This is an extract from an unpublished novel by Bougainvillean journalist and politician Carolus Ketsimur who died on Sunday. It was entered in the first Crocodile Prize national writing contest and published in the subsequent Anthology of PNG writing.
THERE WAS HARDLY ANY CLOUD IN THE SKY. From the vast blue above, the tropical morning sun shone brightly on Banio Bay, revealing a deep blue horseshoe-shaped expanse ringed by a narrow brown strip separating the sea from the green forest, which ran gently towards the mountain ranges in the distance.
Just beyond the southern corner of the bay, the kunai-covered Re’an Hills seemed out of place in the lush green Bougainville vegetation. The hills were the remains of a huge volcanic eruption of a long time ago – of which no-one knew.