It was November 2012, and my work was taking me to Alotau. I’ve heard contradicting things about this place, and as I was there for official business, I boarded the plane there with zero expectations.
This little city blew me away. Not only was the locals charming and English-speaking, I also felt safe! This is rare in Papua New Guinea. The annual canoe festival is a celebration linking the past and the present. People of many island tribes gather together in Alotau to show the world the beauty of their past, and opening up their tradition for the modern world to gasp at.
As soon as the 3 days festivities began, I started getting really annoyed that I only brought a pocket camera. There were dances, canoe and sailboat races, and I even saw a group of European photographers. I should really have done more research.