Tuesday, 4 January 2005


dear reader: as if you exist outside of my imagination, I have to level with you. i am moving house, and I am starting a new job, but they don't quite involve crossing a suburb or buying a new set of pencils. They require the crossing of a sea (the coral sea i think it'll be). I am going to papua new guinea. PNG! after a week in the tourist hot spot of pt moresby, i'll be heading up to goroka for, actually,2 years.

i'm going to be working as a volunteer. although i am a doctor (i hope this surprises you reader; i am still surprised by it; the only time i have remembered to use it was for a flight to melbourne - and no,no free upgrade; in fact they almost sneered at me, as if i were a liar. perhaps i have that kind of face, but understandable actually: plain and mid20s, where's the doctor there?), my skills are unfortunately not of the medical kind. words are my business, and i'm going to be editing anthropological + social science work on/about/by "nationals", as the lingo goes, on paper and online, and training locals to do so. and "managing archives" (those unruly things).

and reader i'm going to be having adventures! the whole expedition is a risk and a challenge, and exactly what i want to be doing for the next short while. i'm not ready to settle into the plains, and working at a sandstone has reached its limit too. i need something more gutsy, and hopefully a situation where what i know can be more useful, to test my mettle. and even if it proves too testing, it is something i believe in saying yes to.

and though i feel a little sentimental now and then about leaving certain people and things, there has never been a moment of doubt about the decision to go. it felt as if there never was a moment of decision - when the phone rang and i was told i was the successful applicant, i lied and said i would consider the position. despite intense surprise, there was no possibility of saying no to the opportunity. it was yes it was thank god of course it was yes it was only yes.

and inbetween then and now i've got to work like a crazy to get my current job done; and go out into the city at night whilst i can. and enjoy.

(look - hidden underneath the cover of bark is a golden tree)

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