Thursday, February 12, 2009
In a surprising turn of events, Mike discovered there was free wifi at the airport on Vila, the main island of Vanuatu from which he would take his final leg to Tanna after a 16-hour layover. Especially surprising, he said, since the airport looks like "a glorified hut."
He used the opportunity to send me some quick notes on the journey so far, which I will share in whole with you. He also sent two pictures of signs written in Bislama, the creole language that is spoken to varying degrees across Vanuatu and uses English as its base. As a fun exercise, try reading the signs--you'll understand more than you think.
Now, the notes from Mike:
--The people ululating once we came in sight of Port Vila far below, a few lights against the dark sea.
--The white couple and their black indentured servant, and how she hissed at him when he didn't pick up all their many bags fast enough.
--A really fine cup of coffee and a french pastry while overlooking the bay.
--Reading bislama EVERYWHERE.
--My talk with the Vanuatu Red Cross office...they revealed that Frumians of all kinds come and pay homage at the office, due to the red cross. They happened to be down the street--glad I stopped by.
--Incredible weather--I have had unbelievable heat followed by a torrential monsoon in just a few hours. I'm soaked. I bought a huge umbrella at the supermarket, which does indeed have an ATM.
--The signs on the main street of Port Vila, filled with crap of all kinds, that shout CARGO! CARGO HERE!
I can't wait for the rest of the story.
I will say that I got one more quick message, I think sent from the plane just before he took off:
My pilot has a big scar down his face, a milky eye AND a big knife. Not joking. Will try to get picture without getting stabbed.
Hopefully that's not the last missive I ever receive from him.