Solomon Islands Sojourn

Next month is going to be big for me on many personal levels! I have been invited to join a group of very special ladies for a visit to the Solomon Islands. Thank you to Susan Bejeckian and the leaders of the Tourism Solomons!

Margaret Warner’s scrapbook held by Andrew Phillips. Port Angeles, WA

Tanya Burnett was recently inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and I’m proud to call her a “sister” in the organization. Tanya is a respected photographer/writer and knows the islands well from her popular dive tours.

Snorkeling Kennedy Island where President Kennedy abandoned the PT 109, near Gizo, Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Sunset/dusk in Honiara Harbour. Capital of the Solomon Islands

We will also be joined by Nicole Helgason of Reef Builders who is also a noted author. Charlotte Bailey is Social Media Manager of Girls that Scuba and based in London. One day of this special journey to explore dive locations at Uepi, Munda and Tulagi takes place on my birthday. Yes, the big 70 on July 20th.

What is much more important is I would like to honor and celebrate those who appeared in the Headhunt Revisited film. Just a couple of months ago, I received word that the eldest son of Maike appearing in Caroline’s beautiful painting titled “Marovo Lagoon Family” is deceased. Ujjiah Sotutu Maika, passed away not long after we filmed him. Ujjiah shall not be forgotten. Here is a clip from the film with him and his younger brother, Terry.  Check out the video of descendants where Ujjiah and Terry appear at the end.  Montage_Descendants

Caroline’s 1928 painting included their father and grandparents. I hope that I meet Terry and his family while on this very special trip. To give you an idea of what Marovo Lagoon and Seghi looked like while Caroline and Margaret were on their expedition, below is the magnificent painting and photos from the scrapbook showing what Seghe/Marovo Lagoon was like over 90 years ago.

Maike and his parents. Painting by Caroline Mytinger circa 1928
Valuable photos from Solomon Islands. Expedition scrapbook at PHMA
Solomon Islands at Seghe Plantation

There is another very special gentleman who graciously appeared in Headhunt Revisited. John Wayne (yes that is his given name) is a renowned carver. John is a true artist when it comes to traditional, contemporary and extremely intricate wood carvings. I have several pieces on my shelf and several depict the rich marine life of the Solomon Islands.

John told many stories of his great, great grandfather, Kanijama, who was a proud warrior. “Times have changed.” John explained. The culture changed with Christianity and colonialism and John is keeping his rich heritage alive via art and storytelling. I have hope that I will once again see John and bring another of his beautiful carvings home to add to my collection.

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