Paonangisu

Big day in Paunangisu

Best Public Toilet in the South Pacific is still the best !!
Village Experience Day comes to an end

One more sleep

Thursday 5 October 2017
Waterfront seawall, Port Vila

 

The “Supporters Tour” begins tomorrow. What’s that I hear you say?!

In keeping with past tradition and in conjunction with our friendly travel agent Ari, we have organised a 10 day holiday package that is both a fund-raiser for Mission 2017, but also a chance for “supporters” to enjoy a more grassroots Vanuatu holiday experience, without sacrificing too much on comfort.

The itinerary includes a “Village Experience Day”, trips out on the Port Vila harbour aboard Chimere, visits to the local medical clinic, church and market, plus an opportunity to experience life through the eyes of the locals

Around 20 people have signed up for the “Tour” and so it’s been a full-on task to get Chimere in a tidy state and to put the finishing touches to the itinerary, including the printed “Tour Pack” each person will receive on arrival

I was making inquiries two days ago with various contacts about Eddiy Bule, the man featured in earlier Ships Logs, who we hired on a daily basis earlier in the mission, to assist with sanding and painting aboard Chimere.

“He’s back on his island, but I will let him know you are here” said his friend and employee at Yachting World who own the Waterfront here where we tie up. Then an older man, John, got my attention today and introduced himself as Eddiy’s father, “Yes, Eddiy is son of my brother” …
“So that means he’s your nephew? You are his uncle?” I inquired. “No, I’m his father, his other father. That’s the way it is here.” John replied. Not a bad system really. All part of it “taking a village to raise a child”.

Then, 10 minutes ago I had a call from an unidentified local number … “Ello, Robert ‘ere” I answered … “Ello boss, is that you Robert? It’s Eddiy” came the reply

“Eddiy, great to hear your voice. Where are you?” I continued

Eddiy then went on to explain that he was dropping into the Waterfront each day recently and finally one of the people here asked … “why do you come each day?” and he said he was wanting to know when Chimere … and “his boss” as he now calls me, returns.

Seeing that we weren’t about he headed to the island of Emae, a short distance north, to assist with the re-building of a church building. “I will be back in a couple of days, I will call you then” insisted Eddiy

Some further background to Eddiy is that a month or so ago we bought a small solar system for Eddiy in return for a promise to work 7 days aboard Chimere before she returns to Australia. It was all drawn up on paper and signed by Eddiy and skipper Jon of Mission 3 fame and so Eddiy is obviously keen to keep his side of the bargain.

In other news today there was an Australian Air Force transport plane fly over after presumably dropping aid for the people being evacuated of the island of Ambae. In addition there is what was described on the VHF Channel 16 as “Australian War Ship” anchored way out in Mele Bay, for the same reason as the plane. Great to see, and a wonderful use of a “war” ship …

Being tied up so close to the “bar and grill”, Chimere’s cockpit could double as another restaurant table, with the chatter of patrons (increasingly well lubricated given it’s now 9:00pm) and the clink of plates and cups sounding like it already is. I was automatically thinking … “what a rowdy bunch of Aussies” … then after catching a few “bros”, “A” and discussion about a woman prime minister I figured these are rowdy Kiwis … “Sweet as bro, yeh cool man, another beer … thanks man” …. Not me, that’s the New Zealander …

Tomorrow is a big day … with my darling wife Linda also coming on the Supporters Tour … so it’s not just Chimere that’s been getting a clean-up?! I might also get the opportunity to trade my bunk for a real bed up at the Melanesian …

Smooth seas, fair breeze and one more sleep

Home in the village

Sunday 11 June 2017
Paunangisu village, North Efate

With three crewmembers flying home to Australia this morning (Cam, Rob Lott & Josh) and Martin on a “relaxation break” up on Pele Island it was only natural that Peter and I would head to Paunangisu in North Efate to attend church and be reacquainted with longstanding friends in the village.

Elder Kalmaire organised the transport and by 9 o’clock Peter and I were on the road for the 1 hour journey north, ably driven by Melvyn

The weather was glorious and the sun glistened on the sea all the way to the horizon as we passed Havana harbour, providing first-time visitor Peter with the perfect introduction to the region.

