Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kitava and Nivani

Monday we visited the island of Kitava one of the Trobriand Islands which is an archipelago of several low-lying coral islands situated to the northeast of New Guinea. As usual we had a warm welcome from the locals and once again delivered aid in the form of clothing, shoes, first-aid supplies, fishing gear, and school supplies. In return we were treated to an elaborate cultural dance presentation.

Some guests joined an hour long uphill walk to the village to see the famous Trobriand yam houses.

Next we went by Zodiac to the adjacent small island of Nuratu for a beach barbeque and snorkeling. It rained a very little but for the most part our weather has been fantastic for this entire trip, albeit a little warm. In the afternoon we began our cruise to the next destination, Nivani, which is part of Deboyne Lagoon in the Louisiade Archipelago. At Panapompom, an adjacent island, we visit a small village of just about 20 or so people and we get a glimpse of what the simple life is like in Papua New Guinea. There is a garden consisting of mostly yams and taro. For food they grow their own and fish. For cash to send the kids to school and receive medical care, they collect and dry copra (dried coconut to make coconut oil) and fish for sea cucumbers to sell to the Asian market. When we arrive Robin Tauck gives all the children knapsacks. The usual aid supplies are also given.

Later we swim and snorkel. There is a intact sunken Japanese Zero in only 6-10 ft. of water.

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