‘Tis the season to be fundraising Reply

Dust off your wallets. Blow away the cobwebs. And get spending,

You’ll have noticed lots of handmade signs about the village advertising fundraising ventures of all sorts in the lead up to the end of the year and xmas. Well here’s a couple more very worthy ones and the first of them is this Thursday. 

So get in quick to the 
Seif Ples Awareness Dinner

(Seif Ples is the Solomon Islands only official refuge and crisis centre for women)

Thursday 15 th September 2016

6.30pm at Oasis Restuarant, Honiara Hotel

With special guest speaker Clare McFarlane 

Contact Kim Abbey for tickets and information 749 4396

Then the following Saturday is:

The Global Beach Run (supported by Seif Ples)

At Kakabona 6.30am 17 September 2016

In support of the global awareness campaign for rape survivors

Contacts: info@projectbra.org, Andrew 7691554, Kim 7494396

Rotary Quiz Night

Get a team together for a movie themed trivia challenge

Sunday 2 October 2016 3 – 6pm

Heritage Park Hotel

Room with a viewParangiju Inland Mountain Lodge 3


Parangiju Inland Mountain Lodge is one of the newest places to eatand/or sleep in Honiara. And not only is the food good but the view is spectacular. The owners Stephen and Serah Riniu are rightfully proud of the venue on the hilltop lookout they have created.


Located inland from Henderson near the Tenaru Falls it looks out over the airport far below across the ocean towards Central Province. The air is cooler and drier up there, so it makes a lovely escape from the city.

The food is well above the usual Honiara standard. They use mostly fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The simple set menu is lovingly prepared and presented beautifully by chef Eh-ma. Even our fussy, never satisfied, vegetarian friend was well catered for at short notice.

You must phone before you come and put in you food order if you wish to eat there. (Contacts below.) Or you can simply get a cold beer and enjoy the view.
There is also accommodation available at the Lodge upstairs above the reception area. Two small rooms with double beds and a larger room with a king bed. They are very much just a place to sleep. Small and windowless. But why would you be inside during the day anyway? A generator provides power of an evening. And there is a new clean toilet block out back.


Ko Kama rafting go from the lodge and there is also an alternate walk to Tenaru Falls for the fit as well and sure footed.
The lodge is 13 kms inland from the turn off to Tenaru village. (Just over six kms from the Lungga River bridge, past the airport.) The middle part of the route is on a logging road so expect to see big heavily loaded semis on a narrow dirt road. You can get there in a two wheel drive – we did, but, mind you, we had to push the car up the last hill and some other parts were a bit hairy. The last steep climb to the lodge has been coated with soft coarse gravel to “improve” it. But the traffic is quickly making a mess of this. So a four wheel drive is recommended.
Look out for the white and black Parangiju Lodge signs along the road. There is only one real turn off a few kilometers past the village you veer to the left. you just keep going up hill. The white metal boom gate may be lowered when you are coming to the logging area but there will be someone there to let you pass.

On through the logging camp site, a few kilometers further on, and keep going up hill you get to the “Cold Beer” sign blocking the road.

Chicken – $110

Beef – $120

Fern salad – $90

Fruit salad – $40

Vegetarian Taco – $110

Chicken and Chips – $140

There are fixed breakfast and lunch menus

Phone before coming to the lodge to order

Large room – $800

medium room – $700

Banker Beds – $500
The Lodge is available for conferences and meetings – $4000

Island Sun article about the lodge opening:


Lodge – ph. 7181702 (Stephen and Serah Riniu)

Managing director – ph. 7405220

Chef – ph. 7392760 (Eh-ma)

The Shipping News Reply

I have one of the best balconies in Honiara for watching the comings and goings and hubbub of life in the city. Normally a great spot to hang out, read a book and lap up the cool breeze that always seems to miss the streets below. But at the moment I’m starring in my own private re-staging of Rear Window with my sprained ankle elevated and the trusty binoculars on constant standby.
It is amazing to watch the ever changing and erratic moods of the sea below, the schools of fish skipping across the water, the fierce flurries of frenetic feeding, the excitement and noise of the wedding party trucks in spontaneous procession and the general amble and congestion of everyday in Honiara from my eyrie on the hill. 

But the most obvious coming and going of this past week are the two immense luxury super yachts intermittently parked off Town Ground; the very stylish and recently re-fitted Mystery and the even bigger Ethereal. They certainly do add a stark contrast to the usual OBMs puttering along the coast or out to central province and Savo.

Both of these yachts are apparently available for charter. If you have a lazy quarter of a million dollars US burning a hole in your pocket, you will be pleased to know that you can hire Ethereal for a week and still have enough change for the occasional takeaway. That’s not as bad as it sounds because the boat sleeps 12 people, so it is less than $20,000 a week each. A veritable bargain for those who can’t think of anything better to do with their money.