The congregation was in full voice when we arrived but of course there’s no sneaking in the back here; especially for two white-folk like us.  Young Johnston (a very helpful year 10 student we’d got to know the last time we were here) was allocated to look after us and whilst we did initially sit in the back row of the church pretty quickly Johnston moved us closer to the front under direction from the elders.

 

The service was conducted largely in the local Bislama, with several hymns sung in what is called “language”.  That is their village or regional language known as Ngunanese; one of more than 100 such languages throughout the country.  Whilst we could gain a reasonable understanding of what was being said, fortunately a generous amount of English was also spoken; partly for our benefit.  The welcome was very warm and there was even a song written and performed to mark our “return”.

I was invited at one point to say a few words and it gave us an opportunity to share greetings from our church in North Ringwood and speak of the warm connection both communities share, despite our obvious differences.

After the service there was the obligatory handshake congo-line from the exit door, giving us a chance to reacquaint ourselves, if ever so briefly, with the many people we’ve got to know over the years.  It really was an emotional time with lots of hugs, handshakes and kisses all round.

The new secretary of the congregation Margaret remained with us for lunch after which we met Asel, the amazing lady who has taken on the job of regularly cleaning the toilet; not just any toilet, but of course the Best Public Toilet in the South Pacific.

The facility really looked great and truly lived up to its name!!

Whilst Asel receives a small payment for her services we nonetheless gave her a portable solar light as a special gift in recognition of her dedication and the importance of her role

Along with the construction of the toilet 18 months ago there was also the installation of the 20,000 L water tank donated by South Australian company Aquamate; plus of course gutters and downpipes both sides of the 30 metre long church building.

It was great to hear stories of how the watertank never ran out during the last extended dry period and was the last port of call for the local village residents when it came to obtaining freshwater for cooking and drinking. As we sat there under the mango tree chatting and eating, many people came to fill up buckets, which only confirmed the importance of this facility, open to everyone, in the life of the community.

A massive thank-you goes out to Aquamate in South Australia for their generosity!!

We were both tired by the time we made it back to Chimere, still bobbing at her morning lines on the seawall on the Waterfront.

It was then a local dinner of fish and chips and pretty soon it was time for sleep; particularly after getting up at 4:30 this morning to help in getting our crewmembers away.

In reflecting on the day, my lasting memory is of the “welcome song” in this morning’s church service and the explanation from Elder Roger that … “we welcome many visitors to our village but today Robert, we welcome you home”

Smooth seas, fair breeze and home in the village.

Rob Latimer

What next in North Efate?!

First they get the BEST Public toilet, now a police prison cell.
 
Interesting article about Paunangisu and North Efate …
 

http://dailypost.vu/news/north-efate-to-have-a-remanding-cell-after-years/article_9f96d9ae-c84e-5957-9b11-7ddb1c57a77a.html

MSM Vanuatu Member Update – March 2016 Supplement

Greetings from MSM …

Who would have thought the opening of the Paunangisu village public toilet would make it onto the BBC News website?  Not me that’s for sure.

Read into it what you like, but if we can just secure the Queen’s official endorsement we might change the toilet’s slogan to something like “Royal Flush before Royal Ascent”  … maybe it needs a bit more work …?

Anyway, hope you enjoy the latest 2016 March Vanuatu MSM Member Update (Supplement) edition featuring the official opening of the BEST Public Toilet in The South Pacific

(For some light relief visit … www.bestpublictoilet.org  )

And here are the overseas news links …

BBC News Report

Website article

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-35890860

Radio New Zealand Reports

 

Audio & Transcript

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/201794568/toilets-give-vanuatu-village-bite-of-tourist-cherry

Website article

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/299778/top-notch-loos-in-vanuatu-village-could-spark-tourism

 

 

Blessings and cheers

 

Rob Latimer & Mike Clarke

Medical Sailing Ministries

Paunangisu Village Partnership

Vanuatu Dental Care Service

What Aid Where

BEST Public Toilet in The South Pacific – Grand Opening Sunday 13 March 2016

Greetings,

as highlighted in the recent MSM Member Update newsletter the website for the BEST Public Toilet in The South Pacific is now up and running

Here’s the link …

As the slogan says … “It’s the place to GO when you need to GO”
 

At the moment the village are busy completing the finishing touches to the toilet in readiness for Sunday’s opening.

