Posted by: Celine Cousteau | November 7, 2010

Papua New Guinea- Healing Seekers

More than a month has past since I went to Papua New Guinea with the non-profit Healing Seekers ( www.healingseekers.com ) joining founder Amy Greeson and her team. Their journey focused on searching for and filming local healers’ use of medicinal plants. Because of our common interest in indigenous knowledge and their relationship to nature, we decided we should work together on this voyage. With several of my own projects in development through my non-profit CauseCentric Productions, a collaboration fit perfectly into my mission to film non-profits in the field.

Founder Amy with Tibi and Josh filming for Healing Seekers

For two weeks I recorded their treks, travels, and findings interviewing healers and collecting plants. Every other day we were either in a canoe, a 4×4, a small boat, or a plane- traveling from 1-9 hours each time, all to find remote people with unique information. The result was a tremendous collection of stories and knowledge to be disseminated through Healing Seekers’ network, including schools in North Carolina through one of their supporting organizations.

Besides the hardships of functioning in a difficult tropical climate in isolated locations, the rewards were numerous. We explored the stories of people living on the seldom visited Tami Island and while Amy and her team stayed on land working with the people, I had an opportunity to explore the reefs of this untouched land. Pristine inner reefs showed an example of what untouched marine life should look like and though I only had time to see a relatively small area, the health of this reef was enough to give a sense of what lay beyond.

Tami Island view onto the inner reef

Typical home on the Sepik River

The quantity of knowledge we witnessed through local healers working with various plants was impressive and is a true testament about how people use what naturally exists in their surroundings. We also saw the eventual loss of this knowledge as future generations lose the sense of value of these precious resources, both from their elders and from the environment itself.

Soon I hope to have the resulting video complete. In the meantime I am already on expedition again, this time in Chile, co-hosting a 12 part documentary TV series for a Chilean production, “Oceano” Chile Frente al Mar”. The southern canales including Magdallenas has been our home for the past 10 days. Today I head to Antarctica. The lack of internet communications makes updating a challenge. How dependent we have become on this system…

Kids playing up for the camera - Sepik River

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