Blogs from Vanuatu, Oceania - page 5


Oceania » Vanuatu » Santo » Luganville October 17th 2010

We made it to Vanuatu after a great day at Dravuni. Our first stop is the island of Espirito Santo and the city of Luganville. Not much of a city really. Most of the construction was done by the US during WWII. The dock still had some of the original quonset huts. The town had about 11,000 people. We had set up a shore excursion from the boat to go in a Dugout Conoe up the RIRI river to a Blue Hole. It was a nice ride there. Our guides were sawing out boards for seats when we got there. It started pouring rain and the first Dugout, 5 of the biggest guys got in an almost capsized the boat. It was pretty funny stuff. We paddled up the river (ended up not being the RIRI) ... read more
Swimming in Blue Hole
Loading ramp for Dugouts
Luganville and dock

Oceania » Vanuatu » Santo October 4th 2010

*DISCLAIMER - The words following are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or policy of Project MARC.* (Simply put - Frank is crazy, and I can’t be held responsible for all the trouble he seems to get us into. He’s at times an indispensable operative and right hand man, and at other times he’s a free agent akin to a tornado or tropical cyclone. Please, don’t hold me accountable for natural disasters or Acts of Frank. That’s what travel insurance is for). Another story by Frank Zolnai Thursday 22 July 2010 Death on legs!!! (I hate our winters). Seamus failed to recognize me at Melbourne Airport. Having finally convinced him that it really was me, we shared equal time between reminiscing and the upcoming project. Landed in Vila at 0225 ... read more
SV Cassie
Offloading to Sakao
Frank Hard at work

Oceania » Vanuatu » Santo September 21st 2010

In the midst of all that is happening with our Clinic Construction Expedition there have been several side projects. One of these took the form of an immunization campaign. While building at the construction site continued, another Project MARC team assisted the Vanuatu Ministry of Health with the delivery and administering of "Stik Meresin blong Olgeta Pikinini" (Bislama for Vaccine). The campaign itself only took a week. The preparations to make it all happen took up the week and a half prior. Here’s the story. Earlier this month Project MARC was asked to help with the immunizations along the West Coast of Santo by the managers of Rural and Maternal Health for the province, Valma Banga and Lilly Peter. We had originally planned to work with one of their teams in the Big Bay area during ... read more
The starting line-up
Evening departure
Start-up in Wusi

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna September 9th 2010

September 9 2010 Tanna Island, Vanuatu - Unbelievable Hi guys, greetings from the nav station on Sunboy as we motor sail from the island of Tanna in Vanuatu bound for Noumea in New Caledonia. We made it into Tanna last Friday morning quite early and were helped into the anchorage from Norm who is sailing solo on a massive 80 foot sloop. We met Norm in Tahiti and he is just an amazing guy, 65 years of age, an Australian by birth but has lived and worked all over the world and sails this huge boat so easily and so relaxed he makes even the most competent cruiser look on with awe. Anyway, Norm guided us in through the pass and we got the pick down on the volcanic sand bottom without a problem. The anchorage ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu September 6th 2010

20 August 2010 Children’s Day Again, Children’s Day was a big deal in our village as well as at the school. First, the church hosted a celebration for all the kids the Sunday before the official holiday. Before the big day at church, my host parents wanted to do something special at their house too. I volunteered to make pancakes for breakfast. With my parents, their three kids, a cousin who also lives with them, Justin and I, and anyone else who may drop by to be fed, I decided to make a humongous, 6-egg-batch of pancakes. (As I write this in retrospect, I cringe at the loss of so many eggs in one go. Eggs are a precious commodity found only sporadically on the island, and selling for 50 vatu!) These were toted over ... read more
Children Line

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna August 27th 2010

Awe. Terror. Excitement. Fear. Amazement. Disbelief. Never before have I experience all these emotions coursing through me simultaneously. But then, never before have I stood on the craters edge of an erupting volcano. Every time the bubbling lava pool let out an ear deafening blast followed by a fountain of bright orange lava shooting 300 feet into the air, my body would want to run but my mind couldn’t get enough of this natural firework show. In response to each eruption, my conflicting emotions would burst to the surface in the form of uncontrollable giggles. Giggles of terror! When we set sail from Fiji to Vanuatu, we planned to arrive on the island of Tanna where we could check into the country and see Mt Yasur, an easily accessible active volcano. We heard from other cruisers ... read more
Crater's Edge
I'm terrified!
Natural Fireworks!

Oceania » Vanuatu » Santo August 27th 2010

I’ve spent 8 days in Vanuatu and I am loving it. This is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. The scenery is phenomenal and the people in Wusi are even better. Perfect weather coupled with great people and great food and I feel like I’m on vacation and not Volunteering with Project MARC. I spent my first four nights in Vanuatu in Hotels. The Hibiscus was for one night and The Beachfront Resort for three nights. As I landed in the dark on the first night for the first time in a foreign country I was very uneasy. I was looking around for a familiar face, or someone with a sign holding up “Nathan Brodie”. After about 15 minutes of looking around I had to act though, the airport was closing, Taxi’s ... read more
Day hike
School Days

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila August 26th 2010

26thAug Our flight back to Vila was at 11am so we had a few hours to wait, so we walked along the shoreline and waited for an internet café to open. The flight was ok and we were soon back in Vila. We caught the mini-bus to Villa Hibiscus and booked in to our room. It was very clean but unfortunately above a little shop which made it very noisy at night as every man and his dog came in to buy phone top ups every 2 seconds. 27th Aug We had muslie and fruit for breakfast bought from the market from the day before. Phil was not feeling too good so we slowly walked to the Nambawan Café for our internet and coffee fix. We then caught the bus up to the car rental place ... read more
Hire car
Chinese official
Bluewater Resort

Oceania » Vanuatu » Santo August 25th 2010

Well the stage was finally finished and officially opened on August 20th, 2010. Sure we were $2,000 over our budget, my fingerprints dissolved with cement burns and blisters, but it was completed and the entire process was one of the biggest learning experiences I’ve had in this country. There was a formal ceremony to commemorate the opening and it was an absolute success. We should all be immensely proud of the villagers in south Santo; I’ve never seen such commitment or hard work in my life. We faced so many challenges getting the stage built. It is the first permanent stage at a primary school in Vanuatu built 100% by local labor and funded 52% by locals. We raised over $3,000 at the community level to get this stage built, an amount completely unheard of. Vanuatu ... read more
last touches
cement burns

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna August 17th 2010

It’s amazing how sailing can be so much more enjoyable when you aren’t seasick! I found that out the hard way. After stocking up on supplies and preparing the boat, my aunt, uncle and I set sail for Vanuatu. I knew there was a good chance I might get seasick on our first open water passage of four days but hoped my seasickness patch would work its magic. It also didn’t help hearing the horror stories the night before our departure talking amidst other cruisers at the island bar. Some of them still got unbearably seasick after sailing for years. Years! And here I was with what, maybe six days of actual sailing experience. That thought alone made my stomach feel queasy. But when the moment of truth came and we motored out beyond the reefs ... read more
Jeff's Mahi-Mahi
Trading with the locals
The Island Life!

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