Hope you enjoy the website

all the best from the village of Paunangisu, North Efate

Rob Latimer

November 2015 Vanuatu MSM Member Update

Greetings from MSM

We hope you enjoy the latest Medical Sailing Ministries Update newsletter, featuring the start of the actual building of the freshwater and toilet project in the village of Paunangisu. These are exciting times in what is otherwise a rather quiet part of rural Vanuatu.

Also attached, again primarily for those in Melbourne, is an invitation to a re-run of the widely successful 60s Music Night, that was held back at the start of October.

The first event raise around $2,200, for solar power on the toilet, with over 120 people in attendance.

Given the enthusiastic response to the night and the fact that so many people either wanted to come (but couldn’t) or would like to have brought friends (but didn’t) it was decided to run the night again.

If you can get along on Friday 13th November, we can guarantee a good, fun night !!  For those who sent donations but couldn’t make it last time, the $15 entry-donation is waived if you can get along this time.

Again, thanks so much for your interest, support and encouragement .
Blessings and cheers
Rob Latimer & Mike Clarke
Medical Sailing Ministries
Paunangisu Village Partnership
Vanuatu Dental Care Service

What Aid Where

www.msm.org.au
www.whataidwhere.org

October MSM Update and 60’s Music Fundraiser

Greetings from MSM

We hope you enjoy the latest Medical Sailing Ministries Vanuatu Member Update newsletter, containing news (and photos) of the shipping container’s much-anticipated arrival in the village of Paunangisu.

 

The planned public toilet construction will mostly be done by locals in the village, but a work-party will head over to Vanuatu on 18 October, with an intensive timetable hopefully seeing the project completed in 1 month.   Maybe we’re just dream’n, but that’s the plan !!

 

In other news, despite the onset of a severe drought throughout much of Vanuatu, the vegetable seeds sent over soon after Cyclone Pam struck, have started to grow, with harvesting of a range of crops now well underway.

 

For those in Melbourne this week-end and looking for a fun gig on Saturday night (3/10) don’t forget the 60s Music Night, in support of solar power for the Vanuatu toilet’s lights and pump.

A flyer for the 60s Music Night has been attached and is also mentioned in the Member Update.  The night will involve a live DJ playing songs from the 60s, that will actually be performed by a live band on site and in attendance.  Smashing Baby !!  It’s a cafe-style, dress-up, nostalgia event that will also feature 60s adverts, TV shows and news video clips that’ll leave you wanting to watch Forrest Gump again.

Thanks again for your interest, support and encouragement and should you have any questions or comments, or wish to make a donation, please feel free to get back in touch.
Blessings and cheers
Rob Latimer & Mike Clarke
Medical Sailing Ministries
Paunangisu Village Partnership
Vanuatu Dental Care Service

What Aid Where

How to build a toilet – Step By Step Guide…

The container is now in Port Vila and will soon be transported to the village of Paunangisu

leader-container

The work party arrives on Sun 18 October and will head up to the village the next day for an official Welcome & Sod-turning Ceremony.

The local village volunteers and PVP committee have everything ready for a smooth and efficient (yet frantic) “Grand Design Build”

It’s all getting very exciting !!

The latest 2015 Toilet step by step building-guide Step-By-Step instruction manual for the building of the toilet is attached for your information and study …  the practical “exam” commences 19 Oct and will extend for around 1 month !!

Mostly thanks to the meticulous preparation by George & Joy Harvey we are pushing for an A+++ mark in this group-assessment assignment

“Best public toilet in ALL South Pacific”

Thank you to everyone who has assisted in getting this project from dream to … very close to … reality.

Enjoy

Rob L

www.msm.org.au

Carmel Noble liked this post

Article in September Crosslight

A new article on the PVP was also published in September Crosslight.

Crosslight-sep-2015

Jim Davies, Lorraine Rose liked this post