Betel nut boat
[Papua New Guinea, 2016]
We leave the sparse lights of Angoram behind and sail off into the night. I spread out on the bed of betel nuts. It feels surprisingly comfortable. Infinitely far above me, a starry sky stretches out that here, in this remote corner of a country in a remote corner of the world, shines and sparkles so immensely that the tiredness I felt when I left is immediately forgotten. There, the first falling star. Then, there's another one. The men murmur amongst themselves, barely audible over the tuff-tuff-tuff of the outboard motor, while my eyes shoot from left to right, up and down, and back again, over the heavenly roof of Papua. I soon lose count of the stars, which continue falling in droves. When I can think of no more wishes for the world, my loved ones and myself, a deep, inner peace descends over me.