Thursday, August 8, 2013

Independence Day in Vanuatu

      The Independence Day celebrations in Vanuatu are a week long.  Every community sets up its own little fair area.  There are many, many booths made of bamboo and cocoanut palm frones.  Each booth has items to sell.  Mostly they are food.  We wish that they had more local crafts and products available.  However, the food was good.  There were fruits, cakes, rice dishes, etc.  Our absolute favorite was a booth by the Relief Society President in BlackSands Branch.  Her husband works at a tuna processing plant here in Port Vila.  The boats go out all over the south pacific.  During the celebration, they sold the most wonderful tuna!
      This is a smoker that they had set up.  They also had tuna kabobs with onions and cucumber slices.  They were delicious!  But - the very best was the battered and baked tuna pieces.  They were so good that we got some on Saturday and Monday and Tuesday.  We would have gotten more, if they had been available.  This is my favorite food here!!!!
      At the center of each fair area, they set up a bandstand.  This one is a permanent bandstand at the central park.  At the other locations, the bandstand was created from the same bamboo.  They played music, had speakers, conducted community business, etc.  Everyone in the country is involved, it seems.
 Face painting in Vanuatu!
 Volleyball is an important activity here.
This is a boxing ring at one of the fair sites.  There were matches every night.
      At the central park, they also had native dancers and music from the many islands.

Here are some of the booths at the fairs.  I wish I had more tuna right now!!!!

Now - a special treat!  I am going to try to send a video of one of the dances!

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