Vanikoro Girl 1

Vanikoro Girl 1

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I would like to introduce you to Stella. She lives on remote Vanikoro Island in the Santa Cruz Island group which is part of Temotu Province in the Solomon Islands. I was incredibly fortunate to be able to visit her and her isolated community during my 2019 Secrets of Melanesia expedition. Her village welcomed us with traditional singing and they were eager to share their culture. After their children, their most prized possession was a sailing canoe that they built using traditional techniques and use to navigate between islands. The village children were adorable and loved climbing on it. They were also enthralled with all of us visitors. I am 6 foot tall and must have looked curious to them, especially with all my camera gear dangling around my neck. Stella and her friends enjoyed playing on the sailing canoe and she kept posing for me. This is one of my favorite images from my entire trip, especially with her beautiful eyes staring right into my lens. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting her family and think of them often. I take comfort knowing that their lives have most likely been unchanged since my visit.

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