liklik pikinini meri bilong Pomyea by bobfoto

liklik pikinini meri bilong Pomyea

Early morning, time to load up and start walking again. We watched the sunrise and the moonset, we noticed the young boy take off in the dark for his 2 hour run to school. I was silently hoping we would walk past his school on our journey today, it would be awesome to see just how far he ventured everyday for his precious education.

As we loaded up packs and got ready, this young girl stood in the doorway of our manhaus to say goodbye. Behind her you can see the bamboo flooring, the fire behind that and you can sense that maybe that morning, life was just a little bit different for her.

We waved goodbye and started our trek, the weather was perfect, the sun was shining, it started off cool in the mountains and the track was dry.

Our porters and guides were keen to get walking and off we set. A few minutes later, leaving the village a young boy named Lionel ran up to us... he had quite a gait and as he stopped, he cried out "please let me walk with you?"

I was unsure about whether it was wise to take on a young boy as a travelling companion so I said to Boss Ishmael "what's your opinion?"... Ishmael spoke to Lionel in their tok ples and Ishmael looked at me and said "Yes, Lionel will walk with us"

After half an hour of trekking, I said to Lionel "Do you want to be paid to walk with us? Earn some money?" and Lionel said "yes please" so we arranged for Lionel to carry GF's bilum that she acquired from Matteus (I remembered his name, the student who gave his bilum to GF high up in the Chimbu mountains the day before) and inside the bilum was GFs camera. Lionel was told to take extra special care and occasionally GF would want to take her camera out and take a photo or two.

Lionel understood and continued limping down the hill.

I asked Lionel why he had a limp and he said when he was born, he could not walk, and when he was a younger boy, he was carried down to Madang and to the Catholic Hospital there and he was operated on. There at Madang by the sea, he was rehabilitated, taught how to walk and then he returned back up to his home in the mountains.

He heard last night that we were walking to Madang and he wanted to walk there himself, on his own two legs, and he wanted to see the ocean once again.

Touched, I patted Lionel on the back and took a look off the edge of the track, down towards the ocean, which every step we took was ever so slightly closer. Lionel held my hand for a while and looked up at me and smiled.

After a few hours of walking, the weather still perfect, the road still heading downhill, Ishmael came to me and said "remember the young boy who runs to school each day?" and I said "of course!" that young lad was such an inspiration, and Ishmael said "Snopas is here, his school is here" and sure enough, as we turned a corner, in the middle of no-where, there were maybe 30 kids all standing on top of a small cliff, their school building behind them, and they cheered and waved as we walked past. In front of all of them was our dear friend from Pomyea who was calling out our names, and waving and cheering.

I wish I had stopped to say hello to all the kids, but we had a big day of walking still ahead and has we walked past, we took photos and videos and the kids and their teacher jumped and cheered and yelled and screamed as we walked off further down the path.

We then started to get amongst a few more trees as we started to drop in altittude, the weather started warming up and the humidity started to climb.

We continued to walk.

Photo taken 14 November 2008
You are a great story teller :) gorgeous photo too
November 27th, 2012  
@palusami - Thanks Tanya.
November 27th, 2012  
Really, really touching and such a precious photo too!
November 27th, 2012  
what a story ans such a sweetie photo star
November 27th, 2012  
Oh, the photo itself tells such a story. This is a FAV for me!! Your work is amazing!!!
November 27th, 2012  
beautiful
November 27th, 2012  
Great story as always, Jason and I love this photo! you can't go wrong capturing such a precious child in such a cute pose! FAV
November 27th, 2012  
another stunning photo from you Jason yet another great story too, this again has to be a fav with your story's and your photos Its a shame that your not on a Television programme about the life and places and people you photo It would be one Interesting documentery .
November 27th, 2012  
Have you any plans to collect your writings in a book? You have so many heart-warming stories.
November 27th, 2012  
wonderful story and i totally agree with gerry! :)
November 27th, 2012  
so so precious Jason. Nat Geo!!
November 27th, 2012  
beautiful portrait. fav.
November 27th, 2012  
Cute portrait !
November 27th, 2012  
Firstly the photo is amazingly beautiful... and the story, once again... You are a wonderful story teller..
November 27th, 2012  
I do so enjoy your stories, gorgeous picture too
November 27th, 2012  
Amy
Beautiful portrait and the narrative is equally as compelling.
November 28th, 2012  
Your story kept me spellbound. This is a lovely portrait of the little girl.
November 28th, 2012  
@archaeofrog - Thanks Katie.

@houdiniem - She was adorable. Just so sweet.

@aprilmilani - Thank you April, thanks. :)

@abhijit - thanks.

@grammyn - Thank you Katy, it was a kodak moment indeed.

@gerry - Oh Gerry, this is the first time someone has said I should be on television! What a compliment. Thank you oh so much!

