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Pentecost, Naghol - Land Diving

Pentecost Island, Naghol – Land Diving Ritual

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Hi folks,

we are back again with the next chapter of our Vanuatu island & cultural experience…: a journey to Pentecost, another of Vanuatu’s beautiful islands with a lot of tradition.

Pentecost is the ritual birthplace of today’s extreme sport „bungy jumping“… : The people of a tribe build a narrow but tall tower of freshly felled tree trunks. From various levels of this tower, men of that tribe jump down into a bed of soil, only with vines attached to their feet. It is a ceremony to ask for a good harvest and fertility, and in the same way for boys too prove their manhood.

The ritual takes place only from April to June and only on Saturdays. And visitors are welcome. It is really impressive to stay close to this high but fragile tower and to see the passion and also great fun of all generations of the village, while dancing and singing in front of the tower to motivate each jumper. And it’s quite exciting to see the brave men land diving… (while we kept our fingers crossed that all goes well).

But we also recognized a little boy that prepared himself carefully to jump from a lower level and then, after analyzing the situation (wow – damn high!!), simply went back to his mother – a pretty good decision we thought 😉

Click here and share our airfare to Pentecost last Saturday and our Naghol experience

And see the people of the village and their enthusiasm for the ceremony:

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And the tower & land diving heroes:

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Pentecost Naghol - Land Diving

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We hope you enjoyed our video and pics!

See you soon – with amazing pictures of another of Vanuatu’s volcano islands.

Many regards,

Eltje & Pietro

Tewada and a little boy

The People of Yakel

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Hi Everyone,

on one of our evenings on Tanna Island our host Kelson showed us the movie „Tanna“ (you won’t believe it, on a really large TV screen ;-). This film was awarded with several international prizes, among others at the film festival in Venice 2015. It tells the true and tragic story of a forbidden Romeo and Juliet-love in the 1980ths on Tanna.

All ancient customs which are presented in the film are still alive today, and only the rule of arranged marriages has been changed because of the suicide of the two lovers. A great movie – which was filmed only in Vanuatu – and with the people of the village Yakel as actors.

Last week we visited the village Yakel. Yakel has 186 inhabitants, a meeting place – the so-called Nakamal –  a large garden area with fruits and vegetables, lots of pigs, a house for each family and a guest treehouse 😉 – but no electricity, no running water and clothes are mainly made of tree barks. Various places of the village are tabu for women, also for female tourists like me (Eltje)… All in all, the way of life of past centuries.

Even the movie has not changed Yakel. It is simply too remote. Only from time to time some visitors arrive, who are welcomed very friendly – and who can buy some traditional clothes and pig tusks-necklaces. Pietro liked the namba, the penis sheath, which is in principle the only male garment. And what should I say – he now owns a namba 😉

Probably the current inhabitants of Yakel are the last generation(s) of an ancient tribe. Because parts of modern life now reaches Yakel, such as compulsory education etc. – and Nutella. Mmmh, yes, we couldn’t resist, we had to bring sweets (& crayons) for the cildren because they really love it (and the adults as well…)

Click here to meet the People of Yakel with us:

Check out the cool images we took at Yakel at the bottom of this message.

With regards from Yakel – „Iman“ (in their language)

Eltje & Pietro

 

P.S. For those of you who are interested in some more details about the movie Tanna here is the trailer:

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Port Vila Market

Vanuatu – First Impressions

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Hi all,

now we are back again, with the first information of the second part of our journey…

On April 30 we left the Cooks Islands. After a stop of 3 nights in Auckland we have now entered the second phase of our journey: Vanuatu.

About 3.500 kilometers away from the Cook Islands and a big step from a landscape and cultural perspective…

The Republic of Vanuatu consists of 82 small volcanic islands spread over a distance of about 1.000 kilrometres and they are all part of the „Ring of Fire“. Vanuatu is home to some of the most active and also most accessible volcanos of the world. And there are not too many white sand beaches with palm trees…. Hence, a different kind of Paradise.

The Ni-Vanuatus are Melanesians, most of them still live a traditional life in villages (tribal communities) and some of their ancestors were cannibals (until the 1970s).

