A Travellerspoint blog

Settling in

We are settling in nicely to village life. We have even started our own veggie patch and planted some beans, corn, rocket and zucchini for starters. Our hosts burnt and slashed some weedy ground near our bungalow and all that was left for us to do was pull out some stray weeds, hoe some furrows and plant the seeds. The locals assured us we wouldn’t need fertilizer, as the volcanic soil is quite rich.
Matt in garden.jpg
It is still quite hot and dry with little rainfall so we will be hand watering our seedlings for a little while yet. One of our biggest challenges of the day is trying to clean our feet which get covered in dust from walking on dusty tracks. When the wet season finally arrives, I’m sure we will be wishing for dusty tracks again over slippery mud slides!

Every afternoon we hear the squeals, laughter and loud cries of joy of the kids from Ranon cooling off in the beautiful clear water below our bungalow. Sometimes we join them and head in for a snorkel.
kids in water.jpg

We continue to be blessed with everyone’s generosity. Every day the locals smile as they give us some of their locally grown veggies. We certainly won’t go hungry! We have nearly overdosed on mangoes, eating an average of five per day but pineapple season is just around the corner to excite our taste buds again.

Yesterday we took a boat to another coastal village on Ambrym to watch a custom dance for a ship full of American tourists. The one hundred odd tourists had paid up to $1500 a night to go on the cruise. The boat had almost as many crew as it did passengers. They came ashore on Zodiacs to a warm welcome by the locals. A pig was ceremonially killed for the occasion by a local wearing the custom dress which consists of very little. A Nambas (penis sheath) and not much else.
Rom dance.jpg

The dance was a traditional Rom Dance which is part of a complex ritual where men pay money and pigs to earn the right to make the costume and participate in the dance. Some dancers were wearing carved wooden masks and suits made from leaves. Others were wearing Nambas only. The dance was accompanied by singing and drum beats hammered out on a large tam tam (slit gong). At times quite spectular the dance should keep tourists coming back to Ambrym for many years to come.

Our trips to the phone box at a nearby village are becoming quite regular. When we first heard we would be plugging in to the local public phone to make email contact we imagined the two of us jammed in a tiny hot glass phone box with the sun streaming in. However the phone box is a spacious and cool hut with room for 2 chairs and table for the computer. When we use the phone after kids have finished school we sometimes attract quite an audience!
Pippa in phone booth.jpg

Posted by pippamatt 20:47

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Hello on Ambrym,tell me hov do you connect your PC to the phone, I am very interested as I got familly (by marriage)in S.E.Ambrym and are going to visit next year, enjoy your stay, regards Bjarne Hessing, ex volunteer, fisheri department 86-88

by Bjarne

As someone who grew up on Rennell island in the Solomons, I love reading your blog. Thanks for the great pics. Brings back some good memories (I used to be one of those squeeling kids...) :)

by Sam I Am

Hi Matt and Pippa,

Great to see and hear how your wonderful adventure is going. It looks like you both are having an amazing time. Miss you lots, take care, Kel and Warren

by kelnwaz

Wow....Wonderful.....Your blog is very interesting. It's very simple and to the point. The pictures are also wonderful with all the details about the pictures given below. Very intresting.....Good luck

by scoobygirl

Your blog is really interesting and its a pleasure to read, it sounds like you're having a great time!

by Rraven

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