I had some really deep and thoughtful exchanges with EE and DD Parascos. Experiencing her family and home made DD even more interesting to me. I learned that her father worked for Misima Mines himself.
He is an extremely talented mechanic and was a foreman in the Maintenance Department. DD was also the first man to bring a PMV Bus Service to Awayama, which would offer the first of its kind transport to and from Alotau. The service was so new at that time in 2004 that he took on cutting and maintaining the road that would weave through the canyon.
The government didn't start helping with road maintenance until a year after he started. He truly is an interesting and smart fellow, who loves reading John Grisham novels. In my mind, DD is responsible for giving DD the passion for her education. They are able to afford putting her through university because of this transport business, and her mother's baking and sewing business. Her brothers also pitch in a little when they can.
I will need more time with this family in order to capture everything I will need from them. However, these four days were a great start!
Between my first paragraph and this one, I decided to get a room at a guest house and crash. I just had a much needed shower as regular bathing is not always an option. When I can't bath before bed, the next best thing is to wipe my face, arms, neck, and hands with baby wipes. I was so happy to find some at a store here in Alotau. It's the little things that can make a big difference. Anyway, I'm cozy in an actual bed, feeling clean (well, clean enough), and will be falling asleep shortly.
Fun Facts of Life in the Bush:
When I learned that DD’s mom was a baker, I showed her the film The Bake Shop Ghost, which I had on my laptop. She loved it. So, she baked me a vanilla cake to eat with tea on my last night in her home.