After one and a half months in Japan, I honored a promise I made to my Niv-Vans and myself: I visited them in Vanuatu. Here I lived on Santo Island. Firstly, 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-like beaches (Lonnoc and Champagne beach). There I discovered that Vanuatu, despite being not very developed, isn’t missing anything. The Kaven family lives of agriculture. The children go to school and there is food and peace for everyone. A woman yet told me, “The one who doesn’t have food and a house is just lazy.” Most of the time locals own their (giant) custom piece of 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, there are plenty of wild pigs to be caught. Every Saturday the family goes hunting. Hog Harbour, like many other villages, doesn’t have electricity. Money is secondary. You cultivate your food, you drink rainwater and you own your land. The only big expenses are school fees.


Then I moved to Port Olry into the house of my friend Sylvain. The atmosphere is very different, the village is bigger, people can speak French. One thing is the same, the children. Vanuatu is the country of children. Wherever you go, you meet dozens, if not hundreds of them. Some are scared of you, others run towards 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 for children and women. I haven’t seen anything of this, but I read and heard that there is a lot of domestic violence present in the country. Anyway, here is an overview of my days in Vanuatu, and more precisely on Santo Island. 


All images and Original text © 2018-2019 Léopold Deru