Photos Backlog 6 - Our entry to Vanuatu > Island of Anatom
I always think it is nice to share our first view of the islands and countries we are travelling to.
Vanuatu has about 83 islands that range from high volcanic cones to coral atolls. Many of the volcanoes are active and some semi-active. The islands are lush and green with sandy beaches.
We were warned that Vanuatu does have some dangerous plants, animals & fish and here are a few of them.
Lion Fish or Scorpion Fish
Everyone’s favourite the ‘Croc’, we even named shoes after them!
Ian and I swam with these snakes, but we were not comfortable around them.
Our first stop is Anatom we sailed over from Fiji with Leu Cat, we are all ready to walk on land again and see what this island holds.
We would soon realize that although you think the village is by the water that is not the case they are always hidden away in the jungle and in due course we would understand why.
The beaches are always empty, sometimes you see the odd dugout.
The kids were having a great football game, but we didn’t see any homes, so this was not the village.
This is the path to the village, grass everywhere is mowed, and paths swept clean!
The remains of an old church, we would later find out the importance of this building.
We arrived at an opening and this is what we saw -
They all seemed to be waiting for something and finally this lovely gentleman named George explained what was happening and invited us to stay.
John Geddie, a missionary arrived in Anatom in 1848, and was not killed and eaten, but in 1841 Samoan Missionaries arrived and were promptly killed and eaten. The church was built by John Geddies and we had arrived at their Nakamal or meeting place where a Reconciliation Commencement was taking place between the village of Aneityum and Samoa and it was going to be held in the Anelcauhat area of the island from Tuesday to Friday. They did a re-enactment of the 1841 killing of the missionaries.
Their lookout is always on guard for the enemy, he has his conch shell so he can blow a warning to the villagers.
The Samoan at the front of the line is Pastor Isaac, Chairman of Reconciliation Commencement.
Can you imagine arriving at Anatom after a lengthy and probably not comfortable boat ride from Samoa, to be greeted by these warriors, they must have been terrified and just knew they would be killed and eaten?