To Ambryn for 'Back to our Roots'

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Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym
September 1st 2009
Published: September 8th 2009
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A fabulous couple of weeks exploring the islands to the north of the Vanuatu group. From Port Vila we visited Havannah Harbour - a mere 20 miles where we had a pleasant time with the chief of the village and his family. Onto Lamen Bay on the island of Epi next where there was reported to be a dugong - a manatee with a different tail shape renowned for his friendly nature. There we met up with Joanne and John aboard Feisty (from Oz) and Bungee, Jill and Sue aboard Bloomers (from NZ). We spent a super few days ashore exploring with them and searching for the dugong who was sighted on many occasions, but alas he didn't make himself available for swimming buddy.

The overall purpose of our trip was to go to the Rom Festival on the island of Ambryn - 'Back to our Roots', created 8 years ago to educated the local children and give the islanders and tourists a flavour of life on the island for the past few centuries. Enroute we called into Port Sandwich on the island of Malakula where we spent nearly a week interacting with the friendly people.

Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 22


At last fresh veg and fruitAt last fresh veg and fruit
At last fresh veg and fruit

Everything in the tropics gets the chlorox treatment - a good soaking to kill all bacteria
Island night party laid on for usIsland night party laid on for us
Island night party laid on for us

The villagers arranged an outdoor cookout with kava and entertainment. The entry fee went toward marine research they're carrying out to regenerate the fish population
Taro, and yam cook under leavesTaro, and yam cook under leaves
Taro, and yam cook under leaves

These are the 'staple' foods in this part of the world

This is the preferred adult drink in this region. It makes lips and tongue tingle, a feeling of relaxation but tastes quite awful!
A night outA night out
A night out

Day to day we wear shorts, T shirts and sarongs so it makes a nice change to go somewhere and dress up!
Rom dance on AmbrynRom dance on Ambryn
Rom dance on Ambryn

The three day festival was called Back to Our Roots and involved dancing, singing, drumming and the sacrificing of pigs. Not a good time to be a pig!
The Rom danceThe Rom dance
The Rom dance

The dancers wear a cloak of banana leaves and intricate masks
Chief promotional ceremonyChief promotional ceremony
Chief promotional ceremony

This is performed by the chief standing on a high platform. The villagers circle below and for a certain duration they are permitted to display their pleasure or displeasure with their chiefs performance. If displeased they lob coconuts at him!
The frizbee clubThe frizbee club
The frizbee club

Wherever Walter and I travel we play with the children. The frizbee proved popular amongst this group.

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