August 19, 2003 - Personal Web Site: From 1988-1990 Keith was in the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Papua New Guinea: Peace Corps Papua New Guinea : The Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea: August 19, 2003 - Personal Web Site: From 1988-1990 Keith was in the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea

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From 1988-1990 Keith was in the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea

From 1988-1990 Keith was in the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea

Keith's Papua New Guinea Adventures!!

From 1988-1990 I was in the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea. For about 8 years I have had this page up on what used to be our family web page. We have integrated everything now into the Moonglow web site. Here are a few pictures and some sound bytes. Life in the area that this all happened is still pretty much the same. Where I was located was Western Province, the South Western most province in PNG. It borders Iran Jaya which is part of Indonesia. Enjoy the Pics, etc.!!

Here Is A Map Of PNG, Click Here!!

Click The Above Picture To Go To Page 1 Of Pictures!

Click The Above Picture To Go To Page 2

Whenever and wherever I have travelled in the world, I have always tried, and in most cases loved, the local food. Here are a few Papua New Guinea Recipes you can try at home. The coconut cream can be found in many grocery stores in the section where there is soy sauce and Thai seasonings.

Curried Fish

Coconut Rice

Fried Sweet Potatoes and Bananas

Chicken and Greens in Coconut Milk

I hope you have enjoyed this little view into a few of my experiences!


These pictures were taken between 1988-1990, three from the Goroka Show. Goroka is located in the Eastern Highlands province. This area is very mountanous, thus the name highlands. Not too difficult to figure out!! The people in the highlands areas typically had their houses built low to the ground to keep in the heat. Even in the tropics when you go up in elevation it gets cold at night. The soils are also very good for growing and the highlands people are known for growing great vegetables and having huge gardens. The Goroka Show is an event where tribes from all over the country dress in traditional "bilas" and compete for prizes and/or just show off their traditional "festival wear." It is a great opportunity to see the diversity of PNG.

Click on the small picture to get a larger picture.

The headdresses are made from the 'Bird of Paradise' feathers. The drums they use are called 'Kundu' drums and are made from wood with an animal skin stretched over the top, usually python or lizard.

These guys came from Madang, which is on the coast. The headdress is made from bird of paradise and yellow crested cockatoo feathers.

Here are some Huli dancers.

This is an image of typical low to the ground construction of highland houses and their gardens. The houses are made of wood and tall Kunai grass. The garden pictured has kaukau (sweet potatoes) and bananas which are a staple food for most of the highland peoples.

Food is an integral part of Melanesian Society, and in the South Pacific tradition, no good get together is complete without a mumu. A mumu is the traditional style of cooking with hot stones. There are many different variations on this. In the Highlands they bury the food wrapped in banana leaves in the ground. Another variation is pictured here. The food is wrapped in banana leaves, and a large metal kettle is filled with hot stones from the fire. The food is placed inside, coconut milk is poured inside, more hot stones are placed on top, then banana leaves are put over that. After a couple of hours the food is taken out and eaten!!! WHOA!!! In this picture I was in Nomad in Western Province. Nomad was one of my most frequent and favorite places to visit. The gentleman on the left is my friend Casper. We had an Easter Feast with a goose, sweet potaoes, taro root, greens, and other assorted food. Here the food is placed on the banana leaves and is ready to be placed in a large metal kettle. Casper has the coconut cream ready to pour!!! As I remember there were many family and friends around and it was really a memorable occasion.


Dome is a village located up the Fly River in Western Province. I had the rare opportunity to be invited to a house dance. The men dressed up in their best 'Bilas' or traditional ware, and had a dance that lasted all night and into the morning. Here are some pictures of that.

Here the men are getting dressed up and painted. The skirts were made from the bark of the tulip tree and the paint was made from local products.


Here is a sound file of the house dance in full swing. It's around 300k so click on it then check out more of these pics while it downloads.

Click Here Hear the .WAV file!

Here the men are linking arms and dancing around in a circle on the inside of the house. It really doesn't show in the picture, but if you listen to the sound file there is a rattling sound. This is because the men were wearing a local plant that gets hard when dried and the seeds inside rattle. They are wearing these hooked into the waist of their belts. The house was about 10 feet in the air built on big logs. This is to keep the house and occupants dry and cool as there is about 180 inches of rain per year and it gets fairly warm during the day.

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2 teaspoons of oil

small piece of fresh ginger, chopped

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 whole cloves garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons ground chili powder or fresh ground chilis

1 can coconut cream

2 teaspoons curry (or more if you like it stronger!)

1 cup cubed pineapple

1 tomato, sliced in wedges

1 lb fish fillets of your choice, or you can use prawns, scallops, or other seafoods. Hey, this is your dish, put what you want in it!!!

1). Heat the oil in a skillet and add the ginger, onion, garlic, and ground chili.

2). Fry for about 5 minutes or until onions are slightly browned.

3). Add 1/2 cup coconut milk and bring to a slight boil. Don't forget to stir occasionally!

4). Add curry powder. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

5). Stir in remaining coconut milk, and bring to a slight boil.

6). Add pineapple cubes and tomato.

7). Cut fish into serving pieces and add to the mix. This could also be prawns, scallops, etc. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

8). Serve over white or brown rice.

9). ENJOY! (this is the most important step!!!!)

These pics were taken in Selbang which is in

the Northern area of Western Province,

a very Mountanous region.

Selbang is a fairly remote village of about 250 inhabitants that is accessible by a 7 day walk from Tabubil, which is primarily a mining town, or by chartering a plane and hoping the clouds were not too thick and you could get in. Many times travelers (myself included) were up there longer than expected due to heavy cloud cover. If you get up into Selbang and other villages in the area, you better not be on a schedule because you may find yourself as a guest for many days after your scheduled departure date!! But, what a place to spend a few extra days!! The people are very friendly and a joy to spend time with!! There were also 2 Peace Corps volunteers, Rob and Lis that were stationed there. I used to go to Selbang as often as possible!!

Click on the picture for a larger one and also a description!!

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - PNG; Photography - PNG



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