Oh Gourd, a Penis Gourd, the Age Old QuestionMoving from the land of donkeys and cows (Botswana) to the land of man eaters and toilet paperlessness (Indonesia) has been quite the change. The biggest change is mostly the people that I’m flying around.

Quick Story

So here’s a quick story about a mate of mine, let’s call him George. George was new to flying in Indonesia, lots of new exciting experiences but one stands out the most.

Landing at a mountain airstrip, (6% slope upwards, 530m long). He unloaded the passengers (penumpang in Indonesian), rice and noodles from his plane. Looking around with his limited Indonesian he started shouting, “Penumpang, penumpang!”, herding his passengers into his “Check-In” area (the back stairs of the plane) where he could attempt to get their names.

After loading the passengers up and helping them with their seat belts. He was faced with the most traditionally dressed of the villagers that boarded (feathered headgear, man skirt thing made from coconut, face paint, bone through the nose and the koteka). Grabbing the seat belt and pulling it around the man, this is when he was faced with the age old question, “Does the seat belt go around the Koteka (penis gourd – see heading image) or underneath it?”. Some gourds have even become so modernized that there is a Papuan with a doll’s hand as his gourd.

He got eye contact with the man who laughed and moved the gourd so the seat belt went underneath it. George laughed to himself but this was not the end of his dealings with the Gourd. Gathering money from each passenger for the flight. He stopped at the gourded man who proceeded to take off his gourd and fish out some cash from it. 

After take-off and in the cruise back to the main airport, George heard this tapping sound. Stressing that it was something to do with the engine, he started checking that everything was running smoothly, it was. The tapping sound continued but it sounded like it was coming from the back of the aircraft, he looked back and there was Mr. Gourded man tapping away. Apparently when Papuans get nervous they will tap their gourds to calm themselves down.

Oh Gourd, a Penis Gourd, the Age Old Question

Moving from the land of donkeys and cows (Botswana) to the land of man eaters and toilet paperlessness (Indonesia) has been quite the change. The biggest change is mostly the people that I’m flying around.

Quick Story

So here’s a quick story about a mate of mine, let’s call him George. George was new to flying in Indonesia, lots of new exciting experiences but one stands out the most.

Landing at a mountain airstrip, (6% slope upwards, 530m long). He unloaded the passengers (penumpang in Indonesian), rice and noodles from his plane. Looking around with his limited Indonesian he started shouting, “Penumpang, penumpang!”, herding his passengers into his “Check-In” area (the back stairs of the plane) where he could attempt to get their names.

Porter at Alemson PapuaAfter loading the passengers up and helping them with their seat belts. He was faced with the most traditionally dressed of the villagers that boarded (feathered headgear, man skirt thing made from coconut, face paint, bone through the nose and the koteka).

Grabbing the seat belt and pulling it around the man, this is when he was faced with the age old question, “Does the seat belt go around the Koteka (penis gourd – see heading image) or underneath it?”. Some gourds have even become so modernized that there is a Papuan with a doll’s hand as his gourd.

He got eye contact with the man who laughed and moved the gourd so the seat belt went underneath it. George laughed to himself but this was not the end of his dealings with the Gourd. Gathering money from each passenger for the flight. He stopped at the gourded man who proceeded to take off his gourd and fish out some cash from it.

After take-off and in the cruise back to the main airport, George heard this tapping sound. Stressing that it was something to do with the engine, he started checking that everything was running smoothly, it was. The tapping sound continued but it sounded like it was coming from the back of the aircraft, he looked back and there was Mr. Gourded man tapping away. Apparently when Papuans get nervous they will tap their gourds to calm themselves down.

Oh Gourd, a Penis Gourd, the Age Old Question

Moving from the land of donkeys and cows (Botswana) to the land of man eaters and toilet paperlessness (Indonesia) has been quite the change. The biggest change is mostly the people that I’m flying around.

Quick Story

So here’s a quick story about a mate of mine, let’s call him George. George was new to flying in Indonesia, lots of new exciting experiences but one stands out the most.

Landing at a mountain airstrip, (6% slope upwards, 530m long). He unloaded the passengers (penumpang in Indonesian), rice and noodles from his plane. Looking around, with his limited Indonesian he started shouting, “Penumpang, penumpang!”, herding his passengers into his “Check-In” area (the back stairs of the plane) where he could attempt to get their names.

Porter at Alemson Papua

After loading the passengers up and helping them with their seat belts. He was faced with the most traditionally dressed of the villagers that boarded (feathered headgear, man skirt thing made from coconut, face paint, bone through the nose and the koteka).

Grabbing the seat belt and pulling it around the man, this is when he was faced with the age old question, “Does the seat belt go around the Koteka (penis gourd – see heading image) or underneath it?”. Some gourds have even become so modernized that there is a Papuan with a doll’s hand as his gourd.

He got eye contact with the man who laughed and moved the gourd so the seat belt went underneath it. George laughed to himself but this was not the end of his dealings with the Gourd. Gathering money from each passenger for the flight. He stopped at the gourded man who proceeded to take off his gourd and fish out some cash from it.

Eastern Highlands of Papua

After take-off and in the cruise back to the main airport, George heard this tapping sound. Stressing that it was something to do with the engine, he started checking that everything was running smoothly, it was.

The tapping sound continued but it sounded like it was coming from the back of the aircraft, he looked back and there was Mr. Gourded man tapping away. Apparently when Papuans get nervous they will tap their gourds to calm themselves down.

Tree House in Danewage

Porter at Alemson 350mPorter in Alemson 350m
Tree House in DanewageTree House in Danewage
Eastern Highlands of PapuaEastern Highlands Papua

Tree House in DanewageTree House in Danewage

Eastern Highlands of PapuaEastern Highlands Papua