June 22 we woke up a little cold because Panam village is on the mountain. We did some filming with the villagers asking them what is life like before the mine and after the mine closed and as always the advice they can give to the neighboring melanesians.
After a big breakfast Thomas suggested that we go to the waterfall and swim in the cool water before heading to Buin. We walked for about 50 minutes before we got to the waterfall; we hade to drink some kind of natural water mixed with some herbs for the first time visitors. To protect us from some kind of super spiritual things I guess? The waterfall is very great and nice, they told us that there is no fish; all the fish are gone because the river goes down to Jaba River, and so the chemicals killed them.
We swam for some 3 hours before we headed back to the village and had a big lunch. We gave them a lavalava from Solomon, with writing, Greetings from Solomon Islands. We raced back to Pirurari to talk with the villagers there. We got Michael and did an interview with him. Before we left he told me that they the grassroots don’t want the mine re-opened, only the leaders are talking about it. He mentioned that one candidate during his campaign was talking about re-opening the mine. I pointed to some Taro gardens on the other side where there is this gravels or waste from the mine, now they are making gardens when some soil forms, asked him where will you plant it if the mine re-opens?
Rodney drove us safely with his skilled hands all the way to Buin. I rang Anthony Montai to get 3 rooms ready for us for 2 nights. When we arrived at 5pm he was there wondering if we will be there as he tried to call me but we were on the road so the network was out. When we got our rooms we quickly had our showers and rested recalling the trip while waiting for big dinner. After dinner we went straight to bed. We were getting closer to our starting point and now we were counting down the hours.