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December 2nd 2000
Published: April 15th 2006
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Ni-Van RoadsideNi-Van RoadsideNi-Van Roadside

There are cows walking free all along the dirt roads here on Santo.
I was a little bummed out to start the day. Could have been the Larium. But as were driving to the Big Bay village of Sara I got a boost of excitement. Here I was stepping into a totally foreign environment with islanders and the ever-present cows just ambling along the road.

Once at our destination we got out into a village of grass thatched huts, the whole thing. The villagers were very welcoming, the other Peace Corps volunteer we are now traveling with had been there before. They took us to the village nakamal, basically a grass roof held up by poles. We were then treated to Kava. I felt very privileged to be there. They treated us as honored guests and we talked in hushed tones. My friend and I just looked at each other and marveled how far we had come from the crazy life of our college dormitory. As the palm trees were silhouetted against the moonlit sky, we sat there with Ni-Van villagers and took part in an age-old ritual.

We took our leave. Quietly with the kava having taken hold we got back into the truck and moved onto to our next destination, the village where the other Peace Corps volunteer is stationed. We made it there well under the cover of darkness. I am now in a hut in Metandis writing this journal by candlelight.

Note: My Vanuatu trip directly follows The Aussie Diaries. These entries come directly unabridged from the journal I carried around with me on my first post-university adventure to the southern hemisphere. They are a bit on the rough side. Also, I will reorganize and add more photos when I finished putting in all the other Vanuatu entries.

added December 20, 2005


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