Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Just another "bad hair" day! This is the last place we four
WARC 2014 gals will all be together for at least a year.
Sherry with three UK gals: Pat, Susie and Joyce
One of the highlights of the visit to Port Resolution, Tanna, Vanuatu is the interaction with the villagers. The World ARC has been coming here for many years and has formed a bond with this community. The World Cruising Club and those of us who sail with them participate in the festivities which include a Welcoming Ceremony and Gift Exchange, a Village Tour and a Feast put on by the villagers at the Port Resolution Yacht Club. In addition, the sailors participate in work projects in the community.

Stuart and John have been good traveling companions for us.
We have gleaned much knowledge from their experiences.
We enjoyed the dancing of the Welcoming Ceremony as it was different from other places we have been. Here both the men and the women and some of the older children all participate in the dances. In this village, the dancers were more fully clothed than in some other places. The dancing is done in a specific area of the village.

Following the prayer, the dancing and words of welcome, we all proceeded to the lawn of the yacht club to continue the celebration. The women had woven hats and necklaces for us and placed them on us as we entered the festival area.

Once we had all gathered, the children sang for us. I must say, the faces of these beautiful children will always be imbedded in my memory as will the sounds of their voices. They are so sweet! It was a steady drizzle of rain and the wind was cool, but they just kept singing with all of their hearts. It was a special moment.
The rain continued to pour all day, but the festival went on as if it were a sunny day! It was probably more uncomfortable for us with all of our wet gear! It was chilly so I imagine the villagers were also cold as they were not as covered.

Following the singing by the children, the gifts from the villagers were brought out and piled on the lawn. Then the gifts from the WARC boats were brought out as well. It was quite an impressive pile of things!

The village women made these neck pieces and hats for all.
The leaders of each group spoke a few words and then the village gifts were passed to the sailors. I was simply overwhelmed by the generosity of these people who have so little!

We received two handmade baskets filled with fruits and vegetables – most of which I had no idea how to cook! I felt like we should be giving this food to them. Maybe the WARC paid to have it brought in, but even so, these people need it more than we do.

The school children sang a number of songs - in the rain!
The gifts from the WARC were very specific requests for cooking pots, machetes, dishes, food, etc. The list had been distributed to the WARC boats earlier and was generously fulfilled. In addition, items for the yacht club, including mattresses, were brought by the yachts from Fiji.

The village divided the gifts up by tribes, with the chiefs then subdividing it so everyone gets something. This World ARC tradition has been going on for a number of years and it is quite a moving experience. I am glad we sailed here to participate in it as it will be a lasting memory.

The presentation of village gifts for us.
Our gifts for them.
My special carry out guy!

I love the basket and fan. I almost had to take out Pat to get it!
Oh, dear! What have we here - and what do I do with them!!!

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