On Mondays what we locals refer to as “The Station” transforms from a scene resembling a western movie ghost-town into hubbub of commotion that resembles a western’s non-ghost town. There is lots of activity, many folk arriving from out of town and the occasional street brawl. People like the woman above hike for hours–or days–laden with their freshly harvested produce to sell at The Station. Many more come for the social interaction or to hitch a ride to Lae. The result is part farmers’ market, part high school cafeteria with a bus station feel to it all.
This is the main stretch:
At the bottom of the road in the picture above there is a covered area where early birds claim ground to display their goods.
Along the road many more lay out whatever they have to sell under the cover of a tarp, an umbrella, or the sun.
The serious entrepreneurs set up shop with roughly one wheel barrow’s worth of stuff which is typically transported to The Station via wheel barrow.
Though The Station and its modern conveniences do nothing for our remote-location-image, it’s nice to have access to more goods than most tribal missionaries. We probably aren’t going to do any clothes shopping here in Menya, but we do get flour, sugar, salt and a variety of fruits and vegetables beyond just the local fare. It’s a blessing to reduce how much we have to fly in here. Additionally, our location was chosen strategically by our predecessors because of the potential for the gospel to spread in the future. That’s something for down the road–because we have one.