Friday, November 22, 2013

Seeing the Prime Minister

One interesting event I have not written about was that the Prime Minister - Peter O'Niel - visited the area. He came here to the Finschhaven area to dedicate a new building and make the usual sort of political visit. He toured the local haus sik (hospital), dedicated a new electronic classroom (I think we might call it an internet lab in the US), and since he is a Lutheran, made a tour Sattleback where Senior Flierl - the first Lutheran missionary - arrived. His main public event was in Gaugidu where a new building, that includes a post office, was dedicated.

Since a lot of students were interested in seeing him and hearing his speech, we finished classes early that day and took a bus load of people down to hear him. Since everything was running late, it was nice they had some local singsing groups (singing and dancing). There were some quite elaborate costumes and head dresses.

I felt fortunate in being able to sit in a grassy area just across from the stands where the politicians gave their speeches. They were good speeches, with lots of emphasis in limiting corruption. One thing that struck me was the lower level of security than one would expect in the U.S. I saw some security folks, but it seemed to be on a modest level. The were also speeches by the local member of Parliament and the Governor of the Morobe province.

The seminary has one of the few guest houses in the area. I am currently in charge of overseeing it. So, when the day before the event one of the governor aides came and requested that the governor stay there, it brought about quite a flurry of activity. The yard got re-mown and new sheets put on the beds. Unfortunately, in the end it was not used at all. Oh well, I guess it was useful to get everything ready. It is very likely that it will be used over graduation.

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