For around 75 years, until 1980 – before gaining independence – Vanuatu was jointly governed by France and the UK. Thus, lifestyle there is a blend of European and South Pacifc habits and traditions.

Last year in March Vanuatu was hit by disastrous cyclone Pam. Until today – and even ongoing – the inhabitants of all impacted island are still rebuilding their homes and businesses. And also nature still has to recover.

But whatever happens, the Ni-Vans always smile and take life easy, one of the friendliest nations I’ve ever visited 🙂

Click here to have a look at our first days at the capital city Port Vila and a car tour around Efate, the main island of Vanuatu.

And please excuse the sound quality – we are occasionally difficult to understand (yep, it is a GoPro movie and we have no professional sound software available 😉 …. working with a tight budget :-))

 

Stay with us, reports from the outer island and its tradional life and active volcanos will follow soon.

 

Until then & Sunny regards,

Eltje & Pietro

 

paradise

Coming Soon to a Blog near you: “10 Weeks in Paradise”

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Yep, plans are set … departing 30 March, returning 18 June … 10 whole weeks in paradise. Ten carefully balanced weeks … between work and Chill 🙂

Paradise 1: Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Akaiami – islands of The Cook Islands

cook-islands

The first four weeks will be spent in The Cook Islands where we will be evaluate two small resorts up for sale. We will be spending a few nights at each to fully understanding what is on offer and their future potential.

In addition – and this goes for the other locations we will be visiting too – we have a whole list of people we want to interview to gain insights about living and owning a business there. The people we plan to interview include medical doctors, accountants, tax advisors, bank managers, lawyers, estate agents (for living and business property), local business owners and people on vacation.

Then we have a week away from it all on a beautiful remote island, in the middle of the Aitutaki lagoon, called Akaiami. There a windsurfer has already been arranged for Pietro :-)))

 

Paradise 2: Port Villa, Tanna and Pentecost – Vanuatu

Vanuatu

The second four weeks will be in Vanuatu with the same agenda as for The Cook Islands.

In addition we will be doing a chartered flight over the volcanic island of Ambrym and its active vulcanos to obtain aerial photographs. Did we mention that we are exploring the option of combining photograph and writing articles for travel publications. (We’ll reveal more on this in the next post)

 

Paradise 3: Fiji

Fiji

Fiji is the third Option on our list of potential island states to live in. We will be spending 2 weeks in Fiji, and while this leg of the visit is still under construction, our main objective here is to assess the business climate and ensure we are not potentially missing an opportunity by focusing our efforts on The Cooks and Vanuatu.

Exciting times :-))

When we travel, we will keep you posted with picture from paradise and our search for Peaniesutra … the Chill haven.

Ciao for now 😉

Pietro & Eltje

vanuatu

Vanuatu … finding the edge

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Plans are streaming ahead as we zero in on the South Pacific. In our previous posts we wrote quite a bit about The Cook Islands. The second destination we are considering is Vanuatu. Click here for more on Vanuatu.

Vanuatu was in the news last year when a Cyclone Pam crossed over on the 6th March and practically crippled Vanuatu. Click to learn more about the devastating power of Cyclones Pam in Vanuatu.

So, you may be asking “Why are you considering Vanuatu when is has been destroyed and who knows when the next cyclone is going to pass by?”

Our answer “Good question. The answer … love of quite simplicity, natural beauty, friendly people, and the opportunity to closely explore a little known territory and culture.”

We can sum it up with one of our favourite sayings “Living on the edge”. The edge of the planet offers sooo much … to discover and perhaps rediscover in oneself, and sooo little … of the modern distractions and trappings.

Be free, discover the edge.

Pietro & Eltje

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This is a story ... an evolving story ... of two people whos paths crossed just 24 months ago and who are now embarking on an incredible journey together :-) "We have decided to step out of our hectic lives, filled with corporate nonsense and rushed city living, to find a haven of peace in the South Pacific where our goal is to provide others with an opportunity to chill". This website and blog aims to keep you posted on our journey of finding our "Chill Haven”.

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