Melanesia, Life in an Ocean of Islands

After my first landing in Melanesia I wrote:

“We can argue who lives a better life, them or us. I have witnessed a nation where people smile and live happily, where innocence and curiosity rule their lives. This is a land that thrives in the spirit, traditions and the wisdom of their elders. The conclusion we must draw is that joy, kindness and simplicity govern their existence, while selfish preoccupations and life’s complexities control ours.”

I have travelled through this region three times in the last five years, exploring isolated atolls and distant cultures. Melanesia is a tapestry of remote and sometimes inaccessible nations united by the most pristine waters in the world and by millenary cultures of seafaring mariners. Life in this “Ocean of Islands” is simple yet meaningful. This is a land of storytellers with the ultimate burden of pushing forward their culture in the complexity of today’s world.

Ambryn, Loh, Helle, Tikopia, Baluan, Sabulo, Tanna, Mavea, Njari and Santa Ana, in every one of these spots of green among a sea of turquoise, I was awakened by trance-like rhythms, setting the cadence to masterful representations of dances of life; Ron, Sing-Sing, Mud, and Fire, ballets of grace and sensuality.

After sailing for 4,100 miles, my spirit stays here in the heart of every kid I met, in the palm of every hand I shook and in the beauty and sincerity of the countless smiles that greeted me in this journey.

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