I grew up overseas.

Before we left the Solomons (when I was 15 or so) I spent weeks with my (I’m sure terrible) camera trying to cement locations and that smell of green that flattens you when step out of that steamy, oppressive Henderson Airport. And then we came back to Australia and the computer ate them and a little bit of me.

I’ve been back once. A few years ago. I had a camera but I also had a lot of other things to process.

One day I will go back again, to show my kid/s (A genuine reality any day now, seeing as baby is due today). One day I might even go out West, after 10 years of living there – I really only saw two of the main islands: Guadalcanal and Malaita. I will go back and I will take my camera.

But until then, here are the Solomons through Tom Perry’s lens. Or through his book. Solo: Life in the Solomon Islands. All profits to the San Isidro Care Centre, who provide accommodation, schooling and a pretty special environment for Sols kids living with disabilities. Buy it.

Culture Life Photography Solomon Islands

As you would know (if you read this blog – despite the fact that I seem to post quite infrequently) I am working at Blick Creative full time as a designer. This post is mostly to mark how much I am enjoying it, despite this week being a lot of simply learning the ropes. The people are great, the studio is lovely and the work is varied and fun. In terms of it being a Saturday, it appears the slightly earlier start (and probably the happy-stress of newness) has caught up with me and I am quite exhausted. It will be lovely to get into a proper routine.

Geoff and I were talking the other day about how since we got married 2 and a half years ago we have:

  • Lived in three different houses
  • Moved from the East to the North (of Melbourne)
  • Geoff has had 3 jobs (Including a career change)
  • I have had 3 jobs (plus freelancing)
  • I have completed my uni degree
  • Geoff has been on teaching intensive and has also done some additional study at Tabor
  • Two family weddings
  • Two family funerals
  • Overseas trip to the Solomons
  • Three churches (YVV, Ranges, Missio Dei)

Not all these things have been bad, infact on the whole they’ve been a step in a direction toward the better. But we are fairly tired and are both looking forward to some kind of vague stability for a while.

So here we are. Perhaps we’ll have a holiday in New Zealand later in the year, but besides that we’re probably staying put even if you try to drag us. Lets think about actually living for a while.

Culture Design Experiments Holidays Life Solomon Islands Work

Speaking of houses, a friend recently went to the Solomons and they took a photo of the house we used to own and lived in for some time! Weird. And super cool. We used to do school in that bit to the side. It was on a lean back then too.


House Life Solomon Islands

Should there be some almighty drumroll? I surely don’t deserve it, I haven’t put half as much thought into any of this as I would’ve liked.

Tonight we fly to Brisbane, tomorrow to the Solomons – about a 3.5hr flight – the country I grew up in.

They spot interviewed us at a ‘team meeting’ the other day and my answers sounded hashed and somewhat shallow. In reality, returning is very much more for me about showing off to Geoff a part of me and revisiting the place for myself, than it is about handing out Bibles. How ignoble. It’s unfortunate it possibly wont be quite as easy as a tourist holiday.

The one thing I have thought about is my reaction to when we get off that plane at Henderson Airport and I suddenly get hit by that distinctive smell. Reminds me of that annoying MercyMe song, “I Can Only Imagine”. Well, I can only imagine I will either start crying (probably less likely) or I’ll be struck somewhat dumb and the emotion will resonate only in my eyes which will grow wide (probably more likely)… or hey the converse. Perhaps the excitement will creep speedily through my body and come out my mouth in words. I think I can probably predict the combination of a enormous lump in my swallowing machine and a contrasting, yet genuine smile.

It will be interesting.

Do I know what God will do me when I’m there? No. But I think I might take the opportunity to ask myself some hard questions and we’ll see where that all goes.

In two days I will be back in the 32 degree weather, with the 100% humidity, the dust, the green, the sea, the birds, the mosquitoes, the dogs howling, the locals calling me ariquo and better fruit than the likes of Australia has ever seen.

In the next week, I will have seen the dog I haven’t seen for the past 7 years, the house I lived in, the beaches I snorkelled at, the basketball court and the ERC, the SWIM base, the local markets, the ‘city’ much changed.

And in another again, I will be back here. I do not know if I will want to be back here. My patriotism has never been very cemented.

Life Solomon Islands