“We spent what we deemed was an appropriate period of time with them, so as not to offend this family who had treated us with such generosity, and then we were on our way.”
Raja Shehadeh, ‘Palestinian Walks’.
Sounds like a good model for my own behaviour. I’m well aware that the people I am hoping to spend time with are in a deeply difficult and unhappy position. After all, they are losing their homes. What does one more stranger’s curiosity mean to them?
So, tread lightly. My ambition at this stage is only to get to Buka and there meet the Carterets’ chiefs, whose permission I will seek to visit their islands.