Hi! I’m Renata and I’m a stay-at-home mommy!
First of all, thank you so much for dropping by!
Dream Bilum is where I come to write and find myself. Sometime ago, I rediscovered my passion for writing once more and I never looked back. In this site you will find resources for literature both Papua New Guinea and abroad.
Growing up I had a very imaginative mind. I would picture myself flying, talking with animals or magical creatures that would give me fantastic powers to protect me. When I reached grade one, I started collecting books and read encyclopedias and slept on atlas maps. I would also write poems and short stories then give to my family members to read or keep as gifts. I was so passionate about reading and writing!
I named this blog site Dream Bilum because Bilum is made here in my country, Papua New Guinea, and dreams are the foundation for my stories.
Bilum is a hand-woven bag that is made here in my country using string and wool.
The bilum is woven using different designs and colour patterns.
The weaving is wonderful to watch – if you have a lot of time – and the end result is an amazing bag that is used as a handbag for women and school bag for students. The bigger bilums are woven with bigger holes to carry babies in like a huge baby carrier.
Just recently, our local mothers have been using this magical weaving talent to create bilum dresses and ponchos that are displayed at annual fashion runways here in the country.
Dream bilum is where you will find helpful and inspiring tips to enrich you on your journey as you care for your family.
The ‘Tribal’ life…
We live in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) , an island nation just north of Australia. Our country has mountainous terrains, virgin forests, sandy and rocky coastlines and friendly people.
Here in PNG, we have a culture that is built on family and tribe. Therefore, it is quite normal to walk into a PNG family home and be greeted by a tribe.
Most times this way of living has been good for security, sharing of financial responsibilities and child minding.
Most PNG women who need to work in a 8 to 5 job don’t need to find a babysitter for her kids, there is always aunty Mary or grandmother Rose around to mind the children.
In this blog you will find insights on our PNG way of living, island food and our methods of cooking, island DIY project ideas, Hot (sometimes literally!) and exotic PNG tourist destinations and vital tips for stay-at-home mothers as we bring up our little angels in the way that they should go.
What makes me tick?
My mom always complained about having to buy coffee every week – my brother and I love coffee and can drink it black!
Now tell me if you can resist chocolate. I go nuts over chocolate and anything baked with chocolate – flavoured and covered with chocolate.
Apart from those two chinks in my armor I love writing, reading and would really love to travel the world.
When I was a kid I had a favourite story book called ‘Little Women’ written by Louisa May Alcott. That book captured my imagination because of how it was written, and especially how it centered around the lives of the four March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.
I had three sisters that time, I was the second eldest sister, and this story made me see my sisters in a new light – I accepted their personality and encouraged their dreams.
Little Women created a dream in me to write and have an impact on others like that story did on me.
Apart from writing my books, I knew I had to start a blog where I can share my love for writing, ideas and network with others to help them realize their dreams and make them come true.
When did I start blogging?
It was in the year 2013 when I discovered this blog site, ‘The Namarong Report’ created by one of my countrymen and well-known blogger, Martyn Namarong.
I was working in our National Parliament house here in Port Moresby at that time, and we had good internet speed so I was able to browse around on the net to do my research.
I had been employed as a Keyboard Operator (KBO) in 2012. I was not satisfied with that work and after praying and asking the lord for help I began staying late at the office searching the internet for better writing methods and ‘How to’ tutorials for writing press releases and media statements.
After some practice I was able to master writing my first press releases and news items for the daily papers that by 2014, I received my letter of appointment from our chief of staff informing me that they were moving me up to a First Secretary position.
A week later, I was reading through my blog posts and realized that I had to write better stories instead of wasting my newly acquired writing skills on opinion posts that meant nothing to anyone.
That was when I started writing stories about real women and people who had an impact in their communities.
Some of my stories were published in the daily newspapers here in Papua New Guinea and a local women’s magazine called Lily.
My three little Bosses…
I was working at an 8-5 job at Lily Magazine as a senior writer in 2015 when I decided to resign and stay home with my kids. I had come home one evening to find out that my children’s babysitter was leaving them alone in the house during the day.
It was a bit of a tough decision for me because one of my million dreams growing up was to work in a magazine, writing delightful stories and wearing artsy fashion clothes to work…yes, just like in the movies.
Apart from that I was thinking about myself and that I was going to be a nobody and have no worth and just be utterly useless…truly silly and selfish notions I know.
Let me explain why.
Back then I had very low self esteem and so my job at the Parliament house and then at Lily Magazine had sort of given me a sense of purpose and meaning.
All these negative thoughts were forcefully pushed to the back when I realized that my children needed me more than they needed my salary, the occasional ice cream and eating out.
My eldest son was only four years old at that time and my daughter three.
Well despite that, I began a wonderful life with my kids at home. We welcomed our third child, my kids little brother, in 2016.
My two bigger kids are now in primary school so my younger son, Andy, and I have the house to ourselves until lunchtime when the bigger ones return.
I won’t deny that by ten o’clock every night I collapse like a log onto my bed after Asher, Lovelyn and Andy are asleep.
Is motherhood tiring?
yes it is…but it is also fulfilling and a very rewarding job because you are nurturing and building up little angels who will one day be stars in their own happy stories.
My partner, Andrew, is a wonderful person who is supportive and kind. He too had been worried about my decision to resign, only because he thought that I may not be too happy about it later because of my love for writing and the travelling that came with my jobs.
Andrew helped me secure some writing projects and just recently I completed thirteen generic articles – in one night – for our mall magazine, Vision City mega mall, here in Port Moresby.
I used the payment I received from this freelance job to purchase the domain name for Dream Bilum.
Other places I walk…
I also have a story blog, www.renatalaveiljournals.wordpress.com where you can find stories written about special people who have captured the heart and minds of others with the story of their lives.
Dream Bilum will be putting up a Facebook page soon where you can follow stories and poem from from PNG and the world.
Dream Bilum is just growing so I can’t give you tips how to monetize your blog but I can tell you how to create a blog just like this one using one of the best web hosts I have come across, Siteground.
I’m currently writing the second series for my children’s books, Neamas. You can check out my books here.
If you would like to know how to monetize your blog, I can point you to this amazing blog, www.twinsmommy.com that I follow and have learnt a lot of great tips for creating a great blog from.
I look forward to sharing all my dreams with you on Dream bilum.
Never forget that from the hard knocks we gain clearer vision.
I hope you learn a thing or two as you follow me on this epic journey of motherhood and writing.