Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Finally, I voted!

KB Community Hall-where voting took place

It’s election fever in PNG and for the first in my life, I actually voted!This was last Friday 6 July. I don’t know why, but for some reason I was expecting a bit more excitement, perhaps some fireworks, drum roll, a tribal fight or two maybe (nah, just kidding!That doesn’t actually happen in our part of the country). Maybe it was the end of the week and everyone had just had enough of all the election hype! Whatever the case,voting was a quiet and civil process that took place in a community hall in KB under the watchful (and rather bored) gaze of a few cops and electoral commission officials.

While the rest of the world is terrified of coming anywhere near PNG during the election period, we here in Alotau are carrying on with our daily lives as usual with little fuss and not much to talk about in the way of election-related dramas. I’m still walking the streets (ok,street!) with my son and nothing’s happened to us, people are still doing what they do everyday with no disturbances. I think the most dangerous thing I encountered on Saturday was my cousin Nimrod on his way to The Miss Milne Bay Quest-Sneak Preview at Cameron High.The guy was so gelled and spruced up I barely recognised him!

Eeny Meeny Miney Mo.........Who's the fairest

leader of them all? Who should be our next Governor?

Not much of a choice I'm afraid. Can some people

please smile o? Sgt.Neasi & Town Manager- Mr. Elliot,

keeping a close eye on things.

The polling booths
View of the other side
The Ballot Boxes

Good governance is one of the major themes covered in the six x 40 min Radio Drama Programs we’re currently producing (a Media for Development Initiative project), as a result, I’ve taken a lot more interest in Politics these days. For some interesting reading on our current members, check out

Rait Man! (I mean, the guy wearing the shirt!)

Some candidates printed bright t-shirts (like our current governor-Tim Neville,some drove around in their trucks up and down the highway talking on their loud hailers until their voices broke, many put up posters or banners around town

Kaure Muala with Aunty Francesca Semoso-

Deputy Speaker-Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

This is one amazing and dynamite of a woman.Franco and I

used to work together at PNG FM Ltd. many years ago. She has always been an advocate for women's issues and is an amazing public speaker. She has recently been awarded an OBE.She was here a few weeks ago attending an HIV/AIDS workshop hosted by PATTAF.

The community radio drama programs we’ve been working on for the past 10 months now are almost complete. Jobby Paiva (sound engineer, program director-CDI) is currently working on the last two episode while in Kutubu. So hopefully we should have them completed by mid August!!What a relief that’s going to be!It’s been a looong process, but one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.I can’t wait for the programs to be aired on Radio Milne Bay. I’m told the last radio drama programs were aired on the station some 5 yrs ago so am hoping we’ll get a good response from the public. The programs, covering HIV& AIDS as well as Domestic Violence in our province, are very entertaining and are presented in Milne Bay English and Tok Pisin.

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