Ethereal was the world’s first hybrid super yacht in 2009. I don’t actually know if there has ever been another one since a sailing boat is pretty environmentally sound and energy efficient already. Ethereal has been described as the most technically advanced and complex super yacht ever built. For those who are interested in the details and specifications, or interested in chartering it for a few weeks, you can find the details at: https://www.yachtcharterfleet.com/luxury-charter-yacht-23188/ethereal.htm

Mystery’s details are at: https://www.yachtcharterfleet.com/luxury-charter-yacht-25575/mystery.htm

Solomon Islands must be spectacular to sail around and it is well and truly on the itinerary of many yachties. Obviously Honiara at the moment attracts some of the world’s idle rich among them. I hope they spend profusely locally while they are here.                                        


Dive Munda wins prestigious Luxury Travel Guide Award Reply

Dive Munda, the South Pacific’s newest SSI Instructor Training Centre, has recently been awarded the Diving Company of the Year Award by Luxury Travel Guide, Global Awards 2016. This prestigious award recognises excellence in service, employee satisfaction, marketing and branding, local knowledge and cultural understanding. The Luxury Travel Guide Awards represent the pinnacle of hospitality achievement, championing the best in their respective fields; paying tribute to and commending all those who have excelled in the travel & tourism industry. More…


Turtle time: Arnavon Islands/Vavaghio Guest House. A Genuine and Unique Isabel Experience Reply

By Gary King

(Editor’s note: this is the time of year with the best chance of seeing both green and hawksbill turtles laying and hatching on the same night and I can personally attest to the quality of the snorkelling and service at Vavaghio and the Arnavons.)

The Arnavon Islands is a Marine Protected Area (recently registered under the Protected Area Act of the Solomon Islands). It is a very special place and one trip that ex-pats must make before finishing their contract in Solomon Islands!
This conservation area was established in 1995 by The Nature Conservancy (“TNC”), a large US conservation organization, in consultation with customary landowners from Isabel, Choiseul and Wagina.  

The reason for TNC establishing this conservation area was for the protection of the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle. The Arnavon Islands is one of the most significant breeding rookeries for the Hawksbill Turtle in the world.

The islands are uninhabited except for the conservation officers who work there on monthly rotations, monitoring the laying habits of the female turtles and conducting patrols to prevent the poaching of the turtles at this stage when they are extremely vulnerable. The turtles and other marine life are protected by law but their abundance makes them a target for those wanting an easy meal.

The Arnavon Islands management committee (ACMCA) welcomes visitors to the facility to experience their efforts to conserve the Hawksbill Turtle and the marine life of the area. Visitors can accompany the conservation officers on their nightly turtle patrol where they try to intercept female turtles coming ashore to dig a nest and deposit their clutch of eggs. The officers count the eggs and take physical data from the female as well as tagging her for statistics of movement and/or return to the site if she is subsequently encountered. Visitors can also take part in a “turtle rodeo” where the officers catch male and juvenile turtles from a fast-moving boat in the open sea for tagging and recording. This activity is aptly named as you can well imagine!

As well as being able to experience the turtles, the protection of the area ensures fantastic snorkeling and a chance to see what island marine life would be like without fishing pressure – shoals of tropical fish, coral gardens to take your breath away and marine species such as Giant Clam that have been eliminated from even remote areas of the Solomons.

The project has a comfortable Guest House on the island of Kerehikapa for visitors. There are beds and mosquito nets and there is a flush toilet and a kitchen with a gas stove. Rates are very reasonable but you do have to cook for yourself! Visitor fees go to help fund the project so it is a great cause.


Vavaghio Guest House is the gateway to the Arnavon Islands! It is sited on Vakao Island on the northern side of north-west Isabel and is the closest Guest House to Arnavons. The guest house makes a perfect stopover for anyone making the Arnavons their prime destination. They have packages that involve some nights stay at Vavaghio and some at the Arnavon Islands. This works particularly well as it is a long boat ride from Suavanao air strip to the Arnavons and a stayover at Vavaghio breaks the trip. Also when returning from the island it reduces the boating time and gives visitors the chance to be hosted in comfort after having to cook for themselves at the island. They also have the chance to experience Isabel hospitality and the wonderful Isabel family at Vavaghio.

If you want to take the Arnavon Island package, Vavaghio can arrange all the transport and Arnavon Island stay and activities on your behalf.

Vavaghio Guest House is run by the Habotu family, assisted by ex-expat Gary King who was himself a VSA volunteer at the Arnavon Islands and who became tied to the lifestyle and people at the end of his contract. They have traditional housing and facilities but with some western comforts such as power, tiled shower and flush toilet to make your stay comfortable. Likewise the cuisine is a mixture of traditional dishes with some western influences. They even have a freezer and fridge running off the solar system to keep your drinks cold!

