My Story – From arse tanget to corporate sales executive
Angoram: colonial playground of the famous & notorious

Barata Andrew, sumatin wantem gan

LEONARD FONG ROKA

THIS A STORY OF MY FRIEND, who, after a PNGDF soldier beat him up, along with another student stole a gun and escaped, then returned to hunt his foe back in Arawa in 1996.

My brother Andrew, student with a gun

Olgeta de taim san i go daun, mi save tingim yu.

Every day at sunset, I think about you.

Mi save tingim desk bilong yumi long kona; ples mitupla bin save laikim tumas lo hait na pilai longlong lo ol meri lo klas.

I think about our desk in the corner, where we loved to play pranks on the girls.

Na nau yu lusim mi pinis na stap we, em mi no save.

And now you are gone; to where, I am not sure.

Yu stap Honiara, Auki, Gizo o Taro; em mi no save, tasol yu stap sam we lo hap!

Is it Honiara, Auki, Gizo or Taro; I don’t know except you are somewhere else.

Yes, tasol displa marara soldia i bin paitim yu nating olsem tru displa em Solomon bilong ol tumbuna blo em na yu bin lusim skul na mipla olgeta.

Yes, that redskin soldier belted you for nothing as if Solomon was his progenitors;’ and you left school and us.

Yu bin hamamas tasol lo usim skul siot na trausis; raun wantem narapla ulungasi soldia, pulim gan bilong em na ranawe i go lo bus. Yu gutpla pikinini Bogenvil, oli bin kolim yu.

But you were happy in your school uniform; wandering with another redskin soldier, grabbing his gun and darting into the bush. They called you a good son of Bougainville.

Bihain yu kam lo taun lo painim dispel birua ivitu bilong yu.

Then you came to town to hunt your foe.

Tasol em i ron igo hait namel long mipla ol sumatin bilong yu olsem meri na yu bin krai. Yu bin krai lo no kilim dispel man husat emi bin man taim yu sumatin nogat gan. Tasol taim yu sumatin wantem gan em i bin go hait.

But he fled into the students midst like a woman and you cried. You cried for not killing the man who haunted you when you were a student without a gun. But when you were a pupil with a gun he fled to hide.

Sore lo em na skul pait em i bin kisim lo Australia na Malaysia.

Pity him and his combat training in Australia and Malaysia.

Barata Andrew, yu pait man tru. Yu no les lo Bekim hevi bilong na sutim wantem gan narapla erereng polis man na kisim narapela gan bilong yu. Yu man tru.

Brother Andrew, you were a hero. You did not fear to avenge the torture and shot a police man and got another gun. You are a hero.

Tasol lo wanem yu Lusim mi na go?

But why did you desert me?

Mi krai stap lo Bogenvil.

I am crying in Bougainville.

GLOSSARY

Marara— redskin in Halia (Buka)
Ulungasi— redskin in Nagovisi
Ivitu— redskin in Telei or Buin
Erereng— redskin in Nasioi or Kieta

Comments

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Michael Dom

An interesting little story there Leonard. Non-Tok Pisin speakers would find the translations useful.

But as a Tok Pisin speaker, I must admit that I found the line by line translations disturbed my reading when I was first reading it and got caught up with the s tory.

I am left wondering why Andrew did not return to Bougainville, and I recall meeting some North Solomonese at Gizo one night.

They seemed glad to meet a PNG Highlander, albeit a 'redskin'and we had a few beers together.

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