Did I ever tell you about the time we lived in Vanuatu?.... when big son was a mere 18 months old. Hubby was running a private investment fund over there and we relocated when I got sick of being a single Mum back here in Australia!
Playing the 'Tam-Tam's at Le Lagon resort, in Port Vila (our second home)
These photos are from a trip we took back there, to visit our friends, in 2006... seems like yesterday.
Always working on getting those coconuts open.
My little one loved the markets and would get very involved with the goings on.
We were honourary members at Sissy's 'church' during our visit... sort of a mix of presbyterian and voodoo! Sissy's brother was the minister. Actually, every one of her 11 brothers and sisters were involved in some way! You can just see my little family up on the left. We were the only 'white skinned' in attendance so we had a thousand pairs of eyes on us at all times. The 3 hour! service was in Bislama, not in English, but every now and then it was peppered with "God bless Sister A-M and Brother Luke". Sissy was a 'celebrity' having us there as her special guests. She was so proud to show us off, her 'Australian Family'.
Yep, that's the church
Sissy actually lived in 'luxury' by Vanuatu standards. Her father was the Chief of Chiefs (Vanuatu has a dual parlimentary system, parlimentary democracy (British) and a council of Tribal Chiefs) so they had a government brick 3 bedroom house.... in which 5 families lived, one family per bedroom and 2 families out in the living areas.... about 18 people in one house. They cooked outside in a dirt pit. Sissy, her husband and 2 little children, lived in one bedroom.
Sissy and her daughter and niece farewelling us at Port Vila airport.... note loosening headlock of older son... she never let him go.
We miss our time in Vanuatu.... beautiful, happy, loving, contented people, no stress, a slower pace...my boys often get out the photo albums and have a chuckle. I remember when we first moved there I asked a taxi driver about the crime rate. He was mortified, saying, "crime, there is no crime here. We love each other". Even the 'prison' has an amnesty each year, when they let everyone out and then they just fill it up again the next year (petty crimes... like stealing icecream and shoes). Anyway, there was a hole in the prison fence where they just came and went anyway... as you do.... in Vanuatu! (oh look it rhymes!).
I have another wonderful story to add to this one, some other time.... the time we brought Sissy out to Australia for a holiday. It was like Crocodile Dundee in New York. She had never been in a lift, on an escalator, seen a traffic light, rode in a train. We disembarked at the airport and I took her to the ladies toilet.... she was in awe.....(of the toilets!)...."oh I love Brisbane, I love your country, it is so beautiful". "Sissy, these are just the toilets. Wait until you get outside the airport"!