Beyond Volcanoes: More from Tanna
A teacher from the village paraded us around and introduced us to some of her family members. She told us that her 8-year-old son was still up in the bush (and had been for two weeks) as part of his circumcision ceremony. Messengers had been running food from her to him, and sending news of his well being. I imagined what it would be like to send Michael up into the bush to fend for himself as he prepares to step into his manhood. Yikes. I’d be a wreck!
Among the huts, ladies sat weaving skirts and mats of brightly dyed pandanus leaves. The skirts would be worn at the upcoming circumcision ceremony, but for now, were hanging up to dry in an empty bamboo hut - a curtain of fusia, turquoise, and purple grass whispering in the dark.
Outside again, I looked at the heavily laden roof of the next door neighbor’s hut, a carefully placed pile of stiff-leaved fringe. It was all very primitive looking, except for the small solar panels that had been stuffed into the roof and a snakelike cord leading to a cell phone in need of a charge!
Mark took the opportunity to do a bit of drone footage of the bay, since a total of three Antares were in the same South Pacific anchorage - something I thought we would never see! Of course, the kids were enamored at the helicopter that buzzed above their heads, and Mark had an audience of curious onlookers. I love watching their excitement and complete awe - seeing something like this for the first time. Even some older men gathered in the wings, trying to get a glimpse without letting on how interested they actually were.
Throughout her visit, Mariellen had set up her own little sweat shop in the cockpit, busily sewing covers for various items with the new Sailrite sewing machine. (Thank you, Mariellen!! The covers are holding up great and we even got brave enough to make one for the paddle board, although it’s not nearly as precise as yours!) So, it was quite a sight to see two women sitting on the floor in the handiwork shop, sewing curtains for the school with a fancy old-fashioned manual sewing machine from China! We giggled together at how life is so similar everywhere in the world in so many ways, enjoying the connection we could share.