A whole day excursion on the island of Efate

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Mon 17 Jul 2017 12:39
Monday 17th of July we had a whole day excursion on the island of Efate organised by the World ARC. We travelled the only road that circums the island with its 140 kms. 

We first stopped at a so called “cultural village”: a village where the village people live (or at least shows to live), how they live (or have lived) their daily routines with the conditions such as during the hurricane season. The guide was a very well cultivated man, passionate about his history and traditions and it was fascinating to listen to his knowledge. May his knowledge be passed on to the next generation.

The path and the “entrance” to the village. As long as there is a leaf on the “fence” to the entrance we are not allowed to enter until the Chief of the Village welcomes us. And we were welcomed!


Our guide explaining how they use the spider’s webb to fish. 


This spider is a very well kept “pet” in the village. Its webb is a precious tool to fish.


A mother and her kid making baskets and other useful tools for the household.


A Vanuatun warrior.

This story is a fascinating one where we understand the true values on Vanuatu’s community which is primarily based on respect. If a mother in a family dies, the father is not allowed to take a new partner within the next 2 years. His devotion is to be focused only on his children. To show this, he is not allowed to cut his hair during these 2 years. Once the 2 years have passed, he cuts his hair, gets a new partner who then is totally accepted by the children as their new mother. What he is holding in his hand is the hair cut off, that is then used in other household matters. 


This tradition is also amazing how they can use nature to help babies who cannot breastfeed for different matters. This warrior rips of the skin of young coconut, when it is still soft. He rips of the skin with his teeth...


… takes the shell of a clam to rip of the rest by the “mouth” and makes a whole at the end...


… by squeezing the soft coconut, it is just like sucking a breast! A fully nourishing coconut water gives the child what it needs.


Different style of warriors.


Inez with her new friend Bianca from the boat “Zeeland” and Alex with his Norwegian friend Terje on Aurora Polaris well know for baking his delicious cinnamon rolls!


The  next lesson is to get to know how they survive hurricanes.


Our guide explains that they live well on bananas, coconuts and fish. However when the hurricane season is approaching they never know if or when a hurricane will hit and how badly. So in order to make sure of having enough food after the disaster is a fact, they dry the coconuts and bananas in the sun in advance and lay them down in a whole under banana leaves. This is how they can collect food during the time the nature recovers from a hurricane.  

As for what happens when a hurricane is passing by, they have their banyan tree which is the heart of the village. The banyan tree is a stable tree with roots growing everywhere, so the whole village hides in the tree.


Jörgen and Inez hiding from a hurricane!


The cultural village shows us yet another tradition which is the warrior’s dance...



… which is already passed on to the little ones…


… and how they walk on hot stone (and they are hot!). They spread some sort of plant mix under the feet and the warrior walks on the hot stone with the company of drums. 



And now for the touristy picture…. We were attacked by the warriors!!


Our next stop was at the “Blue Lagoon” where we had a swim and great jumping from the pontoon. Wonder who had the most fun?



A well deserved brake with dried fruits: bananas, peanuts, mangos, grapefruits...


A stop along the road by the sea: beautiful view!



Before lunch we stopped at the hot springs on Efate and got our legs well taken care!



Time for lunch at this beautiful spot by the beach.



Alex and Inez found a fun tree with a cabin in it!


Our little mermaid taking all the chances to get a swim!