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Papua New Guinea - anyone live/worked there?

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martincymru
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Papua New Guinea - anyone live/worked there?

Postby martincymru » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 9:47 pm

Off to PNG this week for 3 month assignment.

Any tips on accommodation/life etc appreciated.

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:33 pm

I lived there for 17 years as kid. Last time I was there was two years ago.

The coastal cities are nightmare for security if you're not a local. Don't go out after dark. Don't take your wife or female children with you. Don't take anyone who can't run at least 100m with you. Only go to secure (gated) shopping centres, hotels and restaurants. You'll most likely be on a 100% lockdown anyways.

The highland areas are a little better.

Presuming you're going with a large company who knows what they are doing - follow their instructions to the letter. The problem is the security they hire are often just as bad as the local raskals. The police are corrupt so be careful of them (hide your smart phone at security barriers lest they confiscate them).

Food/housing/transport/fuel are extremely expensive and the latest reports from in country friends is that the system on the verge of a logistics breakdown (meaning no supplies anywhere of anything) if you're outside POM/LAE or Madang or a well stocked MNC facility, so take EVERYTHING you think you'll need for 3 months exc. basic food and water (i.e. medicines, toiletries, clothes, shoes (boots esp), spare parts for everything, spare consumables for everything). If you don't use it you'll have no problem selling it before you leave for a profit. Take CASH - Kina is problematic to get outside of PNG but AUD/USD will work just as well.

However saying that PNG is truly beautiful and makes your heart arch with it's glorious views and people.

IF you're at all able to in the time left learn some basic self defense (I've had to ward off an axe attack), some defensive driving (I've had to outrun pursuers in vehicles) and if possible get permission to take a gun in. Don't bother with knives - the local know their way around a machete too well.

SERIOUSLY consider not going. That's the best advice I can give. I go but I speak the lingo, know the situation and have local friends I go in groups with. Don't be arrogant about this... for example just because I can cope with PNG does not mean I'd go to Lagos (which I rate as about as bad).

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:51 pm

I did a couple of months (20 years ago) staying in Pt. Moresby but having to venture out to the countryside (west side) where we had Base Stations setup for our Seismic Survey Vessel, MV Ross Seal to be exact, with Digicon Exploration. (PNGMK will know all about this!) Everything he says about PNG is absolutely spot on, especially about staying inside after dark and defensive driving outside of any city.

There is no way in hell that I'd take any long term position in that country. Now a short term diving trip is another story. Some beautiful diving in the area!

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 11:23 pm

There has been a nasty, recent uptick in attacks on foreigners there it seems as well - we just don't hear about it outside PNG (I hear via the grapevine) The internal collapse of the supply chain is making foreigners even more attractive as targets.

Taking a woman in, is asking for her to be raped (The NZ High Commissioner's wife and daughter were both raped awhile back).

Taking in luxury items is asking to be robbed.

Driving a high end un secured vehicle is asking for a car jacking.

Driving around an unlit town at night is just asking for trouble.

Wearing certain type of dress sets you out as a target.

Wearing your white skin sets you out as a target.

PNG people are very astute at reading body language and other non verbal cues - they will instantly pick up on your being a newcomer and easy prey. When I or my fellow MK's get scared we get what we think of as PNG face - totally unreadable - it's a survival technique we learnt as kids. Imagine that?

Sometimes people wonder why I'm not very PC - well I grew up in one of the most UN PC places on the planet, where women are beast of burden and survival meant out cunning the other bugger.

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Postby martincymru » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 12:34 pm

All very depressing to read.

I go as a Consultant so bit nervous that the company may not take same care as employee.

What is "defensive driving"?

Hey, if it's so bad then how come hundreds of NGO's, Aid agencies, teachers there? Must have high staff turnover.

Why don't the Aus govt lend them some Police?

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 1:10 pm


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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 1:15 pm

See in text.

martincymru wrote:All very depressing to read.

Even more depressing to be living there.


I go as a Consultant so bit nervous that the company may not take same care as employee.

Check your contract. Question them on their security protocol.


What is "defensive driving"?

Getting away from a bad guy in a fast vehicle who wants to shoot you. (I'e two friends who have been shot there - one died, the other is missing half his jaw).

Hey, if it's so bad then how come hundreds of NGO's, Aid agencies, teachers there? Must have high staff turnover.

$$$

Why don't the Aus govt lend them some Police?

They are; however PNG is a sovereign nation that has some sentiments of anti colonialism present.



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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 1:19 pm

x9200 wrote:http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1757.html


I'd argue that article does not emphasize the risk heavily enough (probably due to diplomatic reasons).

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 1:46 pm

After reading your comments I was surprised by the relaxed manner wikitravel handles the topic.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Papua_New_Guinea

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 2:00 pm

x9200 wrote:After reading your comments I was surprised by the relaxed manner wikitravel handles the topic.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Papua_New_Guinea


Take it up with jpatokal?

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 13 Aug 2013 3:49 pm

PNGMK wrote:
x9200 wrote:http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1757.html


I'd argue that article does not emphasize the risk heavily enough (probably due to diplomatic reasons).


If you read the casual tones of some of the other articles for other places, I'd say that their PNG article is pretty damning. Sounds as bad as Kabul.

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Postby martincymru » Wed, 14 Aug 2013 10:45 am

what is the (a) best (b) most expensive self contained accommodation in PNG?

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 14 Aug 2013 11:01 am

martincymru wrote:what is the (a) best (b) most expensive self contained accommodation in PNG?


Which city?

The best and most expensive completely self contained accomodation would be a super yatch moored in the Royal Yatch Club. I'd budget about $50MM min.

Ask the question with a few more details and I can probably get a price.

You mean I assume an apartment?

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Postby martincymru » Wed, 14 Aug 2013 11:27 am

Dear PNGMK

Port Moresby.
house, condo, or apt.
1 or 2 bed.
fully furnished.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 14 Aug 2013 11:40 am

martincymru wrote:Dear PNGMK

Port Moresby.
house, condo, or apt.
1 or 2 bed.
fully furnished.


From my friend in POM:

Re apartments in POM. Expect to pay around 8000 USD per month. Out current place costs 15, 000 USD per month Gordon a 3 bedroom townhouse. Nothing flash though.


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