The morning began early. At 4:30am our guide Gerald from Primate Safaris picked us up in a dark green Land Cruiser and we drove 90km northwest from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. We were on our way to trek through the rainforest to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Sharing 95% of our genes, there are only 880 gorillas left in the wild and only a handful of people have the opportunity to see them in their natural environment.
We shoved our small bags under the bench seat of the long back Land Cruiser, next to the first aid kit. The car jack and spanner were neatly tucked to the side and the ten-litre water containers were pressed against the back of the seat. The cooler box in the middle was filled with ice and a few soft drinks, and the small music player was sitting on the dashboard. The tank was full, the tyre pressure checked. The six of us piled into the car and waved goodbye to our friends; it was time to start our road trip from Port Moresby to Kerema.
One of the things I love about New York City is that you can literally walk into incredible events taking place right on the street. The other day as I was waking back from the Amish Market (the best place in the city to get wholesome, delicious food) I noticed a crowd at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on 47th Street, so I went to take a look. Read more →
The first time I went to Hout Bay I instantly knew I wanted to live there. There was something about the rich diversity of colourful characters, the fishing village heritage and the spectacular natural environment that captured it all. Read more →
In February 2015 I had the great privilege of travelling to Kathmandu, Nepal. Going there to cover a meeting on the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, I arrived several days early to experience at least a small bit of the country, the colours, sounds, textures and tastes that had tantalised my imagination since I was a child. Read more →
The pilot’s voice crackles over the headset, snapping me out of my entrancement: “You can just see the village in the clearing.” I’ve been mesmerised by the hundreds of kilometres of natural rainforest blurring together below, the steady drone of the helicopter’s swirling blades soothing me into calmness. Now my heart leaps into my throat. My eyes search the landscape and, just when it seems impossible, there appears a small settlement among the thousands of trees. Read more →
“It’s time for Zumba, are you coming?”
The book delicately balanced on my face to block out the afternoon sun slides off to the side as I stretch out lazily on the beach. “Zumba?” I ask, yawning. “Here? Really!?”
Tau laughs. He’s one of the employees at this small resort and throughout the day he’s only seen me move once, to refill my bottle of cold water and pick bananas directly from the tree. Aside from that, I’ve been like a lizard baking in the sun all day.
“Yes, it’s on the deck,” he replies. “Come on!”
I sit up in the sand and look around. The ocean is a perfect blue, calm and so clear that I can see small fish swimming below the surface. The sun is warm and the coconut palms are gently swaying in the breeze. I feel like I’ve woken up on a movie set of a tropical island paradise and it takes me a moment to realise that all of this real: this paradise is Savai’i, the largest island of Samoa. Read more →
The great poet and writer Oscar Wilde once said, “I regard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human.”
Throughout history and across all cultures, theatre, music, dance, writing and art have been central to the progression and development of societies. Art is about storytelling, about finding and sharing a common identity, a sense of meaning, and of making sense of the world. The arts help to create a dialogue that broadens understanding and builds bridges between differences.
This year, the Moresby Arts Theatre (MAT) in Papua New Guinea is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Read more →
On 16 September 1975, the Papua New Guinean flag was raised on Independence Hill in Port Moresby to the sound of the new national anthem, signifying Papua New Guinea’s first moments as an independent state. For the 39 years which have followed, Papua New Guineans have remembered this day through a celebration of culture, traditional sing-sings and festivities that are unmatched around the world. Read more →