Wednesday, 22 July 2015
A full days run to Ambrym Island Is with a good trade wind breeze and sheltered run along the North coast of Ambrym. We looked in at the anchorage at Craig Cove on the North West corner but decided there was too much swell for comfort so continued on to the villages of Ranon and Ranvetlam. This was a good decision as the villagers were very friendly and welcoming.
They stocked us up with fresh fruit and veges and we were able to help a few with bits and pieces, especially rope for tethering the family cattle in the bush.
|some reading glasses and a "cow" rope for the local chief. He was delighted!|
We bought bread from a little “bakery” which one enterprising lady had set up in her hut. It was very good!
The local kids walked with us wherever we went and were keen on the hairclips and ballons Di and Aileen were handing out.
|Photo by Sue Dall|
|The airport "terminal"|
All around us were signs of the damage caused by Cyclone Pam. The harbour is still littered with damaged yachts and fishing boats
Thursday 2nd July
|Library books from Friends of the Library Launceston|
The government school of Manuur has lost the roofs of more than half of classrooms and these are now covered in tarps and some lessons are conducted in tents.
|Staff at Manuur School, Jimmy on the left|
|Main Road around Efate still covered with sand|
|abandoned resort near Port Vila|
|One of the many new gardens with "leafy" vegetables|
|selecting Tarro for replanting|
|Ausaid at work|
Jason, the chief was very happy to see the donations we were able to leave and spent some time telling about his village. These people were very tough on the early missionaries and a few ended up on the lunch table, but now they have seven different churches to choose from! David was keen to show us the skull cave at the back of the village but we declined (saw some of these in the Louisiades!)
Friday, 3 July 2015
|Locals netting the jack Mackerel schools|
|Di with a one day old local|
When cyclone Pam went through this island it not only destroyed a large part of their village buildings but also the slow growing root crops and bananas that they rely on for their basic diet. The Vanuatu government had been supplying basic food items such as rice, flour and sugar but this was to stop on the 30th June. As it will take many months for their traditional foods to regrow they have been supplied seeds for fast growing leafy vegetables such as beans, cabbages, Chinese style veges, tomatoes, corn and chillies. These have been planted under supervision from people from the local agricultural department in Port Vila and have grown like wildfire; the local people have taken to this new style of food supply with enthusiasm and even had enough to bring some as gifts to us. The rebuilding of their village is progressing well but the local guest huts built for the occasional tourist have all been destroyed and this source of income is sorely missed, as tourism has virtually stopped.
|remains of the guest houses- just a slab and a hand basin!|
|damaged house -still being lived in|
|slow progress cleaning up|
|a new house under construction|
|Surfboards donated by Haven 111|
We had arranged with Stanley to visit the volcano (Mt Yasur) and in the late afternoon spent a bumpy 40 minutes in the back of a local truck driving over a bush track to get to the ash plain. It was then a steep hike to the rim of the volcano following our local guide Phillip. This was a once in a lifetime experience with the volcano rumbling underfoot and the lava being thrown up to 100 meters in the air not far from where we stood. The glow of the lava in the gathering dusk was better than any fireworks display we had seen.
|The long walk up to the top|
|the viewing edge|
The volcano is quietly erupting all of the time with the occasional big bang when the larva is thrown up higher than the top where we were standing but drops down safely inside the crater.
This guy had a drone with camera which he was flying over the crater. Luckily it wasn't shot down by flying larva! Note the long drop to the valley floor
Di and I were very impressed by the experience.