Christmas in Northern Vanuatu, Day 9: Post-holiday poolside retreat

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

The night after Christmas, I spent my time searching for a toilet in the middle of the night.

Eve’s toilet was on the fritz lately, probably after being overloaded with three guest’s worth of water use. Last night, Eve decided it’d be best to avoid using the toilet. If you needed to go number two, then you would need to just hold it until morning. So, you see, having modern plumbing in Vanuatu isn’t all it’s cracked up to least a pit toilet is functional 24/7.

Of course, my body can’t obey such restrictions and at 3am I woke up with the need to use the toilet. Keevon was rustling around and I asked him what we’re supposed to do if we need to go number two. “Hold it until morning.” I can’t just do that! So off I went.

I went to her host family’s house, which I felt really guilty about doing, but hey, I needed to use a toilet! I knocked and I saw a light flick on, and then off, but no one answered the door. My last hope was the school’s facilities, which were just 25 yards from Eve’s house. Thankfully, they were open. There are about 5 stalls with flushing toilets and a small sink sitting outside with running water, so while it was a little walk, it wasn’t the worst. Also, I ended up needing to use the toilet twice, so I am glad the host family option didn’t work out because waking them up twice would have just been awkward.

Then, in the morning, when we were all awake, we noticed the kitchen sink was leaking. All of Eve’s plumbing was brought to shambles just for being a hospitable host. We felt pretty bad, but there was nothing to do as all the hardware stores were closed for the holidays.

Beach Front resort pool

We slathered on sunscreen and packed our bags for a day at Beach Front Resort. Resorts here are the basic entertainment. This particular resort had a large pool, backed by a massive manicured lawn that sat just before the beach. I am not an avid swimmer and here in Vanuatu I mostly swim out of utility to cool down. Today was hot, but not excruciatingly so, so I sat in the shade and ate and enjoyed wifi while the rest of the group dipped in the pool or the ocean waters.

I ordered a massive burger with everything on it, including a fried egg and bacon, accompanied by fries, for 1250 vatu. The others ordered coffees or burgers or sandwiches, all tourist-priced. There is no entry fee for the resort, but it is assumed you’ll dine there to offset costs.

We spent a majority of our day at the resort, and the others headed back before me. When it was nearing sundown, I headed out and ended up sharing a cab with a stranger, a local ni-Van woman whose sons were in tow to enjoy a day at the resort.

She told me how she didn’t like Vanuatu very much, but she stayed because her husband found good work here in construction (he was a Kiwi) and she loved him very much so she would do anything for him. She told me how she only speaks English, because her husband doesn’t know Bislama, but she doesn’t mind because she feels it will get her further than Bislama will. All of this she told me as we stood on a street corner awaiting a taxi. She asked where I was heading and informed me it wasn’t out of the way, so we all shared one. She insisted on paying the entire cost but I insisted on giving her 100 vatu (of the 150 vatu cost) out of politeness.

At Eve’s, everyone was in a relaxed mode, and while the girls watched romantic comedies, Keevon and I watched some Broad City before heading to bed.