@will_wooderson - There will be a book. I'm positive now. Just have to finish the year off.

@agentzuckerguss - Oh thank you Katia, you are always so supportive and fun. Thanks!

@adifferenteye - Thank you Dar. Thanks.

@kandernob - Thank you Karen and thank you for the fave!

@cocobella - sure is.

@michelleyoung - Oh Michelle, thank you so. You always know what to say to make me stop and think. Thanks. Thank you.

@fjh - Francesca, I thank you.

@amyvanross - Cheers Amy, thank you.

@daisy - She is so sweet, I wonder what she is doing now?
November 28th, 2012  
This is a gorgeous shot, Jason. Your narrative is so lovely and interesting at the same time. Amazing what a little boy has to do to take some education.
November 28th, 2012  
@sangwann - Sometimes we take things for granted?
November 28th, 2012  
What a little sweetheart, great story too.
November 28th, 2012  
@kjarn - Thanks Kathy A :)
November 28th, 2012  
what a little sweetie, the story about Lionel has moved me
November 28th, 2012  
@lbmcshutter - Lionel was wonderful to have on the journey... I was so happy to share some cash with him.
November 28th, 2012  
The title is in Tok Pisin, right? Something like "Little girl from Pomyea?"
November 28th, 2012  
@frankhymus - Yup that's right Frank. :)
November 28th, 2012  
@bobfoto your very welcome Jason but Its true you would be excellent at having a documentry on Television .
November 28th, 2012  
@gerry - Thanks Gerry, very kind of you to say! (Do you know anyone at the BBC?)
November 29th, 2012  
@bobfoto not off hand you could try to put a demo recording together and send It to them and see what becomes of the situation ? :-)
November 29th, 2012  
@gerry - now don't you try and fill my head with ideas now Gerry! ;)
November 29th, 2012  
Adorbz! I miss the little faces in Kenya. I'll have to go home and get out the album (no digital on that trip) and remember a few of them this evening.
November 29th, 2012  
@geocacheking - I have an album of 200 portraits from my time in PNG and yes, I have just gone through it.
November 30th, 2012  
Such a sweet little girl - about how old was Lionel? So many surprises every day - this must be a real labour of love for you to set it all down. You can't let this project fall off the net into obscurity one day... your job this weekend is to think what to do with it next. Ok? :)
November 30th, 2012  
@filsie65 - Lionel was around 12 years old. And there will be a book. Stay tuned.
November 30th, 2012  
@bobfoto I will happily pay extra (and postage!) for a signed first edition :)
November 30th, 2012  
@filsie65 - signed eh?
November 30th, 2012  
@bobfoto Yeah, then when I'm dead and gone the children can either keep it or auction it for thousands. (That's what happens to signed first editions, right?!) And for me it will be even more special! =)
November 30th, 2012  
@filsie65 - Well I hope you got a few more weeks left in you.... I have December's pics to post first!
November 30th, 2012  
@bobfoto Well I wasn't planning on going just yet, but I'll definitely hang on for those and the book if I can..!
December 1st, 2012  
@filsie65 - good to hear.
December 1st, 2012  
Nice shot here!
December 15th, 2012  
@emptykproductions - Thank you.
December 15th, 2012  
That's a beautiful story! I love this shot too... her expression and the little curling toes and fingers... She really does seem lost in a thought.
December 29th, 2012  
@hellcat - I'm hoping she was thinking that maybe when she gets older, she might follow her brother to school?
December 29th, 2012  
Given her apparent age and expression I think she's wondering where her playmate went. I'm not sure if she would be thinking about school like we do yet... maybe as a place to socialize and play. My kids at that age just wanted to be around people that would play with them... If that was school, then that's where they wanted to be. I think she'll get excited about school (as in learning) in a couple more years. :)
December 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - I hope so.
December 30th, 2012  
Me too.
December 30th, 2012  
Just saw this on 'ultimate fav fav' thread. Missed it before. Such a powerful image. fav
October 11th, 2013  
Fabulous capture and very interesting narrative. FAV.
October 11th, 2013  
Saw this on an ultimate favorite thread and fell in love with her. She is fabulous, as is your photo. Fav! And congrats on having such an honor bestowed on you...being someone's ultimate favorite photo.
October 11th, 2013  
@jantan @anazad511 @amandal - Thank you Jan, thank you Ana and thank you Amanda. Thank you for your faves. I was intrigued as to why this photo appeared in my notifications this morn and was pleasantly surprised that it has made the list of favourite faves. I have just re-read my story here and along with the photo, I was taken back to the very moment when I took this photo. It was an amazing moment in my life in PNG and after a pretty crazy week that I have just endured, memories of this kind of preciousness seem so long ago.

Thank you.
October 12th, 2013  
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