We visited our first village today. We didn’t know what to expect so we all got dressed up in our best, grabbed our kava and loaded up in the dinghy to cross the bay to the village on the other side. We pulled up to the beach and were immediately greeted with Bula Bula and introduced to everyone there. We were directed to Si who was the person we were told to give the kava too. Once all greetings were made we were able to go and visit everyone in the village. It was wonderful to walk around and see the kids. It was a small village of about 30 homes that we could see some were usable others looked abandoned. The village had a central grass meeting area, a church and then houses all around. There were to Loli stations that are hollowed out large tree trunks that they use as drums to call for church service and to use during ceremonies. As we were walking around we found everyone at the beach pulling water jugs out of a boat. We discovered that there has been a severe shortage of water and the are carting there water in from a neighboring village that has spring water. So jug after jug after container after 5 gallon buckets were being transported to all the houses. Of course the Circus joined in and helped to deliver as many as possible. We also realized that we had several empty jugs of water on our boat and asked if they would like them. Yes, Yes!
Now Chris and I are on a mission to go back to our anchorage get our water bottles and go and fill them up at the restaurant. In doing so we found out the water is not potable outside of the restaurant so we were told by Tui, a local worker that had greeted us the first day and had set up the meeting with the village, that we should go to the farm and fill the water jugs to take to them. We were on our way again across the bay to the farm that is hidden in between the mangroves... literally. As we approached the mangroves I felt like we were going through Disneyland’s the Jungle Cruise ride. As we found the end there was Teko (the farmer) and his daughter Mili. They keep the produce to purchase in his little boat so that the people don’t have to trek up the hill to the farm.
This little treasure spot was way better than any market I have found. It is completely organic and so fresh that he kept running up the hill to go pick the produce for us. We asked him if we could fill these water jugs for the village down the way and before we realized it there were a few other people gathering our jugs and hauling them up the muddy path to the natural spring outlet. Not only is the spring water used for drinking but also for both the villages to use for their washing.
As we were filling our jugs a couple of women were waiting to us the water to do their laundry...
Teko said that there were 7 other local boats there today gathering water for the neighboring villages. After the water jugs were filled and we had most of our veggies and fruit needed.... Teko took us on a tour through his farm explaining how he and his wife manage it. So nice to see how they organize there farm from the goats on the hill, to the taro plants in the gutters, to the cabbage, lettuce, peppers, carrots, bok choy, tomatoes, egg plant, onions, and then the fruit, bananas, paw paws, papayas, coconuts, and jack fruit. They use the same spring to water for their farm that they use to supply the two villages with.
The natural spring
We waved goodbye to Teko and continued onto deliver the water the Si in the village. I know it isn’t much but it was wonderful to help out and I truly believe that every little bit helps and if we can recycle and reuse as much as possible it helps to keep all the garbage off our shores and out of our air. We met Si and delivered the water jugs and also met his wife Mello who was in the process of making pandanus (mats they sleep on) and also skirts for the dance performance the the cruise ship tonight. She was lovely. I had also gathered some of the clothes the girls out grew or didn’t wear and some stuffed animals for her to distribute as she likes.
We are now getting ready to eat dinner and tomorrow we will head 9 miles north to the caves to go exploring. We wanting to get back here on our way back down the coast to take Oma to the farm and meet Teko and his wife. By then we should definitely need more veggies.
Hugs and love to everyone...