We are in the middle of a severe, el niño induced drought in PNG which seems to be especially bad in Menya. It’s been bone dry here since June and everybody is struggling to find food because the gardens aren’t producing.
Tuesday, for the second time since September, relief came in the form of a truck full of rice provided by the government. The truck parked and men distributed rice to those who had registered for help while the sun continued it’s assault.
These men stood in the back of the truck under the shade of their parasol calling out names. Those summoned came forward to receive ten bags of rice and ten packages of noodle (like Ramen.)
Overall, it was an orderly event. There was sporadic shouting and arguing and a number of times the crowd was ordered to back up from the truck. The most exciting part was an argument between Daniel (who you many remember bow-and-arrowed a man for stealing his pig) and one of the leaders (whose son had been bow-and-arrowed by Daniel for stealing a pig.) The leader had removed Daniel’s name from the list so he wouldn’t get any rice. Daniel wasn’t happy. The police stepped in and diffused the argument. I don’t think anything was settled and I don’t know if Daniel ever got any rice.