MORESBY South MP Dame Carol Kidu was feted to rousing welcomes wherever she went in Finschhafen district, Morobe province, last week.
Men, women and children jostled for positions so they could shake hands with her.
Her two-day tour was contrasted by village women, children and men with the “fly-in fly-out” Morobe Governor Luther Wenge on Wednesday by helicopter.
At Kambili Primary School, where Dame Carol was en route to visiting the villages of Malasega, Kwalansam and Ngacsingalatu to open the community learning and development centres, she was blocked by teachers and students.
Teacher Joy Jungka and her students cut down stems of bananas and blocked the convoy that Dame Carol was in forcing her to get out and walked out to a cheering crowd of more than 200 students and teachers armed with garlands of frangipani, and standing in a parade to present a guard of honour.
Everywhere, from the coastal villagers to the inland, crowds gathered in unprecedented numbers as she was driven around by Finschhafen MP Theo Zurenuoc.
Earlier, after arriving in Finschhafen on Tuesday, Dame Carol was welcomed by students from Bugaim Elementary School at Buki wharf with a traditional war dance and presented with frangipani garlands, local-seashell necklaces and bilums.
She was accompanied by her department’s secretary Joseph Klapat, Morobe provincial programme adviser for the division of Community Development Amet Fongenmale, and representatives of the Evangelical Lutheran church.
She travelled by road the same day to see the four villages of Kwalansam, Malasiga, Nasingalatu and Bubalum, which were selected as pilot projects for community learning and development centres.
Women, elderly and young children at Kwalansam village formed two dance groups to escort Dame Carol to the opening of the village’s haus boi built to host the community learning and development centre.
On her way to Malasiga village, students from Katina Primary School showered her vehicle with petals and flowers as she was escorted to the community handicraft centre by a traditional singsing group into the village centre.