Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change


Finally, I’ve bought my plane tickets. Which means this really is happening. I really am going to the Carteret Islands; it’s not just a nice idea I’ve been talking about a lot. And, for some reason, this has made me nervous. I’ve flown on a lot of planes before but this time I don’t really know what is going to be at the end of the journey. In fact the flights I’ve booked so far are only to Brisbane, which is only the first step. From there it’s another flight to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. From there another to Buka, in Bougainville. And from there, some kind of boat. That’s where it all gets a little uncertain. But it’s real now, I’ve got a departure date: April 13.

I was the only customer in the travel agents, outnumbered by six staff in bright orange short-sleeve shirts that stood out against the grey day outside.  The first flight Carly found for me cost £3000, all the way to Port Moresby, and my heart was in my mouth – my budget is £4000. Then we worked out I could fly to Brissie for about £650 and pick up a budget flight on from there for another £150 or so. She also warned me that people still wear bones through their noses in Papua New Guinea. I promised to keep an eye out.

“Is it holiday you’re going for or is it work?” Carly asked.

I paused to work this one out. “Work,” I decided. She grinned.

“Working in Papua New Guinea? Very random.”


1 Comment»

  Adrian wrote @

How… random.

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