Sunday, September 27, 2015

And Now for the Men

A happy skipper getting the bags of
clothing off the boat - finally!
A few of the younger men had grabbed a few items for themselves on the day the children selected their clothing. A bag of adult clothes made it to shore (along with a few other bags that were not to have been transported, i.e. Exercise books and Bibles) accidently.

The women had set a fine example of how to select their clothes without the chaos, so it was decided that the men would be called in groups by age with the elders going first.

Out came our sail again! Last time.
The sail was brought out again and we dumped bags by like items: pants, shirts, jackets and vests, hats, etc. Each person was asked to select one thing. We thought we had a lot of men’s clothing, but we were stunned by the number of men who showed up. Where had they all been last year? It seemed like they had dropped in from the tree tops!

There were not enough clothes for the men.
As it turned out, there was only enough for one item per person! I felt bad about that, but it was out of our control. We had what we had and that was all. So the need is still great as there are men wearing shorts with holes in the back so their underwear hangs out – if they are lucky enough to have a pair of boxers or briefs. Again, we encourage cruisers coming here to bring clean used clothing, water in containers that can be left and food.

When one of the young men complained about the older men going first, Dennis reminded him that he was an older man and where we come from you show respect to your elders!

Everyone wanted to get their hands on something!
We heard several times that there are some “bad boys” in the village and they will take anything left out. The word “stealing” wasn’t used, but it was strongly implied. That was a heads up for us to not bring stuff ashore without the Chief overseeing the goods.

Dennis purchased a tool box with a lock for
the community and gave the key to a chief.
We learned a lesson in Tanna on dispersing tools. Dennis had put together a couple of sets of tools for the village at Port Resolution, Tanna. When we arrived and he was offering to help someone fix something, he learned that there was a Phillips screw driver here and a flat screw driver in the house over there and a hammer somewhere else.

Chief Kaisa loved this oil-skin coat!

They don’t seem to get the concept of keep things in sets and sharing the whole set when tools are needed. He would like to be able to use the set of tools when working on project while we are here. Dennis spoke with the chiefs and Chief Nawa will be put in charge of keeping the tools together. Hopefully he has the authority to have the tools returned to the community tool collection.

Vincent's father received a yam shovel.
Each of the four tribes received one. It 
must have gone to the elder in this case.

In Avokh, Dennis stressed to Chief Kaisa and Vincent the value of keeping the tools together. They seem to have gotten the idea, but we are not sure the whole set will come back after someone has used it. It is out of our control so we should stop thinking about it. It is amazing what thoughts wake us up at night!

This man is known as "the boat builder" as he has carpentry
skills. It does not appear that they teach the younger men the
various skills and trades needed on the island. They believe
God has given you a talent and it can't be developed otherwise.
We also shared with Chief Kaisa how they disperse gifts on Tanna. There each Chief and his tribe sits in an area and items are equally dispersed among the four chiefs. The chiefs then divide the items up among their people. There was no grabbing and chaos there. Maybe it will make a difference on Avokh in the future. At least, Chief Kaisa seems interested in what life is like on the other islands we have visited.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you here. You can see earlier posts at