A Travellerspoint blog

First times

We have settled into our life here on Ambrym and have become familiar with much of our surroundings and the goings on in the nearby villages. However over the last week we still managed to experience a few more firsts:

- Our first big earthquake; our chairs shook and the crockery in the cupboard rattled for a few seconds. Some of you may have heard that a Volcano on Ambae (a nearby island) has been erupting. We can only just make out the smoke from the erupting Volcano from our local beach so it is a fair distance from us…no worries for us here….but perhaps the Earthquake was related to the Seismic activity around the Volcano?

- We were the first tourists to visit an amazing waterfall about 4 hours walk from our Bungalow. This honour was bestowed on us as part of our work here on Ambrym. Local guides are developing new tours and we are helping them test and improve these tours. The waterfall adventure tour as this new tour is known went off quite well even though we had to slog through the rain for most of the 8 hour return walk. The 40m high waterfall at the mid point of our journey was breath taking and set amongst pristine rainforest. During the tour we had our names discretely carved in a Banyan Tree declaring our presence as the first tourist to the area. Another first – we were invited to plant a banana tree and kava (the local narcotic) bush.

(The waterfall photo we will use on the advertising brochure)

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(Proud first tourists!)

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(Boys hiding from the rain during our practice tour)

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(Hopefully many bananas for the locals from this one!)

- We had our first big dose of tropical rain, it lasted for 3 days and felt as if it was never going to end. Some of our things went mouldy, and clothes were impossible to dry. The coming wet season will certainly be quite a challenge for us both.

- We saw our first use of bush medicine. We were wandering through Ranon village when we noticed a small arrow being constructed using broken glass for the tip and a tiny stick as the shaft. A mini bow was then produced and we thought a toy was being made or perhaps a miniature animal hunt would soon begin. However the true prey was soon revealed. The feet of a man with injured knees. The bow was drawn back and the arrow was repeatedly fired into the skin of the victims feet. This we were assured would release the pressure inside the leg and reduce the pain the patient was feeling in his swollen knees. Acupuncture Vanuatu style?

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(Bush medicine in action)

Posted by pippamatt 17:28

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