I'm on the other line
had come to Papua New Guinea to learn how cheap cell phones were transforming the lives of the poor. Somebody somewhere had said that bushmen in the jungle, as they stalk their piggy prey, now dial one another up to coordinate the kill: "Hello, Tubuio? This is Gari. I think he's over there, behind that rock. Wait. Wait. I'm getting another call."
I set off for the jungle in a Toyota Land Cruiser accompanied by Clive Yamuna, a blasé ex-cop with a .38-caliber revolver strapped to his hip. With us was our bushman guide, Gari Gari, and several hunters, some with blood-red mouths from chewing betel nut, a popular narcotic. The hunters included camouflage-clad Tubuio Tubuio and Nese Lalai, a sleepy-eyed, long-limbed fellow who wore on his head, as if it were a hat, a blue wool ski mask. His unruly hair projected from the mask's nose and mouth holes. Our weapons included a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun, a machete and cell phones costing maybe 69 kina ($26) each.
By using phones, the hunters explained, you could find the pig faster, meaning you were more likely to kill it in your own territory, not that of a rival tribe. Killing a pig in another tribe's territory could get you killed.
Ain't technology a wonderful thing! Of course they are at one with Gaia and we should emulate their dignified and carbon neutral lifestyle freed from consumerism and multinational companies - while I suspect they a very happy that those wicked multinationals have freed them from chucking sticks at pigs as they walk through the jungle relying on the drums to communicate.....