ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting Australia & Oceania»
  • Melanesia

The Solomon Islands: Saying Goodbye (Part IV)

Updated on August 31, 2010

If you haven't already, start from the beginning: The Solomon Islands: The Journey Begins

Paradise Lost

The final day in Baraulu came quicker than I had imagined. We gathered in the church for the evening to celebrate with the entire village. They prepared a massive feast for me and my classmates. After eating, we continued the party on into the night, sharing goodbyes, collecting PO Boxes, and laughing. I was given some parting gifts and headed down the muddy path towards bed for the last time. Early the next morning, I threw my clothes into a bag and said goodbye to my host mother, Gladis. I left most of my things for her to have, along with some coloring books and things for the kids. Most of the village was already on the dock waiting to send us off. After saying goodbye, we hopped in the canoe and set off back for Munda to catch the bi-monthly, 22 seater, departing flight to the capital, Honiara.

The flight out of Munda I was feeling a mix of emotions. I was sad to leave the friendly faces and the beautiful islands with all its creatures, but it wasn't real life for me. I had to return to my family, friends, and school. I was leaving with many things; seven rolls of film, multiple journal entries, some wood carvings, a shell necklace, mystery cuts, and mosquito bites, but none of these mattered. The experience was a dream come true, another checkmark on my life list. I had been on sensory overload from the moment I arrived in Munda one month prior. I thought about all that had happened as we flew towards Honiara. I sat with my headphones on, gazing out the window at the hundreds of islands scattered below between the turquoise water.

little timmy, barefoot
little timmy, barefoot
Waving goodbye
Waving goodbye
loading the canoes, one last time
loading the canoes, one last time

We landed safely in Honiara and checked into a hotel. I felt how Leonardo DiCaprio's character in The Beach must have felt when he left the seclusion of the beach and goes to the bustling mainland to get supplies. For no real reason, I felt sick, literally. I spent the next two evenings sweating in a hotel bed, swallowing pills, and venturing outside only a couple times to grab some food from the open-air market next door. At night, over the noise of the car horns, I reminisced about the sounds I had grown accustomed to hearing at night in Baraulu. The church bell ringing for evening masse, or young children singing soft hymns over the buzzing of jungle insects. I thought about being in my room with the rats and spiders, with the view over the lagoon in either direction, one window for the sunrise, and one for the sunset, and I missed it already. Here, out the hotel window, I could only see cars, masses of people at the market, and rusted scraps of metal in a distant shipyard.

I would be back in Los Angeles in a few days time, and the Solomon Islands would again only be seen on TV, or read about in books, or as a little string of dots on the map in my apartment. I would never forget what I had learned, the memories I accrued, and most importantly, the people I met. Joining such a unique and foreign culture for just one month, was such a great experience. The people of the Solomon Islands are some of the most genuine people I've ever met, with little more than the sand and sea to call their own. It's refreshing and inspiring to see such simple joy emanating from within. Wealth, to a Solomon Islander, is measured by smiles and laughter, not nickels and dimes. Looking back on the experience, it will forever remind me to stop, take a deep breath, and recognize that very breath as a great gift. I may be returning to California with an empty bag, but with a full heart, bursting at the zipper.

the meaning of life
the meaning of life


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jeannie 5 years ago

      What a beautiful story, but I want to hear so much more. I read about the islands today because of the earthquake and found your story. I traveled for many years with my job, but don't know anything about the Solomons...I feel a little more informed now thanks to you. It makes me want to go back to college and sign up with your professor,honestly!

    • profile image

      Michelle 6 years ago

      That was beautiful! What a gift to read. Thankyou! I am considering moving to the Solomon Islands for 2 years with my husband and son, and I have been looking for information/confirmation about going - and I think I have just found it in your experience. Thankyou for sharing!

    • profile image

      SAESAE 7 years ago

      No Problem Jeff! Your experience is priceless :)

    • jdaviswrites profile image

      Jeff Davis 7 years ago from California

      saesae - thanks again. I had the most amazing experience in your country. These words don't do it much justice, but I tried. I'm glad you were excited to read. Thanks

    • profile image

      SAESAE 7 years ago

      Hi Jeff, I was so excited to read this! I am from the Solomon Islands.

      Leana hola lo yu stret :)

    • jdaviswrites profile image

      Jeff Davis 8 years ago from California

      Nicole! thanks for reading... I've been meaning to get some words out about the whole trip. A bit difficult to sum up such an incredible experience like that in few words, but I tried. I hope you enjoyed and it brought a smile to your face. Hope everything is well.

      stacka love and leana hola to you


    • profile image

      Nicole Bulalacao 8 years ago

      Hey Jeff!

      Thanks for sharing this. I liked that you remembered Nusa Hope out of all the villages. That one was definitely my favorite. I always wondered what everyone else was thinking on our trip. It's nice to know I wasn't the only one who had some sleep problems with the rats! I think you experienced the most pivotal moment of the trip when you caught the fish, that caught a bigger fish, that caught the shark.

      Anyways I hope you're doing well wherever in the world you are!

      Leana Hola


      PS. I lost the game =).


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)