Everyday People PNG : Benedict Samlal

Part 2 of 2: Towards September and October when the first landings of the PNGDF troops happened on Bougainville, the chiefs of the village where my father was teaching allowed us to leave.

We got on a ship and went to Rabaul. The following year I did grade 7 again and grade 8 at Maltech and I moved to another school, to Malabunga and then in 1994 whilst I was in grade 10, Mt Tavurvur erupted.

So I was part of two of the country’s major historical events.

The eruption also affected my grade 10 school year because our school had to close and I left for Port Moresby.

From my internal assessments and my marks, I was given a slot at Kerevat National High School and was there from 1995 to 1996 and then in 1997 I went to the University of Papua New Guinea.

Being a pilot has always been something I have aspired to become.

Because of the Corona Virus pandemic and the drastic effect it has had on most of our lives, I don’t know whether I will be able to stay much longer in the Industry.

However, the job itself has been very satisfying in being able to take people from one place to another and I am always happy and pleased to see people happy when they get to their destination and meet their loved ones.

Those are the little things that make me continue doing the job.

I have also enrolled in university again and I am presently doing my second year of Law at UPNG, whilst still flying.

The pandemic has allowed me to actually do the course with a lot of interaction on social media, WhatsApp and google classroom.

My biggest advice to all young people is work hard and set your goals and go about achieving your goals.

It’s a bit unfair on the kids of this generation for us the older generation to say, ‘oh you’re not working hard because of so much influence’.

That’s true, but university quotas and requirements aren’t the same now, and the number of kids that come out of year 12 has quadrupled.

When I was in year 12, the marks I had to get into Science Foundation, will not be able to get me into the same course now.

So it is unfortunate that this generation has to deal with limitations in space and all that with so many distractions like social media and peer pressure, but this is an opportunity for young people to strive and makes sure they get past these challenges. 

Frieda Kana