I think my favourite of all Papua New Guinean Tok Pisin phrases is "Sol Wara" or Salt Water. I like to think of it as Soul Water and the ocean plays such a major part in the lives of coastal Melanesians, and their oceans and seas are gorgeous.
I asked a friend at Lea Lea Village if he could take me out to one of the islands nearby and he said yes, so on the day I show up, one of his sons comes to greet me to tell me that his brother died of Malaria only the day before and the Father and the family were at the hauscrai and that the boat trip was off.
After the hauscrai finished, my friend, the Father got in touch with me. Time to go to the Island. In the Banana Boat we climbed and off we went. We cruised along the coast and then took a shortcut through the mangroves, winding weaving in and out of tight corners in shallow water we moved from dark mangrove canopy to bright sunlight and back to the darkness. Just sitting in the Banana Boat cruising along.
Every now and then, the fuel line would suck in some air and the engine would stall. So we would silently sit amongst the Mangroves and the Mosquitos and would suck a bit of fuel back into the fuel line and get the engine going again. Off we would go.
After 2 hours of so we arrived here at this sandy beach. We sat around out of the hot sun in a shady spot and talked about life, death, and the future of Papua New Guinea.
Photo taken 4 May on an island near Lea Lea, CP. Title reads: Lea Lea Salt Water.