Frigate Island is one of the latest editions to my list of favorite places. It’s a tiny beautiful white sand beach in Star Harbour, Makira province of the Solomon Islands. I love paddling in from a surf at sunset to see the sky full of gliding frigates. So much grace.

Seeing a real life murmer, this is the closest I’ve seen and its breath taking.


Makira water project

Tagori. Makira Province. Solomon Islands.

The gift of water. What a gift. To have clean drinking water flowing into our homes at the turn of a tap. It was something I definitely grew up thinking was normal but in reality that isn’t normal, that is privilege. Most of my time in the Solomons is spent accompanying my dear, water engineer of a husband on his current Makira water repair project with ADRA. This involves among other things work in 20 remote villages, many hours of carting pipes and fittings by boat and foot, and endless hours hiking the jungle to water sources, (plus the extra hours of treating infected jungle wounds).

Last week the taps were turned on in the first village. The village had been with out running water for 24 years. They are some of the lucker ones who had previously had water, most villages have never had running water and the women spend much of their days carting water from the sources. The village threw a celebration feast for the ADRA team. I love the way the Sollies party with fine local foods and a rally of speeches.

September 4, 2013 - 8:51 pm

LuGun - Great shots Arls!! Looks like there’s some awesome work getting done! xx

September 11, 2013 - 8:29 am

laura - loving your pics arls. missing you guys. enjoy Caitlyn’s visit xx

10000 bee’s on a boat

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of joining a friend, her team from NRDF (Natural Resource Development Foundation) and 10000 honey bees on a little outboard to a small village in Kolamangara, Western Province. NRDF are working with the villages to promote sustainable incomes and forestry preservation. I can’t wait to get back and taste the honey from these little guys. mmm honey.



Makira Province. Solomon Islands.


I don’t usually write much, my images speak better then my words. But I need to practice…  feel free to skip the words :).

The Solomon Islands is an amazing country. We’ve collected our fair share of the Pacific experience in the first two months here. Jake’s had dengue, and recovered :), and a few tropical ulcers, still recovering.  They’re the lows. The highs are great. We spent the last two weeks working our way through 30-odd communities surveying cyclone and flood damage to local water supplies – well Jake surveyed, I entertained myself taking photos and meeting the locals and documenting some of his work for the sponsors. The travel is by banana boat. I would have many more shots from the water if I wasn’t so scared of my camera drowning the minute it come out of the water proof bag, lets just say the boat rides are rather precarious at times and the village landings even more so.

The villages are scenically stunning and the people so welcoming, though the time in these villages made me really appreciate the ease of which we receive clean drinking water, sanitation and even basic health care. We are so blessed in the western world, so much of which I often just take for granted. One out of the 30 villages we visited had working toilets and for many the dishes, washing, drinking and everything else was worked from the same river. Many of the children in the villages had skin that had been eaten by worms, leaving visible trails, something which I’m sure could be treated easily back in Aus. While there are these things that the villagers lack, I feel they often surpass our western world on such qualities as family time, slowing down and really soaking in life. I love the chance to sit and listen to the rain, to get my fingers in the ground creating a garden (can’t wait to eat the produce), to watch the insects and feel the wind. It’s a struggle some days, to accept and appreciate the stillness. I think in the west we often glorify ‘Busy’, I know I do, I have a fear of boredom and end up cramming a billion things into my days/weeks/years and in so doing have probably missed so much of what is real about life. So here I want to learn… and as these words that keep riding in my mind – ‘Be still and know…’

July 4, 2013 - 12:52 pm

aimee - beautiful arlene – both the images and the words. xx

July 4, 2013 - 12:52 pm

Nic Duncan - Oh Arlene…it’s one of my very favourite places in the world so I’ve been hanging out to see the Solomons through your eyes. You’ve captured the people and their place perfectly – I can almost smell it and taste it. Love your words too :-) xx

July 4, 2013 - 1:01 pm

lugun - Super gorgeous photos Arls! I love them! Looks like you’ve met some beautiful people and been to awesome places. Keep them coming! xx

July 4, 2013 - 1:23 pm

Sarah - Perfect Arlsie xxxx

July 4, 2013 - 3:50 pm

Viv - I agree with Aimee! :-)

July 4, 2013 - 5:28 pm

laura - lovelovelove. miss you two, glad you’re learning and growing and taking amazing photographs as well. x

July 25, 2013 - 8:25 am

Rachel - Beautiful pictures that tell a story of a country. Crazy that its so close to nz and aus but so far behind in terms of water electricity basic housing needs. I heard you ran into some people from NZ that I know there! At the disability centre etc. My brother is heading there next month to help build some houses too. Look forward to seeing more pics!

February 5, 2014 - 9:11 pm

Melissa Mills - Arlene I finally caught up with your blog, I have been meaning to do this for ages. The images are incredible, you must be having the best experience.

I loved reading this post in particular. You are so right, I really think we miss living too by the fact we cram so many things into our lives but sometimes wonder if they are really necessary!

I think you should keep writing girlfriend, I loved it xxxxx

February 14, 2014 - 6:28 am

Niniu Oligao - Hi Arlene,

Thank you so much for the beautiful photos and words about Makira. I spent three years there during my high school days. Beautiful island; and above all, the people there are among the friendliest ones I evercome across…