BEFORE the festive season, I urged people in a writers’ group to describe what they did during the holidays – as an exercise in writing. Here is mine.
On Christmas Day, I stayed at home. I used the time to rest and read a bit. I also wrote some items for the children’s magazine that I help with.
At about 4pm, I took a walk down the road just to sweat a bit.
In the evening, after a simple meal, I listened to music and read a bit.
Outside our driveway, some neighbours, mainly males, were drinking and singing songs.
At most times, they were out of tune. Someone found a guitar and played for them. The guitarist was strumming very well … but the voices were still way out of tune. But that did not dampen their enthusiasm to sing.
They sang songs in the Hula language, Motu and then someone sang a famous Sepik song about a certain love of the singer.
By the way the songs were sung, you could tell that the group was made up of young men from all over Papua New Guinea.
Someone among them also set off some fireworks to the delight of the children who were moving around the houses.
My longer walking exercise was the one I made the day before.
On December 24 (an off day for me), just after midday, I took a walk from Waigani Service Station along the Waigani Drive to Vision City shopping mall.
I had long pants on, a Polo Shirt, my KT-26 sandshoes (or sneakers#) and I wore a cap.
It took me about twenty minutes to walk that 1.5km stretch of road. The sun was not too hot and it was a nice walk.
(Note: When it is holiday time, and if I am not occupied with anything, I try to walk and sweat a bit. I do not play any sport nowadays and therefore walking is the best exercise for me. That is good for my health.)
When I arrived at the VC mall, I went to the ATM place at the top floor to check for some cash. (Unfortunately, the money that my employer promised was not deposited. People with the other main commercial bank got their money but we, those who bank with Westpac, had to wait … for almost a week! Yes, that is unbelievable – and is another story!)
At VC top floor, I saw a big group of young people hanging around the games area while others were waiting to get into the cinema or checking on what movies were going to be screened.
Then I walked down to the ground floor and made my way to the supermarket.
There were a lot of people there buying food and other items that I think would be used for special Christmas parties. Others were buying those special hampers.
I went for the drinks section and picked up a 500mL bottled water, paid for it and walked out again.
The place was filled with people.
I planned to catch the bus or a cab back to Waigani but decided against that and walked back.
However, instead of walking all the way to the traffic lights near Kone Tigers oval, I went through the Games Village Police Barracks*.
The hilly climb was a good challenge for me.
When I got back home, I noticed that my whole journey to VC and back took about an hour.
I refreshed myself and had a nap.
Photo: Sipping this coffee and reading a book on Computer Programming in the early hours of New Year's day.
NEW YEAR’S EVE AND DAY
On Tuesday, December 31 (an off day for me), the day before the New Year, I stayed at home and continued writing items for the children’s magazine.
At about 4pm, I walked to the service station (gas station#) and bought some food, some phone credits and a packet of sausages. Instead of catching a bus, I walked all the way back to my place … yes, that was good exercise, the 1km walk.
When I got back, I did some stuff and then refreshed myself and had a rest.
A colleague who shared the place with me was not back.
When I woke up later in the evening, I could hear our neighbours – especially the children – were up and about and playing. And the colleague was back from his trip to help some organisation’s CEO move some of his items to a new residence.
I cooked some rice and fried the sausages with onion.
When the food was just about ready, the clock struck midnight and the fireworks began. (People came out of their houses and looked towards Lamana Hotel hoping to catch a glimpse of what they would be shooting up.)
That someone among the neighbours set off his fireworks again while others outside our yard did the same.
A child was calling: “Hey, Uncle, it is beautiful. Do another one! Do another one!”
A bit after 12.30am, I served the food and we ate.
I had a number of packet of three-in-one coffee sachets and heated up the water for coffee.
From then on, I went into the bedroom and read a bit while sipping coffee.
One of the books I read was “Introduction to C Programming” by Rob Miles, something I picked up from the internet. That is in line with one of my goals this year – to learn about Computer Programming or Computer Coding. (I know that we can use computer technology to help children learn English, Maths, French or other subjects.)
There is one more important thing I did that morning … but I will tell you in the next post. It is about fixing up the wall in my bedroom.
*Games Village was built to accommodate athletes and officials participating in the 1991 South Pacific Games staged here in PNG. It is now a Police Barracks. The new Games Village for the 2015 XIV Pacific Games will be on the hills next to the University of Papua New Guinea campus. It will be brand new.
#I am providing the American English equivalents of certain words for the benefit of those who are used to that type of English.