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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.