Pippa’s Mum (Jill) and brother recently ventured away from the hectic lives in Adelaide to spend 10 days with us in sunny Vanuatu. We met them in Port Vila and spent a few days showing them the sights of the capital city – the markets, shops, resorts and restaurants.
(All enjoying a refreshing tropical juice in Pt Vila)
On Sunday we decided to hire a 9 seater bus and have a go at driving on the right hand side of the road all the way around Efate. Although scary at times, it ended up being a lovely way to explore the Island. We took our time and stopped at some stunning white sand beaches, thermal hot springs, road markets, natural estuaries, lookouts and even managed a stop where Survivor Vanuatu was filmed.
On Tuesday the real adventure began as we hopped on the 19 seater aircraft to Ambrym Island. It always ends up being a long trip to our village with 1 hour in the air followed by a 2.5 hour boat ride around the North coast of Ambrym to Ranon village. We were all feeling quite weary by the time we got here so had some dinner on our balcony and an early night to bed.
Both Jill and Nigel had incredibly busy times leading up to this holiday, so they spent plenty of time on Ambrym relaxing, reading and exploring the local environment.
(Pippa and her Mum walking along the beach towards Ranvetlam)
(Relaxing after a snorkel)
They also went on a few of the tours we have helped develop including a Bush Discovery Walk, Ranvetlam village tour, pikinini plei plei kastom night tour and the Rom Dance. We were planning on walking to the volcano together but the hot weather, steep hills and heavy bags didn’t look quite as inviting as relaxing on the beach!
(Sitting in front of an old bunyan tree as part of the Bush Discovery Walk)
(Matt swinging like Tarzan on a bush vine as part of the Bush Discovery Walk)
We spent our last night sharing a meal with our ‘adopted’ family and two other families that we are very close to. Before we ate our feast of island kakai, Jill and Nigel were presented with some beautiful island gifts – a wooden carving and a woven basket. The father of the family made a beautiful speech which made us all a bit teary! It was a very special and unique moment to bring both of our ‘families’ together.
On the same day that Jill and Nigel left, three of Matt’s mates from Uni arrived. We hope to climb the volcano together on Monday and are all looking forward to the 2 day North Ambrym Arts Festival next week. It has been a real treat showing some of our dear friends and family members this unique place that we have called home for the past 9 months.