VANUATU

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
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Trip End Feb 18, 2007


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Flag of Vanuatu  ,
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A short 1 hour plane ride in one of those dodgy small propeller planes and we're in the island of Vanuatu.
As we walk into passport control at Vanuatu's International Airport, we're greeted by a colourful local band welcoming us to this South Pacific Island. It feels like we've finally arrived back to somewhere exotic.

Vanuatu is in the unusual position of being a "shared" ex-colony. That's right, because it was settled by both British and French nationals, in the days of colonisation, an agreement was made to share the colony. This led to an unusual arrangement, with 2 education systems, 2 police forces and even 2 currencies operating side by side.

As we walk around the capital, Port Vila, we see evidence of this shared colonial influence. The French seem to have dominated the culinary heritage, but the local language is Bislama, an amusing form of pidgin English, which originated in the days of trading between the islanders and the European businessmen. It's quite funny, to see and hear the language, you can kind of understand it, but not perfectly, with sentences such as "Please sarem door slow". I wonder how long it would take to become fluent?

The prices are more reasonable here, as unlike New Caledonia, they actually trade with their neighbours of Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.

It's been a short but interesting stay here in Vanuatu, but we're now looking forward to chilling out on the beaches of Fiji.
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