The last time I was on the campus of the University of PNG was a couple of weeks ago when I made a presentation on the theme of ‘what will make PNG a No. 1 tourist destination’. Well on that night I ended up singing a few of my songs! And I went there to talk! On Friday, 7th October, I was a participant in the last session of Anthropology Week discussions – a slightly different but an important related area to tourism development in PNG. The session was on ‘Contemporary Art and Public Institutions’. It was a passionate, heartfelt and thought-provoking discussion. I learnt much from other artists and art lovers who attended the session and shared their views and thoughts.
The session went well beyond 4.00pm and we closed just after 5.00pm. I realized that it would be pointless to go back to the office which was about 15-20 minutes drive away so decided to stay around and join others who were congregating in a wonderful little courtyard within a building complex close to the Ulli Bier building.
As we headed towards the courtyard I was taken by the sunset and the peaceful surroundings.
I found myself reaching for my faithful Panasonic Lumix camera as we ventured beyond the Arts Lecture theatre onto what looks like a playing field with a wide expanse of grass albeit brown grass. But who cares! I was automatically drawn to the beauty of the surrounding hills and the peaceful part of the campus which was just kunai grass when I was a student there in the mid-70s.
My mind wondered back to those days and the many happy memories I had and the many wonderful experiences at UPNG growing up as an 18-year old Milne Bay lass.
My two colleagues and I were taken on a tour of the grounds by our friend and facilitator of our discussions that afternoon, Dr. N. Garnier.
What a lovely relaxing way to spend Friday evening walking around these grounds which were once coveredd with eucalyptus trees and kunai grass.
Later we joined others in the courtyard for a hearty meal. The start of my weekend couldn’t have been better.