The mountain regions of Papua New Guinea are renowned for their outstanding natural beauty. I can confirm personally having lived there for a decade or so. While I was teaching in one of the International Schools, I offered to give oversight to a couple of businesses during their leave in Australia.
One of these enterprises was a coach company, which operated along the famous Highland’s Highway. This scenic route ran throughout the country connecting highland communities with their coastal cousins. Tour groups would arrive in a highland market town, landing at about 6,000ft above sea level and staying in a local Hotel. A concern of mine was the fact that these good folk were moving from plane to hotel to plane to hotel in monotonous rhythm without really sampling the true cultural flavour of the country.
Thus I enquired with one of the international tour groups, if they would like to explore the surrounding countryside. They could then capture something of the rural way of life. They were delighted and off we went by mini-bus. As I knew the area well and had noted villages of interest, the trip was full of fascinating sights. I’d recently recalled seeing three or four houses in various stages of construction in different villages. Thus I thought my new friends might like to see the progression in the building programme at first hand. Little did I know that a professor of Architecture from a European University was in the group. Actually, I discovered later that he was on a fact-finding tour for a potential book on building techniques throughout Asia.
You can imagine his excitement as we stopped at the various villages to explore. His measuring tape and camera were busy as he jotted down and captured relevant data for his research. He assured me he would let me have a copy of his book. It was rewarding to see such a simple idea bring so much enjoyment to the group.