Sylvester is looking for a wife. Sort of. Chatting in his grandmother's kitchen, as other family members lurk inquisitively in the shadows, he tells me he's single. I get the impression he's pretty happy about it. Tradition, however, dictates that he find a wife to bear his children who will in turn care for the older generation. I wonder if he considers me a potential candidate as he proudly shows me the features of the kitchen, picking up a battered frypan beside the open pit fire as he tries to tempt me with fried sago. Not dissimilar to a pancake appearance, though tasting rather more like unsalted cardboard, I politely decline.
Despite the bright afternoon sunshine the kitchen is rather gloomy, the only light source being gaping holes in the thatched roof, palm frond woven walls and rough-hewn timber floor. I find it hard to concentrate on Sylvester's words as he shows me through the elevated hut.... Read the Full Article
This article first appeared in the Khaleej Times after Fiona Harper cruised PNG as a guest of Orion Expeditions