Castaway With Purpose

A documentary film by Around-n-Over

"Life is a gift -- live it!"

Erden Eruç

Random conversation with hosts in Papua New Guinea

After spending 21 days on the Bismarck Sea, I rowed into Finsch Harbor on the north coast of Papua New Guinea on February 4th, 2009 to conclude my Pacific Ocean crossing. I injured my back in the left SI-joint before I began. It was not an option to delay the start given the seasonal restrictions which could have postponed my journey for another year.  Instead, I toiled away with an injured back which desperately needed a rest.

By the time I landed, the injury had recruited the surrounding muscles to stop me from moving; my whole back seized into an aching mess. I stepped ashore pumped up on anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants and pain killing meds from my medical kit, courtesy of WorldClinic. I could not walk upright more than 200 meters at a time before I had to crouch and stretch my back.

Four dugout canoes came out from the village of Kamlawa that day to greet me at sea. They thought I was in trouble and wanted to check on me. The first canoe to arrive carried Pastor Moses with his son Benjamin at the bow. Later, Philip and Christian from the other boats held vigil overnight at the wharf under a cloud of mosquitoes to ensure my safety. They showed such kindness and we quickly established a friendly bond.

When they heard that a primary goal of mine was to share my story with children, they offered to take me to the Newsland Phonic Elementary School, about two miles away. You will view a random conversation that took place between me, Pastor Moses and Philip’s wife, Eva while we were walking toward the school.