Aneityum Ashore

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Sat 24 Oct 2015 22:57
Our First Visit - Aneityum Ashore
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After our lovely boiled eggs, mug of hot chocolate and a couple of ours shut-eye, we were ready to go ashore. What a fantastic feeling, after the delays in Fiji, the threat of a cyclone and the three hours spent going round in circles sorting out the compass, we were here in Vanuatu. We were actually here, the sun was hot and we were ready to find out when we could check in at the Police Station. Unlikely we would find anyone on a Saturday but good to show we tried.
By the time we got up, the blue-hulled boat we had passed on the way in had gone and another boat had anchored near us. On our way in, we popped across to say ‘hello’ to Adrian from Romania, his wife Christine from Bulgaria and their son Alex, along with Michael [crew member from Ireland]. We bumped into them ashore so we set off together in search of anyone. We found Bill who happened to be the Quarantine Officer together with Nicholas of Immigration. Bill couldn’t help today as he couldn’t find the key to his office so this giant of a friendly man asked if we could go in and see him at the police station on Monday morning. Nicholas was only on the island as a cruise ship was in on Friday and as the next is due on Wednesday he was staying to meet it. He normally lives in Port Vila and the officers take it in turns to fly down to see to the influx of tourists off the ships. He asked that we pick him up at three o’clock, this would give him time to get his paperwork together and find our pre-arranged check-in papers {Aneityum is only a Port of Entry if you have sought email permission from Walter}. Time to explore then.
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We began with the Primary School. Lovely to find it unlocked.
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We would later find out that this classroom had forty seven pupils.
Outside the classroom was evidence of aid needed after Cyclone Pam. Bill told us that Aneityum had got off fairly well compared to Tanna which was decimated and where they are at this time considering taking the children to Port Vila as food is in short supply. Sad, when you consider that Tanna houses the biggest tourist draw of Vanuatu in the shape of Mount Yasur..........
The pristine bank looked almost out of place next to the school.
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Evidence of cruise ship visits on the grass lay floating pontoons. We saw a massive canoe – must find out more about her......
An interesting old ‘relic’ from the past.
We spent an hour bimbling around the well kept village.
The kava grinder. We have been told the locals think that Fiji kava does indeed taste like car park puddle water compared to theirs. Two glasses holds a warning whilst eight renders unconsciousness........ Mmmm looking forward to that, we think ????.
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Nice to see some flowers.
A typical ‘island’ picture. Super to see children having fun.
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Bear went for Nicholas at three o’clock and the lovely chap stamped our Passports AND cleared us out at the same time. He gave us permission to visit Tanna and depart from Erromango, this will save us a few days back and forthing to Lenakel on west coast of Tanna, the official clearance port. Hopefully Bill will do the same on Monday for Customs. All done and dusted Bear took the happy Nicholas ‘next door’ for their turn with him.
Time to brush up on our Bislama, the lingua franca spoken throughout the archipelago by about seventy five per cent of the population. Vanuatu has more than one hundred and ten distinct vernacular languages or dialects which are still commonly spoken, the highest linguistic density in the world. Schools mostly teach English but parents can find schools where French is the first language.
Tok Bislama.
Good morning – Gudmoning.
Please – Plis.
Thank you very much – Tank yu tumas.
My name is Pepe – Nem blong mi Pepe.
How much ?? – Hamas ??
Money – Mane [pronounced manee]
Eat – Kakae.
Speak – Toktok.
I want – Mi wantem
Where are you going ?? – Yu go wea ??
I don’t know – Mi no save [ pronounced Jonny Depp like - savee] 
I have broken my leg – Mi breken leg blong mi [always useful to know]
One to ten. Wan, tu, tri, fo, faef, sikis, seven, eit, naen and ten.
Goodbye. Lukim yu bagkegen [see you again].
Now for a game or two and watch the sun go down.