Vavaghio Guest House is also a destination for surfers, fishermen and others just wanting a relaxing holiday in a remote location in the Solomons.

Surfers can ride the fabulous breaks close to Vavaghio with no line-up and with the back-drop of deserted islands. The surf season is limited to November through March though.

Fishermen find the fishing amazing, with the remoteness of the area guaranteeing good stocks of all kinds of fish, from reef-dwellers such as Maori Wrasse and Giant Trevally to pelagics such as Sail fish, Spanish Mackerel and all types of tuna. The local lads can even show you how to fish with lures made from local materials!

As well as surfing and fishing, all manner of other activities are available at Vavaghio. You can go on a crocodile “hunt”, bush-walk to waterfalls, snorkel amazing reefs and drop-offs, spear-fish, evening bird-watch the iconic Frigate Bird that have a roosting island nearby. Dolphins are seen in the area most days and the wonderful and rare Dugong sometimes graces with his presence.  

OK – how do I get there? Take the domestic Honiara to Suavanao Solair flight which goes on most days of the week. Flight is about 1hour and costs around SB$1,350. Vavaghio Guest House will collect you from Suavanao and deliver you to Vavaghio. Boat travel is around 11/2 hours, depending on sea conditions. The transfer from Vavaghio to Arnavon Islands is another 11/2 hours, again depending on sea conditions.

Costs – because of the reliance of boat transport and the cost of fuel, per head costs are very dependent on the size of the party and the length of the stay. The larger the party the less the per-head charge. As an indication, a party of six people spending two nights at the Arnavons and three nights at Vavaghio will pay around SB$4,000 (A$690) per head, plus airfares. This cost includes all Arnavon fees, accommodation, food and activities as well as Vavaghio accommodation, meals, transfers etc. The only extra cost will be any extra activities at Vavaghio that require the use of a boat.

Contact – visit their web site – http://www.solomonsurf.co.nz or email vavaghio@gmail.com or text to the sat. phone – +870776102049. Please note that internet access is infrequent so there may be a few days delay in getting back to you, but if you message to the sat ph you will get a reply same day.

Meet Young Norlah School dropout earns a living weaving reggae baskets.  Reply

Take a look around Honiara City and you will find many young girls venturing into small business activities trying to earn an income.
With their natural ability, or talents if you like, whatever money they earn helps meet family needs.
Most girls involved themselves with opportunities provided by authorities such as the Rapid Employment Scheme, the offshore seasonal workers scheme while a good number join up with the highly commended Youth at Work program.

But this is not enough given the high rate of school dropouts and idle youths flooding into Honiara from the provinces in search of means to earn an income.
One such youth is Norlah Hugue, who is making use of her natural talent in weaving custom baskets to earn her some money. 

Norlah was with her aunty in their stall at the Art Gallery area in 

Honiara when Solomon Women Newspaper caught up with her this week.
Norlah is from Billy Passage in Marovo Lagoon, Western Province.

Norlah’s interest begun as a curious observing youth, seeing her mother weaving custom baskets and string bags back in her home village, when she was at a tender age of 12.
She attended Patukae Community High School from 2012 to 2014 but was forced to leave school due to lack of financial support for her school fee.
“That is when I decided to start making use of my knowledge in weaving baskets and handcrafts to earn my own pocket money,” Norlah recalled.
In 2015 she decided to travel to Honiara to sell her baskets, Lava lavas and other handcrafts she made. 
Unexpectedly, there were high demands for Norlah’s reggae bags, bilums, Lava lavas and custom bags so she decided to permanently set up her own business in Honiara selling her products.
“I saw at that time that many young people were interested in the reggae bags and my other products so I decided to make more, it goes inline with the local fashion trend and my products were sold,” Norlah said.
“We realized the interest especially from young people, so my aunty and I came up with the idea to make bilums and custom bags that had the reggae colours (red, yellow and green) on them,” she added.
With the profit she gains, Norlah pays for materials to weave more of her products for her growing customers.
Norlah said she earns around $2000 by the end of each week and $600 everyday selling her products.

She said the price of her products depends on the expense of getting materials from the shops in Honiara.
She said with the small amount of money earned from selling her products, she is able to help her parents with the school fee of other family members and other needs of her family back home in Marovo.
She said weaving baskets and making handcrafts is hard work but very satisfying.
Norlah also has a message to share with other young girls like her out there.
“If you have talents that can help you make money, don’t be afraid to bring it out. 
“We young people have fresh minds and we have lots of things to try-out in life, so just do it,” she said.

