As you all may know, my expedition and project would have never happened without the support of dear friends at https://walindiresort.com/ We lost an amazing man to cancer on July 15th. MAX BENJAMIN, along with his wife, Cecilie, discovered and built one of the most beautiful resorts in the world. A special place in my heart, Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, is Mission Blue Hope Spot. It has been recognized as one of the most diverse marine life destinations in the world. We salute Max Benjamin and all that has been done in research and education for ocean environments. Mahonia na Dari (Guardians of the Sea) was established in 1997 and operates from the Walindi Nature Centre. More than 150,000 students, teachers and local community members have established initiates. In addition to MND, Max Benjamin Elementary School was named and established for the local children several years ago. You can read more about the accomplishments of this gentle soul in A Tribute by Dive Magazine UK and written by Editor, Douglas Seifert.
My last newsletter addressed the needs for small villages surrounding Tufi in another part of Papua New Guinea. Linda Honey, of Tufi Resort and Max Benjamin have been tireless owners and representatives at all the scuba diving trade shows and supporting the local village communities. The Tufi Go Fund Me raised $3000 during these difficult times of COVID and I’m thrilled to have photos of my wantoks and delivery of items through the local trade store. Thank you to all who have been so generous. There are a lot of needs all over the world, but this amount has gone a long way when converted to the PNG currency called Kina. THANK YOU and I will leave the Go Fund Me running for the next couple of weeks.
On a celebratory note, I’d like to acknowledge Dr. Joshua Bell of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. He graciously appeared in Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera, done years of cultural anthropology field work in Papua New Guinea, of which many of his projects and research have resulted in acknowledgement to indigenous communities to help document and revitalize their languages and traditions. You can read his latest article in Smithsonian Magazine by following this link: How Cellphones Change Societies
Currently, I am working on a story. A bit of a secret right now but it makes me smile. Like this project, it will celebrate art and the ocean. Although the completion is taking longer than expected due to COVID, I’m so excited to be communicating with some extremely talented artists who have powerful voices and creativity. Sneak peek for you!