NOOSA – Young author Gerard Ivalaoa struck it lucky after writing an 85,000 word book on his smartphone in the most difficult of circumstances.
After hearing of his achievement, Digicel PNG presented a new Dell laptop and a Samsung smartphone to Gerard, who is of Gulf parentage and lives on the outskirts of Port Moresby in a settlement with no electricity.
“The writing was really challenging, especially typing with two fingers on a phone,” Gerard said. “It also was difficult in a house that doesn’t have electricity.
“But the message that inspired me was difficult does not mean impossible. No.”
The book, titled '70 Reminders of Academic Excellence' is about the importance of education.
Gerard first jotted down his thoughts on the phone and decided to turn his thoughts into a book.
“When my phone’s battery was down, I had to pay one kina at a trade store to get it recharged or give the phone to my best friend to charge it at his house,” Gerard said.
“I was able to prayerfully complete this book in circumstances that wanted to defeat me.
“I believe many students would be excited and be interested to discover what the book is all about to give their best efforts to excel academically.”
Digicel senior vice president Lorna McPherson presented the new laptop and phone to Gerard saying that education is a core investment of the Digicel Foundation in PNG.
She said Digicel had purchased 60 books to distribute to schools affiliated with the Digicel Foundation.
Gerard published more than 150 copies of the book, which was published by Shane Baiva Publications.
Gerard wants to continue his writing and publish two more books which he plans to launch in September this year.
“Yes, times are tough,” he said. “But as we have always heard, when things gets tough the tough gets going.
“I wrote this book, typed it on the phone and engaged it.”
In this, Gerard follows in the footsteps from the late Francis Nii, a paraplegic who published his early works from his bed at the Kundiawa Hospital.