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The Paiga story

'Civilisation ends at Ke Efu', says Pake Asivapu. He is talking of the final relatively easily accessible junction on the road towards the village of his birth, Paigatasa, in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, geographical coordinates 6 32' 0" South, 145 29' 0" East, 54klms from Goroka, the Provincial capital.

Women still die here in childbirth and their children die with them. No satellite dishes bloom off roofs, just the occasional orchid. Metal only came to Paiga, so their story goes, when a plane crashed somewhere around there during World War II and someone enterprising started to make axes out of the fuselage. It's easy to use words like primitive, pre-literate, even uncivilised about Paiga. Easy, but wrong.

Pake is wrong. In Paiga there is warmth, kin, sharing. No one goes unloved or

uncared for. Civilisation, people behaving well toward each other, does not end at Ke Efu. Only the traversable road ends.

You can't drive in to Paiga - no-one up here calls it Paigatasa usually. You walk, along precipitous ridges, following narrow tacks through forest, tracks that turn to bogs with the smallest falls of rain carried by clouds that drift like cooking smoke but clear, not sting, the eyes.

But there are other roads now. This site is for the community of Paiga. It's a portal for virtual visiting of a place few of you are likely to ever go to. It's a site that hopefully makes you question your worldview.

It's also a place to see the community projects that the people of Paiga are undertaking.

And finally it's a place where you can find out about People of Australasia for Innovation and Growth in Australasia (PAIGA) the organisation we have set up in Australia to support the community projects, and to find out how you can contribute to the work of the community.