Month: December 2010

A Visit to the Maternity Wing

Last week I visited the maternity clinic for the first time in my adult life. No – I’m not a father yet but I just became an uncle again!

My cousin sister had her baby and I went to visit. She delivered a bouncing 3.05KG baby girl at about 4PM on Sunday (26th December 2010).

Inside I became aware of the plight of mothers and the state of the facilities. I was appalled that there were not enough beds for mothers. In fact, the shortage forces some mothers to give in the registry area!

And the thing that was most shocking was the size of the clinic. The clinic services mothers from the nearby Central villages, settlements and the majority of Port Moresby. However, the size could almost be compared to a rural clinic.

I’m going to become a father sometime in the future and seeing the facilities is giving me serious worries about what would happen. Will my future wife give birth in the waiting area? Will my child be born on the hospital floor? This is something that every parent fears.

Private clinics and hospitals are also using this to their advantage. Some mothers are practically intimidated by doctors to use private facilities because of this shortage. Now while some of what these doctors say may be true, the very expensive fees they charge seem to contradict their concern for mothers.

And while the government is still debating the Pacific Medical Centre issue, can they at least put some serious kina to have the maternity wing upgraded?

It doesn’t take a genius (or an expensive census exercise) to see that the population of Port Moresby is growing exponentially. And if nothing is done now, our mothers will be giving birth on the lawns outside the clinic soon.

The Ugly Faces of Office Politics

I have been working in the public service for three (3) years now and I never gave a damn about pay, allowance etc until recently. I guess recently I have started to see the ugly face of petty office politics, thanks to a former colleague who incidentally studied politics.

It seems that if you have a strong position that you can use to bargain then you might as well milk the cow dry. Now here are some examples of what I’ve seen.

Under worked & Over paid (Over worked & Under paid)

There are people that hardly do any work. I mean you barely see them in the office. Yet they are paid more than you because they are senior officers. Yep, this practice is usually done by senior officer but it is not only limited to their ranks. You will find that the ‘work ethic’ rubs off to some junior staff. The worst part is that some underpaid officer is doing all their work.

Once a Casual, always a Casual

Another thing is seeing staff being casuals for over 6 months. I know of a certain young lady who worked with us for nearly three years as a casual! During her time as a casual, a couple of other casuals were brought in and soon after those two became permanent. Thank God the young lady found employment elsewhere – and with better conditions.


Another particular case is where an office of nearly 20 years experience gets overlooked for promotion. Now, the irritating thing was that this officer was acting in the position for almost a year. Shouldn’t that be enough to give position? Well, this particular officer left for greener pastures and believe me; she has left a large void.

Leave it for Later (& the Blame Game)

Then you have the procrastinators (I am guilty if this sometimes) who sleep on tasks until the very last moment. The ugly thing about procrastinators is that they like to play the blame game. They sleep on a task until the very last minute and then start pressuring everyone to have it done. In the end when the task is not complete, all those in the process become scape-goats.

Equal Treatment

Now this one really infuriates me. I am talking about the treatment of senior staff by your boss. I have noticed that my boss is scared of putting his foot down on his senior staff when they make a mistake. If you are going to give me a verbal reprimand for a minor offense, shouldn’t the same be done for senior officers? Where is equality in the workplace?

The Bully

Then you have the bully who uses their position of authority to get you to do things their way. Now, I’m not talking about the person who comes to you direct and tells you to do this but that person who uses someone else ‘s influence to coerce you into doing something.

In the end you find that the office and workplace resembles a playground, only with larger kids and different playthings. There may be people who seem mature; however, they still remain childish. Not because they can’t help it but because they choose not to grow out of it.

If you have experience any of these scenarios or have other examples, please feel free to let it out.

The Crocodile Drags in a Controversial Prize

Once cannibals, the Iwan Warriors (from the Encyclopedia of Death & Dying)

The recent literary competition, The Crocodile Prize, is bringing the best out of Papua New Guinea (PNG). There have been several entries posted on Keith Jackson’s PNG Attitude blog that are World class. I recently had one of my poems published on the site.

Philip Fitzpatrick of South Pacific Social Solutions is a judge in the competition and has stated that “…the genres and styles of the writers entering the competition is nicely varied.”

Among the entries posted this week is a short story, The Death of a Warrior, by Jeffrey Febi and deals on the controversial and sensitive issue of cannibalism.

Already the story has caused a stir and comments with a ‘little distaste’

Lost in Translation “Lalu”

Confused button

Now this word actually had me really confused. In fact, I would not find out the meaning of this word until a few weeks later.

One of my friends liked to send emails to everyone and then she’d sing off with ‘Lalu’ and then her nickname. So believe it or not, I actually thought it was her name. Now, one day my cousin sister came to visit and I mentioned that ‘Lalu’ said this. Imagine the wide grin on her face as she asked who that was. I, of course, told her that it was this friend and her other name was ‘Lalu’. My cousin laughed at me for almost 5 minutes – but the worst part is that she did not tell me what it meant.

Anyway, about a week later, my girlfriend sent a text and used the exact same word “Lalu”. Now, that was when it started to click, “Lalu” actually meant “Love You” – and all this time I thought it was someone’s name!

Lost in Translation “Sowi”

The slang word ‘sowi’ is actually the word sorry but written as Twitty would say it. This word is often used by girls and I guess has a certain appeal to it. Anyway, I got lost in translation once over this word. In my language, Nyndrou /Babon, the word ‘sowi’ actually means quickly /hurry or something in the line of going faster.

A facebook friend posted the word on her wall one time and being a familiar looking word jumped out when I read it. I was like here is someone who actually knows my language. So I wrote a reply to that post. Fortunately, I used English and I actually kept to the topic.

Well, a couple of days later I found out the actual meaning of the word. You can imagine how embarrassed I was to post on that friend’s wall again.

Check out more internet slangs @ Internet Slang Dictionary