Having traded away our bush knife long ago and finding a nice little trade store in the nearby village we were visiting this morning, I purchased a new bush knife. It is much easier to open coconuts with a proper bush knife instead of the small dull knife that we had on board. Also, when trekking through the many jungles and rainforests here, it is nice to carry a bush knife to fend off all of the vines and branches that typically overwhelm the so called road (path). I purchased the new knife sometime before noon and it cost me about five dollars. Upon returning to the boat with my new knife in hand, I quickly chopped the top off of three coconuts for everyone on board and was very pleased with my new purchase. As I finished drinking the sweet juice out of my coconut, I searched the deck of the boat and tried to find a good place to store my new knife. Being very hungry at the time, I decided to just set it down with our stash of coconuts on board and venture down into the galley to fix some lunch.
Fifteen minutes later and lunch was ready. Everyone else was outside on the boat so I brought the food out for all of us to enjoy. There were a couple of canoes around the boat as usual, just kind of standing up in their canoes hanging onto the rail having a look at us as if we were a television show. Nothing new, just typical of everywhere here in PNG. After lunch, I read for a while, took a short nap and ventured back up top to enjoy the afternoon. As a little afternoon project, I decided to find a home somewhere on board for my new bush knife. As I came out on deck and glanced at the pile of coconuts, I soon realized that the knife was gone. Needless to say, I am not talking about a small knife here. This is a proper machete and is not that easy to misplace. After a quick look around, I decided that I definitely left it with the coconuts. No one else on board had seen or used it and they had been on deck the entire time talking to all of the different canoes that had come up. I guess one of the canoes swiped the knife when no one was looking. The knife didn’t even last me four hours! That is the first thing I have had stolen here. Looking back on it now, I think that if I had left my wallet, watch and laptop lying next to the bush knife, it still would have been the only thing taken. A brand new bush knife is a valuable item in a community where you are given one for your third birthday and carry it everywhere you go for the rest of your life. Even though I had planned to eventually give the knife away to someone who needed it before heading back to Australia, I was sad to see it disappear to quickly. It has gone to a good cause and I am sure that whoever took my knife needed it a lot worse than I did. Hopefully they will put it to good use opening many coconuts and canned goods while I can spend another five dollars on a new one the next time I come across another trade store here in the islands.