Vanuatu Bliss


Cath, Jay & their lil fella Joshua travelled to Vanuatu in June-July 2012 for their first mundyturner gig in Vanuatu.  They were also there to help launch a new community choir, enjoy a family holiday and celebrate Cath’s birthday!  Their wonderful hosts Bev & Nabil Anti at Village de Santo, treated the family to the most incredible time.  Cath tells of their 13 day adventure…

“We adored our trip to Espiritu Santo, the largest of Vanuatu’s 83 islands and can’t wait to go back to explore more islands.  Actually we wanted to move there – it’s such a beautiful place where the lifestyle is so relaxed and connected to community.

The biggest highlight for me was meeting the gentle and friendly people and experiencing their amazing culture and simple lifestyle.  I loved learning the local songs.  The Vanuatuan people made us feel so welcome – we felt like we have a family there now.

My birthday was celebrated with Jay & our son, Bev & Nabil on a tranquil private beach (see picture), eating freshly cooked to order Thai food, swimming, playing & relaxing, singing songs and strumming our ukuleles.  A dream place to be.

In the evening we headed back to Restuarant 1606, Village de Santo, where we danced with the Snake Men of Mota Lava, sang with the 1606 String Band and then jammed until late at night with these fantastic musicians.  It was truly a day of joy!

The next day the celebrations went on at a nearby ‘kastom village’ where “Happy Birthday To You Cathy” was performed by the amazing local Water-Music troupe and I was given some beautiful hand-crafted gifts.  The generosity of the people was overwhelming”

Cath & Jay also ran three harmony-singing workshops.  Two workshops were held in Luganville’s Northern Youth Centre to help kick-start a new community choir with a special mission – to bring Ni Vanuatuan people together with the ‘ex-patriot’ community to sing and connect with each other.  This culminated in a debut performance by the new choir – working title Santo Voices – at mundyturner’s Village de Santo concert on 6 July.

The other singing workshop brought together children from local Mango Anglican Church and visiting teens from St Pal’s Anglican College, Brisbane for an hour of song and movement.

“I started teaching the children from these two countries a song to sing together, thinking one song would be enough and they’d want to finish after that.  They just demanded to keep singing, Aussies & Vanuatuans alike!!  I ended up keeping on teaching them rounds and harmony songs for another hour!  And they sounded so beautiful.”

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