THE long awaited 2014 Crocodile Prize Anthology has arrived in Simbu to begin its 2015 mission.
I was wondering how long it would take for the anthologies to arrive in Kundiawa all the way from the United States after I was granted 10 copies to distribute to rural schools in the Yongomugl area.
I frequently visited the Kundiawa post office and enquired at the counter over those four months.
I expressed my concern to prove to the post master that I was entitled to collect the books.
“Give me your name and box number,” he demanded.
I did as requested and he said, “You will not collect your mail through this box number 192 because the Provincial Education Division has not paid its rental bill since last year. The debt is exceeding K10 thousand.”
Once I heard this, I was saddened and walked out of the post office.
So yesterday I was a bit nervous as I went and humbly saw the supervisor.
“Young man, what shall I do for you?” the supervisor enquired.
“Sir, I am checking on my pack of books which will arrive from US,” I responded.
“Give me your name and the box number,” he said.
I wrote them on a piece of paper and gave the paper to the supervisor.
“Do not use this box number 192 in the future,” he said. “Your mail will be locked up and defaulted. Mail will be returned to Konedobu after two months of non-payment of rental bills.”
I explained to the supervisor how urgent these books are and the motive of driving literacy awareness in Simbu Province. This provoked the supervisor to evade the restriction.
He gave me documents to sign and allowed me to collect the books.
I extend my gratitude to Keith Jackson, Phil Fitzpatrick and others who are genuine enough to supply us with free copies for a worthy cause.
The Simbu Writers Association has planned to drive literacy awareness in 2015 and implement a fundraising drive to provide those anthologies as a gift to Simbu schools, prominent individuals and business houses.
The Ku High School Simbu Students Anthology and the 2014 Crocodile Prize anthologies will be the major sources of awareness and fundraising next year.
Later, Provincial Education Advisor Walkaima Essy allocated a LandCruiser to Francis Nii and me for five days so we could distribute the anthologies to schools in Simbu.
We are looking forward to next year and the coming of the popular Crocodile Prize to Simbu in September 2015.