How we won with the system, then lost with the system and at the end had the most wonderful week on the far-away island of Vanuatu (South Pacific).
There is one must-see place in the country of Vanuatu. If the tourist visit the country – he has to go there. Yasur – an active volcano on the Tanna island. But Tanna is few hundreds kilometres away from Efate, the main island, and you need to take plane to get there. 1 hour flight, expensive as a hell, usually in a day package: flying, visiting the volcano and coming back. We really wanted to go there but tickets for 4 of us (just tiny discounts for the kids) and the fact that we will be on such an interesting (the most far away) island of such an interesting country just for few hours – made us decide that this time we will give up. Ok, we don’t have to see everything, right?
One day, while walking through Port Vila, we ended up in a coffee factory. „Tanna Coffee“ it was called and the coffee tasted really good. – Wait a second – said my smart husband. – If they are called „Tanna Coffee“, this coffee must be from Tanna island, right? And I bet they don’t bring the coffee here by plane. There must be a boat, there must be!
We started to talk with Jacob Samuel, who works in the cafe place. – Sure, there is a boat, going there and back every few weeks. – Can we go with the coffee? – Sure, you can!
Goshhhh! We won with the system! We paid some little money and our dream came true: we will go, almost in a romantic way!, with a coffee cargo boat, to Tanna island! Not for a day, but for a week!
Jacob Samuel told us one more thing. He was born on Tanna, in the little village Lakaqai and we’ve got the map how to get to his father’s village. Could it be any better?
We went to the port on a day, we knew the boat was going to start. Jacob Samuel came too, and – surprisingly – decided to join us. He left Tanna 12 years ago and didn’t visit his family since then.
Oh how happy we were in this port! But… not for long. Boat started and maybe after 30 minutes we knew that it was going to be the worst time on our trip. A little space, with closed windows, and we – together with the other people like sardines, holding the metal chairs with both hands, and waves were getting higher and higher… They told us that the ocean is harsh at this part of the ocean but we thought: hey, we were on so many boats, what can be a problem for us? And it was not a big problem for us… But imagine that almost all the other passengers had a problem and every few minutes were crossing the crowds, running to the side of the boat and… simply vomiting. – Bleeee – after – bleee! For… 16 hours. There was nothing we could do. No way to stop the boat, no way to go back. The only thing we knew was that we gonna come back to Port Vila by plane.
When we arrived to Tanna island, we were simply dead. So tired, soooo tired. We took, together with Samuel, some lift by a big car, crossed half of the island and got into the bush. Somewhere there, there is his old village, his father, his sisters and brothers with their families. But what will they tell us? How will they react that such a white family is suddenly coming?
First of all, when they saw us, all the kids run away. They have never seen white people and were truly afraid of us. Then, the father of Samuel, put a mat on the ground, with a serious face he asked us to step on it and all the village came. They stood altogether and sang a song for us. All the men and women of the village, very very loud. And that was a moment, when I knew that all those ugly 16 hours on the boat and then on the bumpy road, that they all made sense. I had tears running down my face.
That was not a moment for filming or making pictures. But after a while with this villagers, I asked one woman to sing this song again for me. And here it is. Just imagine it being sang by the group. Just imagine.
Our life in the Lakaqai village was beautiful and challenging. Cold river, 15 minutes away from the village, a lot of mosquitoes, not much food and amazing hospitality. Very important talks about love and relationship, but I think it’s rather a topic for a longer article or a book.
And don’t forget that Vanuatu is a land of receiving the presents! Food, mats, chickens – all of it we were receiving every hour.
But the most important has happened in the morning. The father of Jacob Samuel, liked Tom from the first sight. That morning he came to our little house and asked him to take a walk with him. He showed him the coffee plantation and his land and then, he pointed on a big sunny grass: – And this is a place for you. I give you this land, that you can build a house for you and your family. – And then I’ve got a wedding skirt from his wife. And they they painted our faces in the wedding way. And they asked us to stand in the coffee and taro leafs place. And then, the boss of the village came to us and gave Tom his walking, wooded, carved stick. The stick, which is THE symbol of power and which should be given to his oldest son, once he passes away. Oh my god. Oh my god. (you should see the faces of those sons!)
– Now you can call me „papa“. – Ok, papa.
What a time in this Lakaqai village we had.
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »