January 21st, 2005

vanuatu

Satellite failure

Good morning from Vanuatu, where the country is just recovering from the loss of Intelsat 804, the satellite which provided all the international connectivity - so no phones, email, web or banking services till alternatives were fixed up!
While you were away "satellite failure - rest of world cut off" we have been on a variety of exciting trips, including a jet boat trip in the morning on Saturday (for which we had to find imaginative means of payment) which was totally awesome - think the Huka Jet but faster, warmer, smaller boat and salt water. The same afternoon we went to feed some fish, turtles and sharks. So with the Jets in the morning and the Sharks in the afternoon, it was a veritable West Side Story day.
Sunday to the Family Worship Centre where we used to go and then to Erakor Island, where it rained hard in the afternoon, causing us to abandon our trip and try again on Monday.
Monday evening to the Hash House Harriers - that hasn't changed much!
Tuesday we went on a trip to Lelepa Island - that's a trip to an offshore island that wasn't a tour option available before - a hot and exciting day, looking at prehistoric caves with handprints, learning about herbs, swimming...
Yesterday we hired a car and drove round the island. It's still a white-knuckle ride, some bits or roads are betters, lots aren't! We found that Whitesands Resort has closed. But we did get to the WWII museum and we took a trip through the mangrove swamp to look at a plane that came down in the water in 1944? when it ran out of fuel and had to ditch.
Today, tidying up some loose ends, confirming our pickup tomorrow morning, eating icecreams, walking around town - off to Le Meridien (ex-Radisson) after lunch. I'll fill in the details some time when it's not 20 vt per minute.