Village time again
This morning I had planned on going back in the water but at breakfast one of the girls told me that someone else had booked a tour that I was interested in so I quickly changed my plans. I was still tired from yesterday evening anyway so I took the rest of the day off as well. I wanted some more hammock-time this afternoon but not sure where my hammock on the beach has gone…
After breakfast I met the honeymoon-couple from Brisbane with whom I was going on the tour to Lowinia village. So we started our drive via Lenakel (the biggest village on Tanna) up into the middle of the island. Along the way the driver showed us a mango-tree and told us that the mangos are for the first time having fruits again after PAM hit. Once arrived we were greeted by our tour guide who kept explaining things to us. And then the kids came running… it is always a bit funny to see the blond kids… first we were shown some traditional cooking. They had done the same thing earlier so we could taste the food we had seen prepared as well. The grated white stuff was yams but I don’t know what the leaves were. It tasted interesting. Behind us there was the cyclone-shelter that needs repairing. We were told that the village needs a bigger one especially since rain kept getting in on the ground.
Then we were led to the main place of the village (a big tree that fell during PAM is now a playground for the kids) where the brother of the chief greeted us. Then another guy showed us how to make fire. Afterwards there was a dance with three men, one boy, a few women and the kids. After the two dances the ’show‘ ended with a ’shake-hands‘ of the dancers. Which included the kids. There was a maybe 2 year old little girl who had to shake hands too. She was too cute. And another little girl shyly touched my arm and my hair – I guess because of my white skin and different hair. Then we were shown some self-made items that we could buy but there was nothing that I could use for anything. And then we were off again.
Seeing village life there it became much clearer to me that they just hang around most of the day because there is not a lot to do (unless they cook or grow the gardens). And women don’t get to say a lot. If there are gatherings, women are not allowed to speak officially only men are allowed. Not sure if this is the same all over Vanuatu but at least in this village women are just there to cook, have kids and serve the men… our guide didn’t seem to be too happy about that (I wouldn’t be either…).
After the village-tour we drove back to Lenakel where it was market day. We had a look around but to be honest, I felt a bit out of place. There were only dark-skinned people there and being one of three with lighter skin made me feel a bit weird… nobody did anything to MAKE me feel out of place (some of them greeted us with friendly ‚Hello’s) but I felt it anyway…
The first pic I am showing you is another milky-way shot from yesterday evening. I was too tired to work on it for the last blog-entry. I took it when we came back from the volcano.