Kinavai| Rabaul Mask Festival 2017 

I thought I had missed it. I quickly flung myself out of bed and grabbed my phone to check the time.. 4.30am.. I hear voices outside, I peeked out the window and can see the back lights of the car two houses down blinking red and the loud whispering “arut, arut” (hurry, hurry).

My ride down to the beach wasn’t leaving till 5am so thankfully I had a little time for a coffee. I sat on the verandah waiting for my lift. It was still dark and not a ray of sunshine had broken thru the dark blue  sky. I could hear people pass by on the road below making their way to witness this beautiful rare event. I waited patiently. 

Finally our ride came. As we got off at our destination I made my way quickly for the beach, I wasn’t  surprised to see the area was already packed, local residents and tourist were patiently waiting. I focused my attention out to the ocean, I could just make out the sillouette of the canoe and the men sitting in it, and from the distance I could hear the loud distinct beating of the drums and cries of the Tubuans. 

Nostalgia. I closed my eyes and was taken straight back to my childhood days in the village where you could hear the chanting and beating of the drums from the taraiu. The tubuan is a secretive men’s only society and the taraiu is a place where only those men and boys initiated into the society are allowed in. The Kinavai which is only performed at Dawn represents the Tolais travelling across the sea to East New Britain and it marks the beginning of the Mask Festival in July every year.  The cries of the man on the beach interrupted my little daydream. He was signalling the canoes to come to the shore. The Tubuans and Dukduk are sacred and feared amongst the Tolais of East New Britain, they are symbolic of spirits and are very strongly respected. To this day they instill law and order in villages and a Tubuan or Dukduk sitting at your door step is not taken lightly. 

I was very cautious as I made my way around the crowd, trying to get a good clear shot of the Tubuans disembarking from the canoes onto the beach. It is strongly forbidden for a female to be close to a Tubuan, this is one of the many cultural taboos in East New Britain, along with making noise or imitating the way they dance. 

I stood and watched mezmerized by the strong proud display of culture before us. The Tumbuans & Dukduks danced till the sun broke thru the horizon… They then gathered and ran along the beach up to the showground to open the 2017 Rabaul Mask Festival. 


Hello 2016

Hello 2016!

Wow, can’t believe 2015 has come and gone. So fast. I’m a little sad tho as i haven’t published anything on here for a while… So for 2016 one of my goals is to post something at least once a week.. 🙂

Hope you’ve all had an awesome start to 2016 and may all your dreams come true x


Sunset at Rapopo Plantation Resort | Kokopo |ENBP| Papua New Guinea

Rain rain go away……

West New Britain’s Rainy Season in pictures. These were taken in January 2015 when our rainy season was at its worse.

Trying to keep dry at the back of the vehicle

Trying to keep dry at the back of the vehicle

Moving to higher ground

Moving to higher ground


Only 4wd drives can drive on these roads

Only 4WD can drive in these conditions 


Kids are loving all this water

Kids are loving all this water


People watch as the excavator clears the debris from building up and blocking the flow of water under the bridge

People watch as the excavator clears the debris from building up and blocking the flow of water under the bridge


A man stops and takes a picture on his mobile phone

A man stops and takes a picture on his mobile phone

39th Independence Celebrations

September 16th 2014 | The next generation of Papua New Guineans. They danced, they sang, they laughed, they stood proud in their vibrant traditional bilas (attire) from the mountains to the sea, united as one.

This is the time of year I always look forward to. I love to see children in their traditional wear and try to guess which part of PNG they are from. Its amazing that one country can have so many different traditional attire, beliefs and customs and not to mention the different 800 plus languages!!!
When Independence Day comes around parents put so much effort, pride and love into each child’s traditional attire. From the skirts made of grass or tree bark to the millions of tiny shells that adorn the necklaces around their necks.

Below are some of my favorite photographs of the day. If you want to see more check out My New Guinea Facebook page 🙂

Central Province

Rabaul, East New Britain Province

Hoskins, West New Britain Province

Hoskins, West New Britain Province


Central Province




Highlands Region


Manus Province

Rabaul, East New Britain Province




Rabaul, East New Britain Province

Hoskins, West New Britain Province

Hoskins, West New Britain Province

All dressed up in PNG Colors

Daru, Western Province


Masta Andrew & his Magic School Kayak

We all made our way to the beach and waited for our guest to arrive. In the distance a school of tuna were in a feeding frenzy, we could see the rapid paddle strokes from the fishermen on the nearby canoes trying to get to the action.

Still no sign of Andrew our guest for the night. We looked out to the horizon, the suns rays blazing making our eyes water. Then we saw him. A silhouette in the distance heading straight for us. After 10 long hours of Kayaking straight across Kimbe Bay from Walindi Plantation Resort he had finally reached us at Kwalakesi Village, his first stop over for the night.

Andrew is on a Kayaking Adventure of a different kind as i later found out.  He is a teacher with Expedition Class, an online adventure learning program.  He reminded me a little of Ms Frizzle from the Magic School Bus taking the children on adventures thru his online Live updates. His latest lesson is Volcanoes!! and what a better way than kayaking from the West to the East of of New Britain…the Island of Volcanoes.

I watched him pack his kayak the next morning thinking to myself how awesome is this adventure all in the name of education! I don’t remember school being this fun. I could imagine the looks on the villagers faces as they discover him setting  up camp on their beach for the night, the excitement in their eyes, wanting to know who he was and what he was doing and where on earth he was going.  I could imaging the children swimming at the beach running up to the village to notify the elders of this man on a funny looking canoe, the story about the “masta” (white )man kayaking from Kimbe to Rabaul on the Island of New Britain is one that will not die around the village camp fires any time soon……….what an adventure!








Baining Fire Dancers|W.N.B.P Mask Festival 2013

The last time I saw a Fire Dance from the Baining region of East New Britain Province was when I was 8 years old in my home village, Matupit.  I remember feeling the heat of the fire on my face and the cool sensation of tears running down my cheeks, as my eyes watered from starring too long at the giant men in masks, dancing in the flames. It was an extraordinary experience and I couldn’t pass the chance of seeing the Bainings do the Fire Dance once more when they performed at the West New Britain Mask Festival 2013.

I was just mere meters away from the dancers. I could hear the leaves that were wrapped around them go Shhhhhhhh Shhhhhhh as they danced frenziedly in and around the flames of the fire. The crowd would scream anxiously when the fire dancers spent a little too long in the flames kicking the flaming firewood around. At one stage a dancer with what looked like a mask shaped like a dog with its tongue hanging out danced his way right pass me, I could smell the strong smell of a local plant used in many traditional dances, when its leaves are crushed it expels a strong aroma, the Tolai people of East New Britain call it “Karangon” but it is known by many names.

I wondered how the dancers could see thru their masks as they danced their way weaving in and out of the fire just brushing past each other.  The feeling I felt watching was truly mixed with fear, awe and excitement but the one feeling that was overpowering the most was pride. I’m part of a country that is so diverse in Cultural & Traditional practices and I pray that in the future my grandchildren and great grand children will get a chance to see the Baining Fire Dance, just as I and the pass generations have experienced.

The New Britain Mask Festival is one not to miss.

last Dance BFD


GroupBFD 1

Kicking fire


Man jumps in fire<