While some said “cool”, others uttered “very, very green and humid” and they could not help filming the greenery outside the bus on the road to Ekasup Cultural Village before yesterday. The words came from the first Turkish tourists to visit Port Vila under the new no visa requirement policy approved by the current Government at the end of last year. There were three children in the group and three adult women and an elderly man.
Under the new arrangement, all Turkish tourists do not need a tourist visa to enter the country. The seven tourists boarded the Sun Princess in Sydney and were welcomed into the country as they stepped off the gangway, by the Acting General Manager of the Vanuatu Tourism Office Sebastien Bador and VTO Marketing Secretary Nancy Kalorib.
The Vanuatu Tourism Office put together the tour for the group which began with Ekasup Cultural Village, the Evergreen Waterfalls and Tanna Coffee.
Daily Post and FM107 accompanied the group to Ekasup Cultural Village and the writer of this article had to stop as the women screamed and rushed to and fro in fear as painted warriors seemed to spring out of nowhere to threaten them with their spears in the stillness of the forest walk towards the village.
Luckily the ‘boss man’ of the village, who was the chief, heard the commotion, arrived and calmed his warriors and welcomed the Turks into his village.
The group listened while a villager explained how to preserve mashed banana for use in times of natural disaster such as a cyclone or tsunami.
The group was also shown how traditional snares are used to catch wild pigs and chickens and lobster.
Isolated villages also depend on herbal cures to treat the sick. Custom medicine was also shown how it is prepared to help pregnant women.
Already signs fatigue was telling on the faces of members of the group and no doubt they took a break for some lunch at the La Cascade before continuing to Tanna Coffee. Hopefully the group had a chance to sip a cup of coffee before returning to the ship.
Photo caption: L-r: NTO’s Nancy Kalorib and Sebastien Bador posing with group after welcoming them ashore.