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Let Us Build Together

Page 4

Tricia Natoli

One of the group organised a factory outlet tour in Melbourne which turned out to be the biggest fund-raiser and a lot of fun for all who came along. Other fund-raisers included: a bush dance, a stall at Greensborough outdoor market followed by a giant garage sale, sales of homemade marmalade and baskets of homemade bath bombs. In the year of constant but successful activity we raised $7,000 to enable everyone who wanted to take part in the adventure to travel with us.

On the 7th April 2000 seven intrepid travellers, average age 60, set off for GauGau. The flight from Cairns stopped at Mount Hagen (Western Highlands) where we were told to wait on the tarmac and not to enter the arrivals hall of the airport, as it was too dangerous. Rather nervously waiting on the tarmac, we looked around at the high wire fence surrounding the runway which presumably was going to keep us safe. Outside, the plants looked beautiful and the trees lush, it was pleasantly cool and the air was fresh, not unlike springtime in Kinglake where I lived at the time. All around the runways were mountains with thick low-lying clouds billowing above. Apart from the airport administration there were no other buildings to be seen and no traffic noise to be heard. This was definitely not a familiar environment. 

With relief we boarded the weekly flight to the coastal city of Lae to spend one night before moving on to our destination. At the airport we met two co-ordinators from HfH Papua New Guinea who would accompany us by boat to Finschhafen the next day. 

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