Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A New Form of Shop Until You Drop!

All of this fresh lettuce for 300 Vatu or $3 USD!
Unfortunately, we did not stock up in Fiji as we had intended. Our plan had been to go to Musket Cove to spend some time with our friends in the World ARC, then go back to Vita Levu to provision and buy food and goods for the Cyclone Pam victims. The WARC spirit moved us to make a quick decision to go to Vanuatu with them. This meant no time to shop in Fiji where the prices are the best in the area.

So now we are in Port Vila, Vanuatu where there is a shortage of fresh foods and the prices are high. The building materials and tools are in great demand so that impacts the price, too. Since they are also recovering from the storm, they see no need to give us a discount for items we are donating to the outer islands. We have plans to take solar energy and tools to Avokh.

This lowered our waterline!
We have heard that Avokh has received no international or governmental aid at all! We are not sure what we will find when we get up there so we decided to take rice and powdered milk.

We went to au Bon Marche warehouse and bought 300 kg (over 600 lbs.) of rice and 72 cans of powdered milk for Avohk and Awei Islands in the Maskelynes. Thank you to those of you who donated money to help buy food. Although this sounds like a lot of rice and milk, it will only last a week or two as there are 50 families on Avokh and five on Awei. We will need to replenish their supply before we leave Vanuatu.

We had a nice lunch break at a French Café on the water.
In addition, we purchased yam shovels, seeds, tarps and a lot of tools to take with us. We have a store of nails, fishing line and hooks, used tools donated in NZ and all kinds of clothing for men and children.

In fact, the boat was so full and listing to the port once we stacked the rice on board! The V-berth, crew cabin and crew head are pack full of items for Avokh Island. They needed assistance before Cyclone Pam, so this may not even make a dent if they have been hit hard.
This is just the saloon.
And you should see the V-berth, crew
cabin and crew head!
Our plan is to head north to Avokh Island, located at the southeast end of Malakula in the Maskelyne Island group, with what we have, assess the situation and return to Port Vila to get things they need. No one has been there to give aid or assess the damages or living conditions.

Avokh Island is located on the SE corner of Malakula.
We are working with two other WARC boats: S/Y Caduceus (Dr. Elizabeth and Martin) from the UK and S/V Chez Nous (Donna and Jonathan USA – although, Jonathan is a Brit).

Caduceus decided to spend three to four months in Vanuatu working with the New Zealand-based Butterfly Trust giving medical care on the outer islands.

Chez Nous has been working with Sea Mercy, helping to coordinate and deliver medical teams and equipment to the islands.

In addition, all of us are trying to help get safe drinking water to the people. I fear for what we will find when we reach the lovely village on Avokh.

Another World ARC sailor, Heather Sutton, who was crew for an Australian boat, decided to sail her own boat from Australia to Vanuatu to lend in the aid mission. We were happy to see her and her crew in Port Vila.

You know you have been in the islands too long when you let them braid your hair! Heather had quite a new look on shore!
Enjoying the sail. No seasickness this time!

No comments:

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you here. You can see earlier posts at http://sv-trillium.blogspot.com