back and a Milne Bay print on the side. It was certainly eye-catching. I designed her dress then she had it slightly modified by the seamstress-Pauline Ponifasio.
Current Miss PNG-Genevieve Roberts was a guest at the crowning night. I found her quite personable, she made an effort to walk around the room and mingle with guests which was nice.
Recognise this guy? I didn't and Yes, it's Habona.

He was clean shaven and had on a new shirt. Tanya Doyle-Former Miss PNG (1994) was instrumental

in organising the event, Mercinta-Elaine Maras-MC and Maxine.

Anne Wood & my cousin Nimrod Nadile.
Mimousa Mark-Outgoing Queen wearing

the crown for the last time.

Samatha & mum Sarah Clark with friend Milli Saul.

Yaa pris!Det wan how? Sista girl Sama.

The Hula dancing girls-Victoria,Marika and Samantha

Maxine backstage with musicians Ben and Jeremiah.

All dressed up! Jean and Betty from Red Cross.

Beautiful smiles from Sam and Victoria.