Well, by now the silliest of the silly season should be behind us all and there’s only the leftovers to eat for the next couple of weeks (not an issue around here – everyone eats what there is to eat as there’s no way of “keeping” things for very long anyway).
We’ve had a bit in the way of the wet season so far but nothing compared to what we expected (or feared). It has been humid, sometimes up to 98% humidity, but there has also been the occasional reprieve where the temp and the humidity have dropped. So at least there’s been some respite.
Yesterday was Christmas Day and we spent it in the village. The day started out with breakfast at the nakamal of bread and very sweet citrus tea. The bakers were at it all night – almost literally, they were baking when we headed home from carols on Christmas Eve and were still going when I got up to go to the loo at 4am!
Drinkti with our friend Neti
After breakfast (“drinkti” in Bislama) we went back home with a chunk of beef to make something to share back at the nakamal for lunch. (Yes, our vegetarianism has been put on hold a bit but we draw the line at pork!) This is usually a soup but we decided to be daring and make a really weak curry. The food eaten locally is not spicy at all, the ni-Vanuatu prefer to enjoy the flavours of the fresh meat and vegies that they eat rather than drowning them out with, say, chilli like I do! The men were already cooking the rice to go with the soup (and our curry) at breakfast time in the hugest pots you’ve ever seen.
After lunch we wandered back home again to “spel smol” (rest a bit) and to wait for the tamtam (slit drum) to ring to signal that it was time to come back and exchange gifts in a Kris Kringle-type affair. It was good fun. I got an island dress and Nic was given a woven and shell decoration to hang on our wall.
Later in the evening we went into the village again to say Happy Birthday to a little girl, Christina, who shares her birthday with Christmas. We hoped to just duck in the back and give our wishes but when we were spotted by the hosts we were ushered up to special seats in the front of the room and plied with food and drinks.... hmm I could get used to this star treatment, might be a bit ego-crushing to come back home!
That was our Christmas day – I hope all yours were as relaxed and unburdened by travel and rushing as ours but I think that might be asking a bit much. Hope you all had a good time anyway!
All the "mamas" wearing their island dresses have to dance when the string band play the island dress song!