Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mi bin missem yufala bigwan be mi no bin missem Sydney!!

Hi everyone!!!
Olsem wanem yufala? (How are you guys?)

I have finally arrived back in the city that I have tried so hard to avoid for the last 11 weeks! I arrived safe and sound just before lunchtime on Monday and I have been trying to regain some equilibrium here in this somewhat fair city. :o)

Sorry I delayed my return for so long, I had some urgent business to attend to in Port Vila regarding some personal space, a boat and a boyfriend... But those stories will come later. I feel much better now after my extra week to chill out and relax and hangout with my friends and "sootsoot".

I know everyone is eager to hear stories of my travels and see the pics and I am keen to answer everyone's questions, so over the next few days, weeks, months, or even years, I will write a couple of posts a week about my experiences and pop up photos. If you have any questions leave me a comment and I'll try to answer them as quickly as possible in a following post.

I would like to say a BIG "tankyu tumas" to Misses Aimee and Becca for keeping people as updated as possible during my journey!

As a jumping off point for my adventure stories today I am going to begin posting a massive letter that I wrote home just before Christmas (17th Dec to be exact). Because the letter is so big (18 pages) I will post it as an old fashioned serial, posting a new section every day or two until it's finished.

To give you some understanding of the Vanuatu postal system you need to know that although the letter was written on the 17th Dec, it didn't get off the island until the 28th Dec, and didn't arrive at my mum's until mid January!!! But at least it arrived, unlike some other people's e-mails!!!

Anywho, on with the letter!!!

Sat 17th Dec 2005

Hi everyone!

I have so much to tell you all and I'm not quite sure where to start so I'll just start from when I sent my e-mail from Port Vila, the day before we left for our projects.

That afternoon I spent a bit of time trotting through the markets in Vila and picking up any last minute stuff that I needed to take to the island with me. The markets in Vila are amazing! They are open 24hrs from Monday to Saturday afternoon and are closed on Sundays for church. In the markets you find table after table of fresh produce, such as mangos, pineapples, papaya, crabs, herbs, island cabbage and coconuts. Each table is run by a different Mama and family who bring their produce to the market and live under their table all week until the market closes. There's also a cooked food section of the market where you can get a freshly cooked hot meal for 200 - 300 vatu ($2.50 - 3.75 AUS). It's all very tasty!!!

The day after I sent the e-mail (Tuesday 6th Dec 2005) each group departed for our various islands. My group, going to Pentecost island, and the Ambrym group were supposed to leave Port Vila at 6 am on the Tuesday, while the Tongoa group were supposed to leave on Tuesday night. However, due to the remarkable phenomenon known as "island time", the Tongoa group ended up leaving to load up their boat long before we did! By the time we finally got down to the dock and loaded the boat with our packs and supplies for both the Pentecost and Ambrym groups (24 packs and 150 boxes of food and supplies), it was 9:30pm and we noticed that, although everyone was on board, the boat to Tongoa hadn't left yet! It was still sitting in the Harbour when we pulled out at 10 pm, much to the Tongoa groups dismay.

Despite the fact we were riding on the fastest boat in the fleet, it still took us 12 hours to reach Ambrym. It was only then that the penny dropped and I realised that we wouldn't be loading people and cargo onto a dock! Instead everything and everyone was loaded into a little dinghy with a motor and was sped ashore to be left on the black beaches of Ambrym.

To be continued...


At 11:54 am, Blogger ... jacek ... said...

werd, welcome back :) and oceans suck esp on v day :)

At 12:29 pm, Blogger dena said...

Welcome BACK ! ! ! I can't wait to hear more. Rest up because you know we'll be asking all sorts of questions. YOU WERE MISSED ! ! !

At 12:52 pm, Anonymous netchick said...

UM, boyfriend? BOAT? WTF? :)

Happy Valentines, Y!!! I hope you are doing fantastic...

Thanks for the message today!

At 4:26 pm, Blogger utenzi said...

It's great to have you back, Yaeli. I'll be mentioning you in today's post. I missed you! LOL

Happy St Valentine's Day (and happy John Frum Day also)

At 5:05 pm, Blogger kenju said...

Welcome back, Yaeli, I also cannot wait to hear more!

At 1:17 am, Blogger Uisce said...

Welcome back, we've missed you so much!!

At 2:12 pm, Blogger yellojkt said...

Glad you made it back safe.

At 4:04 am, Blogger sassyassy said...

I was sent by Utenzi. I can't wait to read more of your adventures!

At 12:11 pm, Blogger Shane said...

back from Michele's. Vanuatu sounds like fun, but then again, i'm just an island boy at heart.

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