When I was a little girl, Indiana Jones was my idol. He had so much style and swagger; his adventures to exotic places, his death-defying escapes from booby traps, his endless knowledge about history and legends, the casual white shirt that opened on his rugged chest, and of course, his whip. My favourite movie was the Last Crusade where Indy travels through a crescent moon valley and enters an ancient city carved into a mountain, in search of the Holy Grail. Little did I know that years later I would be standing in that very spot, about to enter the Rose City of Petra, Jordan. Read more →
Archive for category: travel: asia-pacific
As a cold desert wind swept through our camp, hundreds of little fire sparks jumped into the air, performing a swirling dance of light against the dark night sky. I was enraptured by it for a moment and time seemed to stand still as the red sands of Wadi Rum settled around me. Read more →
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.
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 →
As we walk through the large, wooden gates of Constitution Park in Port Moresby, there is excitement all around. Artists are enthusiastically selling their wares from the traditional huts that line the walkways, a sing-sing group with bright colours and long feathers takes it place on the stage, and a traditional long haus looms over the hundreds of people walking by. This is the 5th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival, hosted for the first time by Papua New Guinea. Read more →
The Kikori River is one of my favourite places in the world. At almost 230km long, it stretches over almost 23,300 km2 through the western part of Gulf Province in Papua New Guinea, forming a magnificent delta that reaches down to the Gulf of Papua. It is intensely remote, with dense mangrove forests lining the interweaving waterways, and small villages appearing in places that seem impossible. The river, and its people, inspire a certain awe, one that is unmatched in the places I have visited on my travels around the world. Living predominantly off of fish and sago, the people here live humble lives, their stilted wooden huts line the river banks and their dugout canoes paddle softly along the water. Their trials of poverty are as real as the crocodiles they fend off almost daily, and yet they have survived like this for countless generations. There is certainly magic in these waters, a calmness, a soothing, and it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world.