TDM VISIT TOTOKA FOCUS GROUP IN WAKUNAI

20 12 2014

Heading to the mountains of Wakunai leaving Buka Highway on the other side of Red River Bridge

Heading to the mountains of Wakunai leaving Buka Highway on the other side of Red River Bridge


On the 14th of December I was asked by the new project manager for TDM Erengeta Mararu if I would go with his TDM team on the 17th of December and film their visitation to one of their focus group Totoka cultural Group in Wakunai. TDM, stands for Tampara Duanta Melanesia in Nasioi language. Good journey with doing God given initiative with appropriate manner in Melanesia
Dropped off when the truck can't go more because of slippery and feeder road not use for sometime

Dropped off when the truck can’t go more because of slippery and feeder road not use for sometime


We took off from Arawa at about 7am and battle the dusty Buka highway luckily we are in a ten seater so avoided being white all over from the dust.
With some Wakunai kids on the road to Ruvirapaia village

With some Wakunai kids on the road to Ruvirapaia village


We left the main Buka highway at Red River and followed a feeder road which hardly being used for about 1 hour when the truck complained from the road so slippery so have to dropped off and walked rest of the way up to the village.
Short interviewed with Annie Takaku, Admin & Accounts stuff with TDM

Short interviewed with Annie Takaku, Admin & Accounts stuff with TDM


When we arrived at the first village I had an interviewed with Annie Takaku an Administration & Account stuff with the TDM. She told me they have four focal districts on the Island which is Tinpuzt, Wakunai, Kieta and Nagovis[Bana] , In Tinpuzt and Wakauni they have 10 focus groups, in Kieat more than 12. After every two years they come together and performed, in a festival call Reeds Festival.
traditional welcome at Ruvirapaia village

traditional welcome at Ruvirapaia village


We were given a traditional welcome when we arrived at the village which makes me feels proud that we still have our culture even though the western culture is fast making us forgetting some of it.
Beautiful welcome

Beautiful welcome


A light break fast was served for us mostly on traditional disc; also drinking water was drink from bamboo. After a short rest, speeches was said by the TDM team with cultural dances in between and ended with three speeches from the leaders in the area.
Kevin Buruau, Arts & Craft coordinator of TDM drinking water from bamboo

Kevin Buruau, Arts & Craft coordinator of TDM drinking water from bamboo


Than comes lunch, which followed by more cultural dances but this time it was more interesting as the Upe boys came to join in from their boys house some distance away from the main village.
Upe head boy was carrying on the shoulders while dancing

Upe head boy was being carried on the shoulders while dancing


We slept at the village so we would to come to know more of each other, early the next morning the TDM team had a meeting with the members of the Totoka focus group before we walked back to the main road following another road.
Mens house

Mens house


Erengeta Mararu new TDM Programme Manager giving his speech

Erengeta Mararu new TDM Programme Manager giving his speech


Morning break fast serve on local traditional disc

Morning break fast serve on local traditional disc


Chief Mark Waraka giving his speech

Chief Mark Waraka TDM Cool culture Coordinator giving his speech


Clive, after singing new song, Native Born, I would not sell my island for a price again

Clive, after singing new song, Native Born, I would not sell my island for a price again


Kids want to be on the camera

Kids want to be on the camera


Erengeta Mararu, Leslie & Jim singing their song

Erengeta Mararu, Leslie & Jim singing their song


Chief Mark Waraka & Benny singing one of their number

Chief Mark Waraka & Benny singing one of their number


A colourful welcome by Totoka cultural focus group

A colourful welcome by Totoka cultural focus group

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