Navigating through the smallest islet made up of mangrove trees brought back lots of memories of yester years. We managed to slide through with ease because the tide was fairly high. That’s the only time one can take even a small dinghy with an outboard motor over the rocks below. We made it through and what a relief that was for the kapitan of the boat. The thought of seeing the islands once more got me singing ‘Discover the Island’ one of Salima’s popular songs. There was a Salima fan on board on our visiting team reminding me that I had promised I would sing the song when we powered towards the Straits and Logea Island. Sing, I did! It felt good.
The rest of the journey through the Straits was a truly wonderful experience. I can’t remember all the times I’ve been through the Straits and seeing the islands of Samarai, Kwato, Logea and Ebuma. I realise I could never tire of it. It was truly a magnificient sight to behold. Memories came flooding back. It had been six (6) years since I last visited this part of Milne Bay. The songs I’ve written about these islands mostly romantic notions of these beautiful islands remain year after year and song after song. I could never run out of words to describe these islands and their beauty and mystique continue to be an inspiration as the day I wrote my first serious song, ‘Jewel In My Heart’.
Our day trip covered Kwato, Doini and Samarai islands. I had never in my life been to Doini Island and this trip was going to be my first ever to the idyllic island. But first we called into Kwato Island. I was amazed at the changes that have taken place here – it was serene and tranquil. Gone was the school and the sounds of children playing and singing. The sounds of boatbuilding and the engines that powered the tools in the B & C building were no more. The big mango trees that surrounded my family’s home ‘Himitana’ have been cut down – now that’s another story but I wont go there.
Well, today was another day in Port Moresby as the leadership struggle continued. As if that was not enough to scare us, Port Moresby and other parts of the country were hit by a strong earthquake tremor that lasted almost a minute – there were two tremors one after the other in quick succession. Our building shook like a leaf and we were forced to evacuate our offices and run down the fire escape and on to the busy road below.
Office work continued as usual but our ears and eyes were wide open beyond our work stations and computers. The evolving saga continued unabated and the day ended with more uncertainty resulting from the leadership struggle that was taking place in the capital city. The anticipation for the 6 o’clock news and Facebook threads grew as I headed home. Was the day productive? Not really – after the staff meeting in the morning it was a matter of wait and see.
I kept thinking that there’s some nasty stuff going on at the political level here but beyond these events in Port Moresby’s halls of power lie the most captivating and awe-inspiring natural beauty of Papua New Guinea.