As a solo female traveller I stood out like a sore thumb and was targeted by mostly men who tried many times to take advantage of my solo freedom during my two months in Europe. But there was one man, a kind Algerian man, who saw me wandering alone along the picturesque harbour with my Pentax SLR. It was my last day in Marseille, I was killing time, taking snaps of the colourful fishing boats, before boarding an overnight train to Basque country in Spain. This man had a very small shop in the harbour of Marseille. He spoke very little english, but was able to gesture to me, the kinds of things that he sold.
In the year that was, I made a concerted effort to read more books either written by Papua Niuginan authors or about PNG women's practices. Despite this year throwing us a huge curveball, expanding my literary knowledge of my matrilineal homeland and it's people remained a priority. I'm grateful to my wantok meri Deb Chapman, whose Brunswick home I refer to as the unofficial PNG embassy for Melbourne. Her home is full of Papua Niugini artwork, conversations and occasionally wantoks from home. Every time I leave Deb's place my son and I usually leave with books.