I was there for the Teacher Professional Development School Leadership programme facilitated by the Ministry of Education, and, I was truly grateful, I made it that far.
During my first trip, I was only confined within Auki town.
Nevertheless, I was highly impressed and equally appreciative of the developments taking place there.
Hence, as I was braving the long journey to the South with my two brave skippers I began to realize the vastness and the natural beauty of Malaita; the soothing untouched Are-Are lagoon, the spacious land mass and the breathe-taking Maramasike passage.
At first, I was stunned, looking musingly at the rugged, Kwaio mountains looming silently above and ahead of us.
But soon, I was peacefully embracing the natural beauty of the Southern coast; I pondered deeply there and then.
Why am I here on the day the Malaitans are celebrating?
I turned to my skippers and posed them the question.
Their reply impressed me even more ‘Madam, that’s an appropriate title for a poem’.
The question lingered in mind to this day.
As I am disclosing a few thoughts to the nation.
I knew I had indeed fulfilled my dream to see Malaita
though not all of this magnificent land.
I know I would have been more appreciative
If I had taken a thorough jaunt through many other parts
Interestingly, prior to my educational trip to Malaita
I had read on a billboard on Honiara’s Kukum Highway a slogan,
‘Arise Malaitans’, publicizing 2016 Malaita Second Appointed Day celebrations
I thought to myself, what a beautiful opportunity
I would be on Malaita when Malaitans would be celebrating
I was joyful and overwhelmed as I was gathering all into one
First; I have only known Malaitans living on my island- Guadalcanal
and I believe this would be an opportune moment to discover reality.
Certainly, as I had come to learn through my interactions,
I had witnessed much more than my conventional knowledge of Malaita.
I had witnessed the true Malaitan physical prowess;
I had felt peace, brotherly love, goodness;
And I had seen with my eyes the creative ability,
hard-work, commitment and a strong patriotic spirit
permeating the Malaita atmosphere.
Second; this was a golden opportunity to witness the vastness of the land
equal in size to Guadalcanal, but with many more attractive geographical features
highly appealing to Tourism, and other prospective economic activities;
I was thankful I was seeing these aspects.
And finally, in my capacity as a concerned citizen of Solomon Islands,
It was an opportunity to learn and share what I was thinking.
Thus, as I was cruising the Mala/ Guale seas
upon my return to Honiara
I’d proudly confirm…True na….
I am who I am today
we are what we are now
Solomon Islands has come this far
because of the contributions by Malaitans
And if fatherhood of Solomon Islands
can be likened to the strong Malaitan prowess
and our motherhood, as the resource- rich,
fertile mother land- Guadalcanal
My concluding sentiments would be
to encourage fellow Malaitans
that you have what it takes to carry Malaita
and Solomon Islands forward in terms of
the most needed economic development activities,
income generation activities, and employment opportunities
For our people
at this critical hour of need
You are mighty
You are resource- rich
You are productive
You are willing
You are strong-
strong enough to break the barriers
that constantly hinder progress
And, more importantly,
Your faith in God is alive
Your love for your children is boundless
And that through Him
by His grace;
and in His might
progress and prosperity
for our people
for all Malaitans
and all Solomon Islanders
May God bless and preserve Malaita,
And our beloved nation,
Georgina B Pita