Week 18: The Magic of Pentecost

I took am amazing trip this week to the island of Pentecost to see the Nangol land-diving.  The original inspiration behind bungy jumping, this is a spectacle unlike any other I have ever witnessed.  Torn several ways in my head about the extent to which 'tourism' impacts on and negatively changes the cultural intent and practice, I didn't really know what to expect, or at best suspected I may well be underwhelmed. Whilst the debates continued in my head and later permeated conversations, what I felt could definitely not be considered underwhelmed! A cliche but my heart really was in my throat! As the brave boys and men invoked the protection of the unseen, I too was seeking protection on their behalf.  The chants of the accompanying party grew more insistent, signalling the time to jump was growing close. And then into the unknown they leaned; out and down they went. And as they reached the end of the vine an unexpected sharp crack. I never did get to see them land. Much as I wanted them to bear witness, every single jump my hands flew to my eyes. Thankfully all those who jumped were fully protected, emerging unscathed!