I TOOK the photo during a visit to Panguna in mid-January.
Looking at it from a distance with the naked eye, it was a moving white marvel against the dense forest green.
The more I looked at it, the more I noticed two other streams of white smoke rising from bush in the distance further beyond.
This white smoke was billowing from the forest floor on the hilly periphery of one of the largest open cut mines in the world, Panguna, which occupies a place among the old growth alpine forests and the rugged, rocky spine of Moreha’s (Bougainville’s) Crown Prince Range.
Where there’s white smoke rising, there’s a mother weeding, toiling and gardening. Later she will return to her garden to harvest the fruits of her labour.
A mother in the village is one with Mother Earth. She never ever doubts the motherland will provide all the necessities for life. Always, in all ways.