Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country which unfortunately suffers from a bad reputation. I count myself fortunate to have traveled fairly extensively around the PNG, but mainly on the coasts of the many islands for scuba diving and the interior is somewhere I have yet to really venture.
The travel I have done in PNG for scuba diving means that I stayed in hotels, dive resorts or liveaboard dive boats and was effectively isolated from how the majority of the people live their lives.
Papua New Guinea is basically a subsistence economy, where over 80% of the population reside in tightly knit village communities and live off what they can catch and grow.
What money they can earn comes from selling their surpluses at the small local markets and the money goes on “luxuries” such as cooking oil, school books & pencils and soap.
Things we take for granted, like running water and electricity, simply do not exist in the villages and life revolves around the sun – early to bed and early to rise…
To get an appreciation of life in PNG you need to do a village home stay and I have been able to do a few around the area of Tufi in Oro Province. Like most things not done before, I was quite uncertain about what it would be like the first time – particularly the “logistics” around basic human functions…
In fact it was all quite memorable and I hope the article does the experience justice and will make you want to give it a try!
You can use this link to download the full Orotoaba village homestay article.