Friday, March 02, 2012

A mecca market for city residents

By MALUM NALU

Every Sunday morning in Port Moresby, starting from the crack of dawn, a long line of vehicles leaves the city.
The vehicles, with both expatriate and national passengers, are bound for the beautiful and scenic Pacific Adventist University campus at Koiari Park, 14-Mile.
The PAU is a premier Christian institution of higher learning and research in the Pacific.
The Koiari Park campus is located in a peaceful rural setting, 14 miles (21km) outside of Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, and is operated by the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
The PAU campus, part of a 48-hectare estate, is set in a beautiful environment with water-lily lakes, a wealth of bird life, well-maintained lawns and shrubs and well-chosen shade trees, making it a peaceful place not only for its residents, but also for many local and international visitors.
You will be amazed how this snake-infested wild grassland has transformed into an oasis of natural beauty, a credit to all who pioneered and who have maintained the beautiful campus, which is also known for intellectual stimulus of the study and amazing research being conducted.
 It is a real model for the Pacific!
Every Sunday morning, the PAU becomes a mecca for city residents, as they converge on the place for the popular Sunday morning market.
Here, you can find the freshest and best vegetables in this part of the world, grown either by local farmers, PAU residents and students, or the university’s farm.
Some of the crops for which PAU is well known are aibika, bananas, watermelon, honeydew, rock melon, cucumbers, lettuce, pak choi, capsicum and now rice.
Apart from the vegetables, you can have freshly-cooked tapioca cakes, Tolai aigir, sago, bananas, taro, leafy vegetables, fish, chicken and others for breakfast.
Washed down with fresh kulau (coconut) juice, and you’ll feel like royalty!
Driving into Pacific Adventist University.-All pictures by MALUM NALU

Entrace to Pacific Adventist University's Koiari Park campus

Fresh guavas, sugar cane and other fruits at Pacific Adventist University early morning Sunday market

Sunday morning market at Pacific Adventist University

Faces of Pacific Adventist University Sunday morning market

Fresh cucumbers washed down with kulau (coconut) juice at Pacific Adventist University Sunday morning market

Don't miss the fresh tapioca cakes and fish on a Sunday morning market at Pacific Adventist University! Simply the best!

Fresh guavas at Pacific Adventist University Sunday morning market

Nothing beats the fresh tapioca cakes at Pacific Adventist University on a Sunday morning

Fresh vegetables galore at Pacific Adventist University Sunday morning market

A lake scene at Pacific Adventist University this morning. The entire PAU campus is a haven for international birdwatchers, believe it or not!

Beautiful lake scene at Pacific Adventist University

Both the faculty and the student body are international in composition, which gives the market a truly international flavor, as they also partake in it.
While most students come from PNG and other Pacific Island nations such as Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, others have come from Africa, Australia, Pakistan, China, the Philippines, and the United States.
Last Sunday morning, I enjoyed an early morning drive up to Koiairi Park for the Sunday morning market, and the picturesque and breathtaking scenery.
The market has a life of its own, sights and sounds, delicious aromas.
The PAU has made a lot of progress in pursuing a programme of self-sufficiency in food production.
Encouraged by government programmes that stress the importance of agricultural development, PAU has increased its crop programme year-by-year.
Last Sunday, when I visited, it was veteran farm manager Knox Timothy’s last day at work before he retired after 17 years
He studied in Taiwan and had visited farms several times in Australia and New Zealand.
He grew up in Manus and learned his skills at Kabiufa and Mt Diamond, SDA institutions, which in those days were leaders in institutional food production.
“This is my last Sunday, I’m retiring,” Timothy tells me.
“The Sunday market opens at around 5am.
“It is open to the public of Port Moresby every Sunday, unless there is a problem.
“It has been going on since the school started.
“It used to be held outside the school, where Adventure Park is, but has now been moved inside.
“It’s very popular among city residents, however, I’m not sure that everyone knows about it.
“You can even have a good Sunday morning breakfast here as well!
“Right now, however, we’re in short supply because of the weather but hoping that this will be sorted out.”
Last Sunday, in my rush to get to Koiari Park, I brought only K5 – I thought it was a K50 - with me and could only drool as I walked around the market watching every second person having a nice, healthy breakfast.
Once bitten, twice shy, so I won’t make that mistake next time!
Oh, and if you plan to visit the market, makes sure you go early so you have the freshest and best.

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