This is one of my favourite New Guinea photos because I love the intense concentration on the faces of the children.
New Guinea kids have an insatiable appetite for looking at picture books or photographs. The adults too, hunger for information about the world outside of PNG. Just one National Geographic magazine will entertain an entire little community for half a day.
In the era before television and videos had reached PNG, we regularly converted our workshop into a bush cinema, and this was the first time these children (and many adults too) had ever seen a moving image.
One night each month we would screen an assortment of cartoons and educational films followed by old Hollywood movies which we hired from Port Moresby.
The following evening we would load the portable generator, white bedsheet "screen", and projector into the plane and fly off to either Mindik, 4 minutes flying time away, or Siwea (8 minutes) to repeat the show.
Pindiu; P2-WKD, with L to R; Goraseng, Tomai, Lembang, Pau and Gindi unloading coconuts and fish.
Pindiu was 15 minutes flight inland from Finschhafen, on the coast, and had a perfect climate at 3000 feet altitude for growing vegetables. To provide an outlet for this produce we commenced a trading exchange.
Vegetables to the coast where they could not be grown, and coconuts and fish on the return flight.
Mimbel was an unforgettable character at Lumi in 1968
who was employed in a role loosely described as "janitor"
Each year the Lumi people grew around 50 tons of rice.
We purchased the harvested paddy from growers, stored it in the "paddy house" until it was dry, then processed it into brown or white rice with portable Japanese CeCoCo SC25 rice mills.
Rice had been grown by villagers in the Finschhafen area for a long time after it's introduction by the Lutheran Mission at Heldsbach.
The photographs are from Bonga village on the Finschhafen coast, and Wandokai village on the Sialum "grassland steppes" a unique geological feature caused by Continental drift.