As we traveled around Vanuatu we encountered wonderful people, rough seas and once in a life time experiences.

While anchored off of the Meskalyn Islands, we were approached again by a local dugout canoe. We were told the Chief extended an invitation to us to visit the village that afternoon. At the time were were buddy boating with our friends on “Northfork”…Mark and Roberta.

We were anchored a good distance from the village and the seas were very rough as the winds were picking up. It was tough navigating the very shallow waters to get to the island of Avokh. One of the local men came out in his canoe to lead us through the waters. Were were greeted by the entire village…men, women, children. They played music for us and presented us with homemade leis. They were beautiful! As we took pictures Mike would show the children a picture of themselves on the camera screen. Well, they just loved to see themselves as they don’t come across any mirrors very often. Mike was surrounded by kids.

We toured the village and then walked further into the jungle….Mike joked that perhaps we were going to be dinner…not just guests. We all sat on a log and were entertained with a customary “small namabas” dance. When I tell you that these men wore only leaves….I kid you not! It truly was something straight out of Nat’l Geographic Magazine! Their bodies were painted with mud and pigs blood. There private parts were wrapped in a leaf attached to a piece of straw that wrapped around their hips. In Vanuatu they have different tribes…”The Big Nambas and The Small Nambas”. The size of the piece of straw is how they determine…get your minds out of the gutter!

As funny as this may sound, it was actually quite moving, spiritual and emotional to watch these men perform. We really were taken back in time. The people of Vanuatu still believe in Black Magic. They still rely on “rain dancing” etc….

After the dancing we returned to the village for snacks that the women and children prepared…fresh nuts, coconut and some other things we weren’t too sure of. Also to drink Kava…..boy is the Kava in Vanuatu strong….lot’s stronger than Fiji. It was really a special experience.

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