The Manus babies who face a stateless future
For 40 Maseratis, 3,000 Marlenes could be helped

Thank you everyone, you have made so many things possible

Marlene with Darhlia Dee & Martin GrayMARLENE DEE GRAY POTOURA

LAE - My two children, Darhlia Dee and Martin Gray, and I would like to thank you all, our overseas readers of PNG Attitude who contributed in the Australian spirit, well known throughout the Pacific, to make sure my kids and I have an awesome Christmas.

I want to kindly and gratefully inform you all that you succeeded. My two children and I are most grateful, which writing here cannot express.

Firstly, we have moved out from a really shitty cave like building, where I had tried to operate a learning centre this year.

The struggles I went through in that cave are not worth mentioning now because it was downright unbelievable.

On 22 February, a week after resigning from a teaching job I had with the Salvation Army School, I was robbed senselessly and mercilessly.

All my writing from over 20 years went to nothing, taken right out on my two laptops, an external drive and over 16 flash drives. I nearly went insane, because I was worried.

The worst feeling was that people did not understand and see how important my writing was. I didn’t even care about the computers and the phones. I was really worried about my years of work that I treasure more than anything.

I felt friendless and sad. I even told my friend Ed Brumby the way I was feeling and he told me how sad he was too that my work had been stolen.

Some weeks later, I pulled myself together. I have realised long ago that there is no one to help me and I must always be strong and make things happen.

I scavenged for hard copies of my work from files I kept on shelves and got myself into intensive writing. This year, I have published two more youngsters’ books which are ‘My Brother Warrollu 2’ and ‘6 Whacky Tales for Youngsters’.

Then, on Wednesday 28 November, while we were still sleeping, thieves crept through a window and stole all our phones, my electric sewing machine, money in cash, my son’s graduation attire and brand new shoes that I had got ready for his graduation the following Wednesday.

When the three of us woke up in the morning, we were dumbfounded and sat on the floor and looked at each other. I was really angry and frustrated. 

I had to get new graduation things for my son and that made me totally disgusted with people’s behaviour here, where they avoid the rich and aim at my kids and I. So I decided to pack and move out of that shit hole.

Your contribution to give my kids and me a happy Christmas is a true blessing. The money has helped to move our belongings to a house at the University of Technology, where we are going to house-sit for a while.

This coming Monday, I am taking my kids out on 'Lae About Tours' for a day’s picnic.  Then a week later we are going to Bougainville to visit my mother and our relatives, whom I have not seen for 14 years.

While in Bougainville I will interview a lot of my relatives for my memoir. I will get to talk to the man who pulled the trigger on my late father. I will take photographs of places important to our family. What a timely blessing from you, wonderful friends. This is what I have been waiting to do for years.

I am also moving my little learning centre out of town, along the Highway to Nadzab. I will talk more on the development in my next article about the school’s progress and location.

There are so many single mothers suffering in Papua New Guinea. I feel for them all and know the hardships they silently face each day for the sake of their children. I pray that their children grow up to be successful men and women and become good citizens of this country.

Writing is truly my passion. It flows with the blood that circulates in me. If I don’t write, I feel incomplete.

My writer friends here on PNG Attitude are very important to me and they have done so much for me.

Readers of PNG Attitude, am grateful for your kindness and no words can express, how you all have given my children and me a very merry Christmas.

Keep reading PNG Attitude, as I will be in touch here, with my hilarious shorts and heartwarming longs.

A Merry Christmas to all my friends here.

I want to say thank you
to the rare few individuals in my life
who have listened without judgment,
spoken without prejudice, helped me
    without entitlement, understood
           without pretension and
               loved me without

On Monday – ‘Pie-holed’, a youngsters' story from my book, ‘6 Whacky Tales


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Daniel Kumbon

Marlene, we pledged a small contribution but there is no Westpac Bank here in Wabag. I can still send through SMK.

Which post office can I send it through?

Robin Lillicrapp

It's a blessing to see you encouraged, and your great kids.

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