All images and Original text © 2018-2019 Léopold Deru

After one and half month in Japan, I honored a promise I made to my Niv-Vans friends and myself: visit them in Vanuatu. Here I lived on Santo Island, first in Luganville with my friend Solomon. Then I spent, one and a half months in Hog Harbour with the family of Erny. Hog Harbour is a small village near two paradise beaches (Lonnoc and Champagne beach). There I discovered that Vanuatu even if not very developed is not missing anything. The Kaven family lives of agriculture, kids are going to school, there is food and peace for everyone. A woman even told me, who doesn't have food and a house is just lazy. Most of the time, locals own their (giant) custom land for generations, on this land any kind of vegetable grows. For some, they have more than fifty cattle grazing around the coconut trees of the plantations.  In the bush, they are plenty of wild pig to be caught. Every Saturday the family goes hunting. Hog Harbour like many other villages doesn't have electricity, but people still connected with their land and here money is secondary, you grow your food, you drink rainwater and own your land. The only big expenses are school fees.

 

Then I moved to Port Olry in the house of my friend Sylvain. The atmosphere is very different, the village is bigger, people can speak french. One thing is exactly the same, the kids. It seems that Vanuatu is the country of children. Wherever you go, you meet dozens if not hundreds of them. Some are scared of you, some run and jump on you. Vanuatu is like these kids, full of life and joy but sometimes distant. Of course, it's not all beautiful, the human contact can be rough, especially against kids an women. I haven't seen anything of this kind but with what I read the situation of domestic violence is really present in the country. But, here is an overview of happiness in Vanuatu, and more precisely Santo Island. 

Vanuatu