"Welcome to Vanuatu!" said my taxi driver. "You might notice we drive on both sides of the road and there is no speed limit!". As we sped along to my accommodation dodging other motorists, I was able to briefly take in the beauty of Port Vila's lagoon through fleeting glances between trees. The next morning, I was able to go exploring properly with an early morning run. I was under the impression that it would be cooler. Nope, still a balmy 24C.
At 8.00am it was off to Port Vila's largest Cathedral, the Sacre Couer for mass at 8.30am. I caught one of the local 'buses'. They're actually vans, run or owned by locals and they will go wherever you want for a small 150VT ($1.50) fee. When I arrived, there were already people standing outside, but I managed to get a seat at the back. The mass alternated between French and Bislama, as it was the French who bought Catholic missionaries to Vanuatu and the British who bought Anglican missionaries. This also means that about half the population speak English as a second language, while the other half speak french. I was able to get the general jist of things; at least, I stood up and sat down at the right times. After mass, everyone lined up to kiss the signet ring of the priest, however I shook his hand.
Today (Monday) and tomorrow, Micah and I have a few meetings in town...I will soon find out how much more I need to practice my high-school French. My Bislama is coming along slowly, but other than exchanging basics with bus drivers and the girls here at the accommodation I have yet to get on top of it. Much to learn and see!
Until next time,