|A ‘Back water’ for a back packer|
|Written by Cyril Gare|
|Wednesday, 26 January 2011 00:00|
Someone in the tourism and hospitality industry once told me that tourists come to see natural settings of Papua New Guinea more than to be housed in fancifully looking hotels and motels in big towns and cities. Why, because they have it all in their place and are used to it.
When in Papua New Guinea, they want something different, something unique and more natural in form and style. Buried under coconut palms and the mix river canopy at the end of the old Angoram airstrip in East Sepik Province is Wavi Guest House. Sago thatched roofs covered walls that have been carefully crafted in solid timber forming secured rooms equipped with tiled floors, basic study wares, and treated nets that fend off blood sucking mosquitoes. Sealed large Tuffer tanks capture rain water for drinking and cooking while VIP latrines offer yet the most simplest of effective hygiene practices at hand. There is no razor wire or iron wall fences, leaving you exposed only to the mercy of Mother Nature and it providences.
Wavi’s locally prepared cuisines comprising giant prawns, shrimps, moon fish stakes, and the kulau wara (coconut juice) in fruit punch deserts, settles you well in the meaning of “unique and natural in form and style”.
No wonder, Save the Children liked it there. It followed by MSF (Medical Science Frontiers) or Doctors without Borders who stayed the all two months at Wavi guest house when attending to the Cholera stricken villages in the district. Cholera hit Angoram in November, 2009 but quickly contained by mid this year. Others who joined the MSF later included National Department of Health (NDoH) officials, World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Union Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Mr. Aldo.
“They lifted our standard and brought us to light, we were never a big operation until the time of Cholera when all these people (visitors) checked into our place,” said Mr. Francis Tobias, the sole proprietor of Wavi guest house who is assisted by his only staff wife.
“So we’re a husband and wife operation, we prefer to stay low but always try to give the best to our guests,” Mr. Tobias said.
December 3, 2010 saw the second peace march in Angoram where thousands took the streets to surrender from crime and promised “a new dawn” for peace and prosperity. Both factory made and home made guns, pistols, and home brewing kits were surrendered, burnt and buried in a hole near the police station, marking a significant escape from the underworld which has haunted and tarnished Angoram into a “cowboy town” for at least two decades.
Wavi guest house supported and ensured that all visitors to the peace march were well fed and that opened my world into the simplicity and unique surroundings of the place. “You do not need to go to towns and cities to look for work. You can create something for yourself in the back yard of your village so with the energy left, return to your village and start something for yourself,” was Tobias’s primary message to the youths and people of Angoram living and working outside.
Francis Tobias started his Wavi guest house in 2008 all from the love of cooking. He has never been to a catering school but has been the name for hire at every functions and celebrations in town ever since. Succumbing to the demand, Tobias convinced his good wife to let the family yard into a five bed room guest house which today has opened a new chapter for this husband and wife entrepreneurship.
Rooms are going for K80 per night while meals are at K6 breakfast, K12 lunch, and K18 dinner. Angoram in the East Sepik region of Papua New Guinea may be a backwater mention but not its blessings and the experiences that awaits your next visit there and Wavi guest house offers yet all that is required for a back packer.
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