The red cigar seller
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Bomana samting long taim bipo: A long dream

Peter & Bomana map (Nara)ALEXANDER NARA

AS HE attempted to conceal the truth, Peter’s clean shaven cheeks crumpled, his shoulders slumped and he struggled to extricate himself from silence.

He was holding a detailed sketch of Bomana Prison and was seeking to divert from answering the question of how he knew perfectly every detail inside.

In fact, the sketch was the first thing he drew as a Level 2 student at the Anglicare PNG Adult Literacy School in Waigani.

Wanpla taim mi bai go skul long uni yet,” (One day I will become a university student), he said confidently, a touch of humour lurking about his mouth.

Peter was not a large man and not a young man but he possessed a restless vitality, a wiry energy that gave the effect of youth.

He had a strong desire to do well in his adult literacy studies and continue to higher learning.

From Enga Province, Peter held back his surname and asked that it not be used as it was derived from his ancestors and sacred.

Peter was amongst adult literacy students and staff who recently held an open day at literacy school along the Koura Way at Waigani.

The Anglicare PNG Adult Literacy School was founded by the Anglican Diocese of Port Moresby and has been working around the clock to provide adult literacy training to illiterate youths and adults from age 12 as part of its commitment to the government.

The program has four levels offering studies in mathematics, language and English, phonics, social studies and life skills. There is also training in basic cooking, sewing and other skills that can enable students to generate an income to sustain themselves.

Students graduating from Level 4 are encouraged to continue into flexible open distance education where opportunities for further studies exist.

Peter’s sketch was one of the highlights of the open day that made him forget the hot morning sun as he carried it around showing it to anybody who had time for him.

When asked about his age, Peter frowned and looked away confused and simply said he is still counting it and will let us know when he finds out.

Photo: Peter holds his map of Bomana prison

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Philip Fitzpatrick

A very touching account nicely rendered Alexander.

I finished reading it with the feeling that I would like to know more - about the course and Peter.

Perhaps you could expand on the article for us?

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