Rodrick Wemo is one very satisfied customer of Norlah.
“Many youths in Honiara are enjoying the stuff Norlah makes from her own ideas and we love them,” Rodrick said.
So next time you’re in town, pay a visit to the stalls in front of the Art Gallery and among the group of women you will see young Norlah with her reggae bags.
Issue No: 16048

Published: Thursday 11 February 2016

Our culture – our nation … Don Bosco Technical Institute Reply

The Staff and Students of Don Bosco – Henderson and Don Bosco – Tetere most cordially invite you to the Cultural Night, celebrating OUR CULTURE – OUR NATION on Thursday, 21st July 2016 in the DBTI–Henderson Gymnasium from 6.00 PM to 8.00 PM
We are celebrating the “Unity in Diversity” of Solomon Islands With Music and Dances from the Provinces Performed by the Bosconians of Henderson and Tetere. Our special guests are the AKKORDEON HARMONISTS an Accordion Orchestra from Germany and THE BAND from Honiara.

Please take your seats by 5.45 PM
Kindly inform the number of persons accompanying you, the latest by Tuesday, 19th July.
Contact us via Telephone: 36555, 7723720

E-mail: rector@donbosco.org.sb

Facebook Event Page – https://www.facebook.com/events/1570086083285307/ 

Andrew MacLean



The Youth Market is back Reply

For the June Youth Market we are back at the Art Gallery grounds and bringing back the entertainment, competitions and great food, services and crafts that have been so successful! 
From June 29- July 1 the Youth Market will be showcasing young entrepreneurs that have taken part in our business training, as well as the talents and skills of young people in music, dance and BMX riding.

Come for lunch or to watch and enjoy the competitions.
What: June Youth Market

When: 9 – 4:30pm 29- 30 June and 1 July

Where: Art Gallery
Local bands will be playing from 9-12pm. The competitions will be on at the following times:
Wednesday 29th at 2pm, BMX competition
Thursday 30th at 2pm, Song competition
Friday 1st August at 1pm, Dance competition
Come by and say hello!
Our Youth Market is supported by our sponsors Bmobile Vodafone and SIBA Sounds. 

Copyright © 2016 Youth@Work Solomon Islands, All rights reserved. 

You are receiving this email because you are a valued supporter of Youth@Work Solomon Islands. 
Our mailing address is: 

Youth@Work Solomon Islands

PO Box 1468


Solomon Islands

West Guadacanal Coastal Trek Reply

By Emily Russell

Photography by Peter Johnstone

Stunning coastal scenery, neat and friendly villages and a solid hit of exercise combined to make the West Guadacanal coastal trek a super enjoyable and rewarding weekend away. Impeccably planned and graciously led by our guide Stanley (tel # 7429305), we walked 38 kilometres over two days (day one 15km, 4-5 hours walking; day two 23km, 7-8 hours walking) along a great mix of shaded coastal track, sandy beaches and rocks (including a bit of scrambling). After driving to Lambi (about two hours from Honiara, 4WD required), we were taken by banana boat to Tangarere (a further 1.5 hours). The track took us through several villages, past a couple of logging camps and across several streams and rivers, two of which are home to crocodiles – thankfully none were hungry enough to bother us!  

353 – locals explain the significance of a RNZAF inscription

Overnight we stayed in a very clean leaf hut in lovely, friendly village. The hut had an adjacent toilet and the village had a water pump that was more than adequate for washing off the day’s sweat, salt and grime! We took all our own food, which was fine – delicious, actually. However, for those with more time or less stamina, Stanley is exploring options for a second overnight stay along the way, which could potentially include a meal prepared by local villagers and perhaps some insights into local life and history. If you have the time, this three day option would be well worth it. Overall, I highly recommend the walk and Stanley as your guide. He had everything covered – safekeeping place for our car in Lambi, boat and accommodation ready to go, even coconuts ready to drink at a couple places along the way. The distance over two days and the potential proximity to crocodiles mean it is not a walk for the faint-hearted, though with notice Stanley should be able to arrange boats for the scarier river crossings. He could also cut the distance down by adjusting the boat drop off point or picking upp outside of Lambi (potentially on the other side of the deeper crocodile river) – alternatively, he could use his strong connections into the local communities to arrange a boat to cross the crocodile river(s). I would certainly recommend you explore these options with Stanley if the distance or crocodiles would otherwise put you off: it is a beautiful walk and Stanley makes it super easy to organise. Just give him plenty of notice – there is no phone coverage so he has to visit or otherwise get messages to people in order to set things up.  

331- rest stop day 1 – coconuts after a quick dip in a stunning inlet

Guide for walls of West Guadacanal -Stanley: ph. 7429305