BAREFOOT LIBRARIAN


I was doing some studies on stilt houses in Papua New Guinea and came across this very sweet story; an expatriate’s point of view of life in Papua New Guinea. I’m sure this ‘wantok’ (friend) does not mind me re-blogging his story about Karina. I have in the past posted historical images of Tubuserea Village, just outside the capital, Port Moresby.

Tim Bruwer Blog

I first met Karina Parina when I started my new job with Papua New Guinea’s National Library Service in Port Moresby in 1980. She was a shy, softly spoken 21-year old girl from the village of Tubusereia, about an hour’s drive eastwards along the coast from Port Moresby.

My job at the National Library was to arrange training programs for the Papua New Guinean library staff, to enable them to fill the positions that were occupied at the time by sixteen expatriate librarians. As my job involved working with staff across the organisation on an ongoing basis, my first challenge was to learn everyone’s names. I clearly remember my first introduction to Karina because her lovely rhyming name was impossible to forget.

Like most of the other Papua New Guinean staff members she went about the library barefoot. A few of the others wore rubber thongs. In the tropical heat…

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