A Travellerspoint blog

First few days

We’ve arrived in Vanuatu to a wonderful warm welcome at the airport. The beautiful harmonies of a string band filled the airport as we waited to be processed by customs (through the Vanuatu residents gate no less!). We were a little worried about getting our Indian spices through (which we had been told were essential for surviving on island cooking for a long time). We handed our things to declare form to the customs agent who seemed a little annoyed that we had declared something. He asked whether we had salami or leaves of any kind and then waved us through when we told him about the spices which are a little hard to get here in Vanuatu. Outside the airport we were greeted by a smiling ni-Van (the word here for people from Vanuatu), who put a traditional lae of leaves around our necks. We were also greeted by other Australian volunteers who have been here for 6 months and George Bumseng (Pippa’s contact for her work out on Ambrym Island). After chatting for a while we took off to our accommodation in a minibus.

The following day the current Youth Ambassadors took us on a guided tour around Vila to show us all the important sites – where to buy a bush knife, the best places to eat, the Nakamal (Kava Hut), medical centre and the amazing markets with a beautiful spread of tropical delights! This first photo is the view from the waterfront at Port Vila. Ahh its hard work being a volunteer!

port vila waterfront.jpg

On Sunday we were taken on a cruise around the bay and stopped for a snorkel. The water was so clear! The coral 15 metres below us on the sea floor was clearly visible. There were a few shallower outcrops of coral but most was too deep for a good look. I think this just wet our appetite for scuba diving!

snorkling ..unteers.jpg
george bumseng.jpg

Last night we joined heaps of Australians at a sports bar and watched the Rugby League grand final. It was very sad to see pictures of the bali bombings on satellite tv. We are fine here, the ni-Vans are very friendly, welcoming and are definitely not muslim extremists.

Posted by pippamatt 18:40

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hi, great site,my plan to move to Vanuatu with my two young children, is now about to come to fruition, we expect to be in Vila mid to late Dec. I live on sunshine coast and vanuatu is calling me so strongly just reading your articles and photos brought tears to my eyes. i would love to be in contact with you both, my email is mc_natalie@hotmail.com. Hope to catchup with you
take care

by Nasha

Hi Matt and Pippa, sounds as if your life has completely changed, you may not like the city life when you get back home and want the ideal country peace and quiet. Although it sounds as if civilisation is a long way away and culture may be lacking

by KerryC

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