"You will be eaten by Cannibals!" A word of warning desperately pleaded over 100 years ago to John G. Patton in
Above is the first thing i thought of when i heard, "They will poison you!" A statement made by two of my language helpers, Loui who is from Epi an island just south of Ambrym and Joe who is from Malekula an island renown for being the last hold out for Cannibalism. Interestingly Monique, Loui's wife, is from the
The words of warning may have been because just a year ago in the capital city of Port Vila, Vanuatu one Man Ambrym was rumored to have poisoned a Man Tanna. The event that occurred after was a multi day knife, Machete, brawl throughout the streets of Port Vila. At times literally 50 yrds from my front door! A number of people were maimed, and killed due to the conflict. We heard first and second hand accounts of it from Man Ambrym during our trip.
Man Ambrym are notorious for black magic and abilities to poison others. And I have to admit I came down with such an explosive case of Diarrhea while in
The Brisk is a 20 to 30 meter barge who's main function and money maker is carrying cargo throughout the northern islands. They also carry passengers to the outer islands. It is the number one mode of travel for the Ni Vanuatu. If you read my (Houghton) last post about my trip to Santo / Malekula you know that I don't fare well on the high seas. So this was definitely something that concerned my belly. We tried to catch a plane but the flights were booked for two weeks in advance. As God would have it we then decided to find another way, any way, to get there. We priced a helicopter, talked to a very "colorful" sailor from New Zeland, and we walked down the water front of Port Vila hoping to hear the local gossip in regards to the ships. To be savvy in regards to the coming and going of the ships of
As you can see below while on board you just kinda have to find a place to fit. There is next to no accommodations for passengers except for the crew. My teammate, Jim Kenner, and I slept on top of a couple of deep freezers that were loaded on the top level. Our heads were flush with the upper edge of the boat and only about 1 meter away from it. Every time a good size wave came aboard throughout the night we felt the moisture. The impact alone would at times move me at least 6 inches closer to the edge and thus to the sea. I didn't sleep very well that night:). I would love to go on more about the ship but this story must go on . To conclude in regards to the Brisk God was good. He even set it up in such a way that Loui my language helper from Epi traveled with us as far as Epi. He was on his holiday and traveling to visit his twin sons who school there. He was a huge help and blessing. Even though he wouldn’t even let us even breathe for ourselves.
When we woke up while aboard the brisk we had tea and breakfast biscuits (crackers) or "tack", of which I’ve grown very fond of. About 12 hours later and after a couple of stops on Epi and
I will end on this for now. Please check back again. I will have more in the near future. Thanks!