Been in Port Villa Efate a few days now. The quarantine man has now become our friend, we have seen him a few times around town and he always comes to say hello and ask how we are doing. He always seems to be on his way to the airport, the office, a boat or maybe finding us for a chat, hes a native from one of the other islands and seems to be the only quarantine officer.
The local people do always seem to be genuinely happy and polite, you don’t feel like a misfit walking around town like we did in New Caledonia sometimes. Theres no feeling of any racial tension or problems because you are a tourist.
Theres a big local market near to the marina where all the locals sell their vegtables, all sorts can be seen and a little lad offered me a flying fox in a cardboard box !! Made me jump when it moved. Wasn’t going to be bought and stuck in a pot by us though.
We got checked in by Immigration on the monday, the skipper found the office even though it wasn’t sign posted in any way whatsoever, just an office above a TV store. Customs was dealt with too at the other end of town near the commercial port. As me and Brian waited outside tied up to the pilot boat a guy came on board who was the engineer, he chatted to us for along time and was another friendly local. He told us how the Japanese had donated the Pilot boat and another larger boat to them. I had a feeling that they had done this so their fishing boats could come and go as they please with no questions ask. Won’t be long until most of the fish have dissappeared and they’ll regret their actions.
Had a day tour around the Island today, got picked up by the marina by a driver and guide, the driver was Peter and the younger guy Emannuel was the tour guide. Both seemed very friendly, happy and joked all the time.
First stop was the blue lagoon where we had morning refreshments, you could have a dip in there but it was mild and overcast so i didn’t bother, wish i had gone in though looking back as it was still actually quite warm in reality !! It was a beautiful blue colour caused by the mix of salt water and fresh water natural spring mixing together. We stayed for some fruit refreshment and then headed off to a local village school where the kids would come out and sing some songs for us.
We arrived at the school and the kids were ushered together in front of us and sang us four songs. They aged from about 5 to 11, think there was about 40 of them and they really could sing !! I wasn’t expecting them to belt out the songs like they did. Wandering around the school it was obvious they didn’t have too much but all the kids were happy and playfull. We made a donation to the school as they had a wish list of things they needed for the school, the main item being a new photocopier.
We left there and headed off to the Cultural center where there were locally dressed warriors who would perform some of there native dances for us. There were a few men of different ages and there was one small lad of about 5 who looked the part and took part in all of the performances as well. Its obviously all set up for the tourists but it was all good fun !!