It was on May 8th, 2008 when I met Marco for the first time. He assisted the 2008 Annual General Meeting of Bougainville Copper. After the AGM we had coffee in the bar of the Hotel Crowne Plaza in Port Moresby. Marco told me a lot of things about Bougainville and his life with his family in Papua New Guinea's capital. I asked him why he did not go back to Bougainville? He told me that there is no work for him. Marco is a pilot and good education for his children is not guaranteed. In so far Marco was also a victim of the Bougainville crisis. Lucky for him: Marco had the possibility to study in Port Moresby and to become a pilot. Many other young Bougainvillean men were not so lucky.
In the hotel bar: Axel G. Sturm and Captain Marcellin Ampa'oi alias Marco
In 2009 I got in contact with Marco again. He contacted me via Facebook .
In December 2010 I could not believe what I saw on Radio New Dawn's homepage: Captain Marco was one of two pilots who operated the inauguration flight of the National Aviation Services from Buka to Buin and transported a famous Bougainville VIP : ABG President John Momis!
Marco on the right.
In fact - after long years of absence: Marco is back to Bougainville. Marcellin Ampa'oi can serve as a shining example for all young Bougainvilleans who live abroad and who should also think about returning to Bougainville and of re-building the island. Bougainville desperately needs this young and well educated generation for its future now!
On his historical flight Marco had the time to take some pictures that he kindly let us to be published on the ESBC's homepage.
Please find out here how Marco saw the eastern coast of Bougainville!