Worlds Apart. Mother and daughter, Fergusson Island, Papua New Guinea.
A young mother and her daughter watch me intently as I drift past their dugout, outrigger canoe. The mother was hoping to sell fruit, or maybe conch shells, one of which she was washing while watching me. Her daughter chewed steadily on a piece of yam. Their look was one of pure curiosity, neither friendly nor unfriendly (though I did later get a smile and a wave). Fergusson Island, the largest of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, off the S.E. tip of mainland Papua New Guinea in the Solomon Sea. The islanders are subsistence farmers and fishers mostly, trading fish and crops with passing ships for 'luxuries' like tobacco, fishing lures and soap. As with most of PNG, their are too many guns in circulation and small scale piracy is a risk for many locals who, of necessity travel by boat. But my experience is that the people's of PNG are among the friendliest anywhere.