Random act of Kindness

​Kindness is a reward in itself, some say.

But who would have thought a school boy many, many years ago would be given a second chance in his adult life to finally say “thank you” to a kind hearted woman who spared him great humiliation in a bus full of school mates by offering to pay his fare and then offer him a little extra so he could enjoy a decent lunch.

The circumstances under which Frank Makanuey of Port Moresby met the motuan lady pulls at the heartstrings, but he was determined to return the favour, no matter what.

Read on as he recounts his remarkable encounter as a school boy many years ago.

LOOP PNG is grateful to Frank for giving us permission to carry his story which he shared initially on his Facebook wall.

"A long time ago when I was going to school at Badihagwa High School in Hanuabada (a traditional village on the outskirts of the Capital of Papua New Guinea),I used to catch the bus from Hohola where we lived.”

Then NCDC had a bus service and the bus depot was located at the end of Hanuabada village close to the School.

One morning I was a little bit late for school.

When I came out of my house the bus was already at the bus stop. I ran as fast as I could to catch it.

My father had given me 10 toea for bus fare and I had it in my shirt pocket. But when I ran to catch the bus I did not realise it had fallen out.

When I got on the bus, imagine my horror and embarrassment to discover that the 10toea had fallen out of my pocket.

I bowed my head almost in shame because I was the last person to get on and everyone in the bus was seated and looking at me.

As I turned to get off the bus, a Motuan lady sitting next to the driver, who was from Kerema, said in Motu that she would pay for me.

She had given the driver a K5 note when she got on and the driver did not have enough money to give her change but said he would do so when she gets off the bus.

By then the driver would have enough money from bus fare he collects.

Anyway this kind lady got off in town and the driver gave her the change. She came around to the window where I was sitting and gave me 50toea.

I tried to say thank you but at that instance the bus took off.

That day I had a decent lunch. A meat pie cost 10 toea and a bottle of coke was also 10 toea.

I never really got around saying thank you to the lady.

She only got in the bus that day because her father’s truck broke down.

And when the truck was fixed she never got on the bus again.

About 7 months ago when I was in ICU at the Port Moresby General Hospital’s Ward 8, I saw her again after many years.

She had been diagnosed with cancer. I recognised her despite the way she looked because of the illness.

I thought about her random act of kindness all those years ago and felt I needed to say thank you.

I asked my son to go to the ATM to get some money. I put the money in the envelope.

When she was alone without a guardian, I walked over in my crutches and said hello.

I asked her if she remembered me. She did not.

I recounted the bus fare story and told her where she lived in Hohola. Then she remembered.

We talked for a bit despite the obvious pain in her face from the cancer. The nurse came around and gave her a shot of morphine to ease the pain.

I gave her the envelope and said thank you. I told her I never forgot what she did to me and she smiled back gently.

A week later, she died.

I was relieved I said thank you, even in such an awkward place and under those circumstances.

My father was struggling to make ends meet with a salary of K35.00 as Mess Supervisor at Gordons Police Barracks.

Ten toea was what he could afford to give me for bus fare to school. I never had any lunch money so when the lady paid my bus fare and then gave me 50 toea, i felt good. I had money in my pocket and I felt rich."

Frank A Makanuey