Monday, 2 June 2014


When it rains it pours. The last year wasn't great. The law of attraction does seem to exist in positive and negative ways. My lantern was empty so I needed new fuel to shine again. To start we went on holiday to Vanuatu. It was about 26 C and a cool sea breeze made it just about right. We stayed at Port Villa on the island of Efate. Vanuatu consist of 83 island. The official language is Bislama (a form of pidgin english) and is spoken next to English and French.
Bislama got some funny frases like Gat hed (got head) means to be intelligent.

The island is peaceful and beautiful. We stayed at a resort with self contained apartments and a gorgeous beach and pool. A place to relax and that's what we did.

We love to explore so we booked a few trips. We went on the Congoola day cruise. A bit above our budget but it was all worth it. We hang out with some Australians. I don't know why the kiwis and Australians dislike each other as we had a great time with them. OK one sheep joke but I killed it with my look and then everything was fine. We also had dinner with them at their resort at night.

After a bus drive from Port Villa we stepped aboard 23m yacht and sailed across to a turtle conservation project. I made friends with one of the turtles, who is going to be released when he is old enough. After that we went to Sun and Moon bay and I snorkelled for the first time in my life.
Loved it to see the beautiful coral reef and saw lots of Nimo's and other colourful tropical fish.
Unfortunately I had to get out as the salt water entered my goggles and sting my eyes.

We also went for a trip to the Secret Garden where we learned a lot about the history and culture
of Vanuatu. There was a lot of black magic on the islands and we learned that missionaries changed a lot. They stopped cannibalism and having more than one wife. It is only less than fifty years ago in 1969 that a men was put in the oven on Malekula island. So now you know where to send your mother in law when you can't get along ;)  Our guide also showed us a construction used for the bungee jump on one of the islands. That's where AJ Hacket got the idea from and than brought it to NZ.  My husband got to hold a life coconut crab and we really enjoyed holding the iguana's, who are quite tame.

Another trip brought us to Ekasup Village, a "kastum" village where we learnt about the local customs and culture. We were treated with a dance performance and fire walking. It was absolutely fantastic. Most villagers actually live in the village a bit further down the road in huts, where poverty is very visible. The excellent show brings in a bit of income so they can send some of their children to school.
The contrast between the rich and the poor is enormous. The prices of resorts, meals, supermarkets
trips etc are the same and sometimes higher than in New Zealand, so lots of money comes into the island. It doesn't rubs off on the people. Many don't have an education so can't get a job and the people who work often earn only about $300 per month. The money must disappears in the pockets of some and probably a lot goes to foreigners as well. Vanuatu is a tax paradise and there is money laundering and organised crime.

We also had a swim in the blue Lagoon on our around the island trip and a visit to a WW2 museum
where a local passionately showed us his findings from WW2. Vanuatu was overrun by Americans coordinating defenses against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and beyond.

Oh love to come back one day. The Pacific and it's people are very healing.


  1. Hi Marja .. glad you had such a lovely trip away to recuperate .. your stories and photos have certainly made me want to visit - sounds idyllic .. but I'm sure they've got challenges as you've described .. sadly seems to be the way of life. That's good to see you'd like to get back one day .. and you are feeling better and more healed ...

    Have a good winter .. and good to see you back .. cheers Hilary

  2. I'm glad to know that you got your batteries recharged with this holiday. Your photos are just gorgeous and thanks for the information about Vanuatu. That may be put on the list of places to see.

  3. Marja, nice to see you back. Vanuatu sounds like a great place to be, and I'm glad it revived you.
    PS Now that I'm a mother-in-law I tend to react to m-in-law 'jokes' - not jokes to me!

  4. Dear Marja, Wow, what a fantastic trip.. Just the place to unwind and relax.. I hope the law of attraction only brings you good things, Good Health and Happiness..
    Lovely to see you too at Dreamwalker's.. Love and Blessings Sue xox

  5. Hello dear friend
    I have never travelled to Vanuatu but I will now put it on my bucket list as you have made it sound a really inviting/interesting place to visit. I love your storytelling and photo collages. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge.

    We often need to venture from our surroundings to recharge our batteries and to get a new perspective on life.

    Look forward to reading your future posts.

    Keep smiling...keep shining.
    Big heart hugs
    Peggy xxxxxx

  6. The imbalance between rich and the poor seems to happen even in the most hidden corners of the world and in the most beautiful of places. It is interesting to learn of your travels. I am glad to hear you got some rest and relaxation and adventure in your world!

  7. Pictures are gorgeous, glad you enjoyed the visit. Thanks for stopping by, always a pleasure to hear from you. Take Care

  8. Welcome back, Marja.
    Your shots are beautiful of your wonderful holiday.

  9. Hi Marja! You must have felt as if you were in paradise! The photos are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
    For me Kiwis and Ozzies are not so different! ;)

  10. great place ! want to see it in the future

  11. Nice to see you back. That looked like a good holiday for recuperating. Lovely photos of tropical scenes. I don't think Aussies and New Zealanders hate each other it is more of a friendly rivalry. We have many New Zealander friends.

  12. AWESOME! Great pictures and that you are posting again. I actually came close to calling it quits with my blog several months back, just didn't have the mental energy. I never actually stopped but I did slow down a great deal on posting.

    As for the Aussie-Kiwi thing, I imagine it somewhat like the American-Canadian rivalry. Except that Americans often act like a 600 kilo gorilla with a bad attitude.

  13. Wow!What a fantastic travel,Marja!I am so jealous to you ;-))!
    Welcome back!


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