We have just returned from an amazing “village stay” on Moso island. All the other Youth Ambassadors stayed in Siviri village, but AUSAID wanted the two of us to experience remote island life in preparation for our year-long adventure!! We took a small boat over the crystal clear blue water to a small village called Sunae where about 60 Ni-Vans live.
When we arrived to the island, some small kids (pikinini in Bislama) started to cry, as most white people who they see come with needle in hand. We both stayed with separate families. Their generosity and warm welcomes was overwhelming! They even gave up their own beds and slept on the floor.
We talked Bislama the whole time and were both pleasantly surprised with our ability to communicate effectively so quickly!
Some highlights over the weekend include:
• Matt’s first attempt to climb a coconut tree,
• ‘Scratchem’ some coconut to make the coconut milk for the traditional Lap lap dish
• Going to church and hearing beautiful harmonies and the big lunch afterwards in celebration for Father’s Day.
• Taking one pre-school lesson for the pikinini
• Visiting a beautiful beach and going snorkeling through a myriad of colourful fish
• “Story-yarning” through the night
• Discovering the rewards of a simple life!
At our departure from the village we were given one further display of generosity from these amazing people. We were given 2 island dresses that had been hand made by the Mammas and 2 hand-woven mats. As our boat drifted away the whole village waved us goodbye from the shore.
We had a bit of culture shock when we returned to Port Vila after just 2 days of village life. We can’t imagine how much culture shock we will get coming back to Australia after one year of village life!!
This final image is of a beach close to the village where we stayed. The people of Sunae are trying to start an ecotourism project. If you want a relaxing day on the beach, great snorkling, and some tasty traditional food contact Richard at Destinations Travel in Vila for more details.