After a great week in Nambwaranyut with Alex and Lucas, I was ready to move on.
I spent all night by myself on the beach waiting for the Brisk to come back through. As I've probably mentioned on this blog before, nothing--ships, planes, community meetings, not even church services--moves on a set schedule here. All is subject to the vagaries of "island time". If a Ni-Van tells you to meet him somewhere at 3 pm, you shouldn't ever show up at 3 pm. If you do that, you'll be waiting around on him for a few hours, hopefully in relative comfort beneath the shade of a nearby tree. The implication of island time is that this entire country operates on a gross approximation. When someone tells you to be somewhere at 3 pm, he or she could mean 4 pm or 5 pm or 6 pm or maybe even 2 pm. But you can be certain he doesn't mean 3 pm.
So, when I called the Brisk and they told me they would reach my area "this afternoon or early evening", I didn't even leave for the beach until half past midnight. And I still ended up sleeping on the beach all night by myself. The Brisk eventually showed up around 5:30 am. If you'll consult the map, you can follow the course we took from Nambwaranyut to Laone, Ryan's village.
Ryan works at school of sorts. Its not really a school, though, more like a vocational training center. Young Ni-Vans receive training in mechanics and hospitality and the like. Pictured here is Ryan's living room and the chicken coop he had built for his chicken project (I'll let you determine which is which). Ryan lives in what I contemptuously refer to as a "white man house". You'll note the concrete construction, ample shelf space and--most damning of all--ample electricity.
Here's Ryan and his dog Bear. The other picture is Sara Airport (visible on our map). It's virtually identical to both airports on Epi.
While I was in Laone, I went to the nakamal and drank kava with some of Ryan's male relatives (girls aren't allowed to drink kava, not an uncommon proscription in this country). I was eager to try Pentecost kava because they prepare it differently than back home. As you can see from the photograph, this man is grinding up the kava with some coral stone from the beach, as opposed to pounding it with a big bar like on Epi or grinding it was a metal machine like on Efate. I had never sampled that kind of kava before.
And here I am drinking a shell. Despite all the hype and boasting, I didn't think it was any stronger than the stuff I drink back in Malvasi. This is further proof that the strength of kava is most directly effected not by the method of preparation but by how much water is added during preparation.