The Kandep that continues to amaze
I was in beautiful Kandep a few days ago; lost in thought, unaware of what was happening in other parts of the district, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea or the world.
That night it seemed I was the only person in the small town as I walked around in the cool of the evening on paved roads. The town seemed deserted, it was quiet and at peace.
I liked being alone. I could hear the muffled voices of people preparing or sharing evening meals. I could see the flicker of torchlight through open doors and windows. A couple of stores had their own generators lighting the vicinity and the night.
The sun had just set in a wall of red and I thought for a moment that the mountains were alight.
Above me, a billion stars began to appear, twinkling in the silence. I was transfixed as I stood on Manget Kungu overlooking Kandep town, delighting in the peace and beauty of the night.
A full moon rose in its full glory over the horizon and floated past Lungu Kana, over the Patuli swamps and beyond towards Magarima and the incongruous technology of the PNG liquefied natural gas project.
I enjoy these nocturnal walks watching the moon move through its shapes as the month passes, transforming from full into a ‘menanenge’ (pig’s tusk) as we describe it in the Enga language, then to other shapes.
Soon the month of August will give way to September, forever special as our independence month.
The night sky has been like this for millennia. Our ancestors saw this beauty. Our very fathers looked upon it. And now we witness it. How many of us appreciate these natural wonders?
This beauty will continue to be displayed in the heavens as God intended it to be.
We mortals are not the sun, the moon or the stars – just the flowers, to bloom but once, to wither and return to the dust at our feet.
The Kandep that continues to shock
During the day that followed that night, there was an election-related court case on in Port Moresby between two political opponents from Kandep – Alfred Manase and Don Polye.
I hoped the final outcome would be peaceful and that supporters on both sides would accept the court’s decision and not resort to the violence of the last 15 years.
During this protracted war, more than 100 people were killed and property worth millions destroyed. I didn’t want this to happen again. I hoped the people who read my writing and talk about it to each other would realise that life is too precious,
We only live once and we have to enjoy it.
But there has been trouble in Kandep these last few days.
First two houses belonging to two supporters of Don Polye were burned down at Lungutenges village – on the very edge of Kandep town where the previous piece was written.
The two supporters had allegedly testified in court that the 2017 national election was not conducted properly.
Then on Sunday two brothers from nearby Patuli village were chopped to death. The village is also located on the edge of Kandep town.
They were killed by some men from the Kapus tribe on whose land Kandep High School is located at Kokas. It was alleged a woman married to a Kapus man was having an affair with a man from the Alitip Komai tribe.
This savage violence broke out before a village court sitting began to deliberate on the case.
Yesterday police and soldiers were deployed to Kandep to stop the fighting. Today the two brothers will be buried and I am in Wabag sending this.
The fighting erupted again and another young man has been killed.
There is a Kandep I love and a Kandep that daunts me. Sometimes I feel the same about my country.