Joseph Hincks

Sailing into Starvation Island: 70 years after the end of World War II, Peace Boat visits Guadalcanal

Musicians in shell headdresses welcomed hundreds of disembarking Japanese visitors when Peace Boat docked in Guadalcanal, its final port of call, last month. Guadalcanal receives few tourists and our arrival produced a flurry of new entrepreneurs: hawkers arranged wooden canoe figureheads and bottles of pressed coconut oil on mats spread over the concourse, and an ice-cream…

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Peace Boat passengers consider the cost of shark fin soup

With his orange life vest tightly fastened and carrying a plastic water gun, 6-year-old Murakami Yoshinao climbed down the motorboat’s fibreglass steps and plopped into the sea below. The water sloshed around Yoshinao’s shoulders and shadows moved across the bone coloured sand near his feet. Then the blacktip sharks came closer – one glided right…

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Satsuma Fields: Encounters with the diaspora provoke reflections on what it means to be Japanese

When the Sakura Maru departed from Yokohama in February 1899 bound for the Peruvian port city of Callao, its 790 passengers must have had high hopes. The Meiji Government had been run campaigns advertising a better quality of life overseas, and the Morioka Emigration Company and other agents promised solid pay for four-year contracts on…

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Listening to the volcano: Nasa communities blend ancestral knowledge with contemporary seismology in Colombia

On Ricardo Mena’s first humanitarian mission with the United Nations in April 1994, the only way to fly over southwestern Colombia’s Valle del Cauca was by police helicopter. Mena had been assigned to track indigenous Nasa displaced by the Páez River earthquake, but an eager police officer kept leaning over to photograph the poppy fields…

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The long shadows of Augusto Pinochet: Peace Boat passengers meet survivors of the other 9/11 in Valparaíso, Chile

For most North Americans, the mention of 9/11 evokes grey airplanes against white cirrus; slow television seconds; and the obscene inward folding of metal and glass. This collective memory is video-looped on CNN specials, honored by fire-fighter parades and nurtured at candlelit vigils, so that peripheral details – whether we were at biology class that…

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An Earthship at the end of the world: Peace Boat passengers consider sustainable tourism in Ushuaia

Between October and April every year, scores of gleaming cruise ships bound for Antarctica join the usual array of fishing boats, oil tankers, and freighters at the harbor in Ushuaia, Argentina. Last month alone 22,000 cruise ship passengers and crew disembarked from ships like the Celebrity Infinity, the Golden Princess, and Peace Boat’s Ocean Dream….

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Seen and not heard: Six months after the World Cup, little has changed for Rio’s Favela footballers

In many ways Breno Washington is a typical 15-year-old boy. He has the look of someone whose body grew slightly too quick for him, but he wears it easy anyway, like a pair of good jeans; he likes the Chicago Bulls and sometimes he smokes marijuana with his friends. Unlike most boys his age, however,…

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Does it fit? Tsina Endor on making peace with the taboo in rural Madagascar

In the ancestor worshipping religion practiced across Madagascar’s 18 tribes, the zebu – a species of domestic cattle originating in South Asia – is integral to marking life’s milestones. When a child gets its first haircut, the clippings are stirred into zebu back fat and eaten by family members with a rum chaser; when a…

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Township Swing: Tony Elvin’s campaign to move the heart of Cape Town

In a repurposed primary school in Langa, the Western Cape’s oldest township, Tony Elvin asked 27 Japanese Peace Boat passengers what they thought was the opposite of love. Elvin’s visitors, most of whom had attended lectures on the legacy of apartheid before disembarking in Cape Town on December 23, conferred. Hate, one offered. Twenty years…

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The Chameleon and the Buffalo: Peace Boat passengers learn about trauma and reconciliation in Mozambique

The power was out at the Cidadela das Criancas orphanage and the visitors from Peace Boat waited in the dark canteen. Somebody switched on a torch and then, a shriek: shiny bugs swarmed the open windows at the new light; they collided with faces, popped on the vinyl tablecloths and scuttled over laps. “At that…

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Nothing for us, without us: African Youth Leaders commit to Disaster Risk Reduction goals onboard Peace Boat

In a small room on Deck 6 of the Ocean Dream, youth leaders from four African countries hashed out a strategy for disaster risk reduction (DRR) on their continent as part of a collaborative project between the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR.) The…

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International NGO SOS Children’s Village celebrates 10 years of teaching life skills through football in Toamasina

The Japanese football players from Peace Boat were in a boisterous mood as their minibus convoy rolled through streets of Toamasina on Sunday. Chants echoed off the Mercedes’ aluminum roof, camera shutters clicked, and shirtsleeves flapped at open windows. With Peace Boat docked in Madagascar’s second city, participants in the ship’s Peace Ball programme visited…

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Beyond the textbooks: in Singapore, Peace Boat passengers consider the Sook Ching massacre

  On Friday 28 November, Sabah tour guide Akmal gave 33 Japanese Peace Boat passengers a whistle stop tour of the Sabah Museum in Kota Kinabalu. The group filed past glass-cased Bajau drums and skull relics of the Kadazan-Dusun tribe’s headhunting days towards the portion of the museum dedicated to Borneo’s colonial history. 74 years…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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