Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Lifou Island, Loyalty Islands
My World, do check out all the other my world posts.
Cruising the Pacific on Pacific Sun.
On a pleasant morning we arrived at Lifou Island, a place we were never meant to be going to. The itinerary said we wold be visiting Ouvea an Island of Vanuatu, I think, but there was some unrest among the Islanders so to protect the 2000 of us tourists an intinary change was made.
Lifou is not a very large Island, but larger than Mystery Island. The people here all speak french and some English plus a Canuk language. We had to stand a long way off shore and take a tender to the wharf. There was a big market day put on for our entertainment, dancing and food plus carvings etc for sale. We had booked into a shore tour on this Island to go visit a native village where the Chief lives and to see native food being cooked as well as a visit to the oldest Church on the island. We were driven along the island through the main town, with its one general store, a Post Office, Police Station and a Hospital, as far as I could see that was the whole town. Our first stop was the old Church a type of Chatholic church with beautiful stained glass windows. There was a huge old well outside the church which was the oldest well on the island too and still in use. We were given a hand made flax sunhat to wear, that the ladies made for us.
We then walked over to the Main Chief of the islands residence and nice modern building, with good new cars outside. .
Our Guide told us that everybody had a small house and a small thatched bura which they all slept in at night, it was not used for any other purpose, we saw these buildings at every home.
At the chiefs compound there was an extra large bura which is a meeting house for the whole tribe, it has 2 doors, one for the Chief exclusively and the other for ordinary folk, like all of us, we went inside and saw the small smoky for that is used to keep insect out and also to preserve the straw and timbers.
Then we wandered into the cooking area to watch a bunga being prepared and cooked. It consists of a large chicken with yams, taro, banana and pawpaw and coconut wrapped up tightly with many layers of banana leaves then placed in the embers of a fire the all the embers were scooped up and spread over the bunga and left for 2 hours to cook. They had prepared one earlier for us, so were able to open a bunga and allow us to have a lovely meal of the chicken and vegetables, some of our party of about 25 wouldn't even try the food But I sure did, and it tasted lovely and tasty and well cooked.