Madang man keen to go home

The National,Monday July 4th, 2016

IT has been a long journey away from his village.
After 24 years of living and working in Port Moresby, Allan Francis Lima is looking forward to returning home to Gog village on the north coast of Madang.
When he was in the village, he never really dreamt wanted to live in a city. Everything he wanted was there in the village, located in Ward 12 of the Ambenop Local Level Government in Madang.
Lima was born in Madang town on Jan 1, 1958. His parents were Anton Wanikuma and Anna Aihlel. He was the second son in a family of six children.
Lima and his siblings grew up in town while their father was working for an Australian Allan Strong, an ex-serviceman who brewed orange and lemonade soft drinks in Madang. Wanikuma worked as a driver.
In 1970, Lima attended the Holy Spirit Community School (now primary) and finished in 1975 with a Standard Six certificate.
He spent two years at home. In 1977, he enrolled at the Bau vocational centre in the Transgogol LLG. He graduated with a certificate in carpentry and brick-laying.
But he was employed as a taxi driver for Madang businessman Peter Yama. He had learnt how to drive from observing his father.
In 1981, he got married to a woman from Saruga village in neighbouring Ward 11. They had daughter Emily in 1983.
Lima later went to Goroka where he worked for a company before moving to Lae. He worked for another company before he got a job at SP Brewery.
His marriage collapsed and his wife went back to her family with their daughter.
His uncle Simon Dalien who worked as seaman learnt of Lima’s marriage break-up and brought him to Port Moresby to find work.
Lima arrived in Port Moresby in 1992. And he had never returned home since.
Lima worked for many companies as a driver, especially logging and construction firms.
All these years, one would have thought that he would have bought a home. He did not – simply because the thought never crossed his mind. There was no incentive to save.
He would rather rent single rooms, or live with his workmates, or stay at the company premises if the bosses allowed him to.
Currently he is staying with Joe and Anita Igama from the Philippines at Waigani.
He volunteers to be their driver and help them in whatever way he can. He picks up and drops off those working for Igama’s hair salon.
Lima is now 58. The long years of moving from job to job and finding ways to survive in the city have taken their toll.
He only does light work like driving or cleaning the backyard of the Igamas’ home.
The glamour of the city and the satisfaction he gets from being employed and getting remunerated for it is waning fast. He wants to return home – to his kinsfolk, to the land where he was brought up in, and the many resources it provides.
Back to the village where his life began.