Dear Ms. Bender and Students;
The attached photo of Gnomad was taken aboard our yacht Carina while at Maewo Island in Vanuatu. Pictured are 15 year old Ed and his 8 year old brother, Fred, who live in the village of Kiavo, on the NW coast of Maewo at approximately 15 degrees south latitude and 168 degrees east longitude. Ed and Fred attend a regional school in the village of Betarava, a walk of 30 minutes from their home along an oceanside path. In this photo, they are pictured returning from their sister's wedding held in the village of Asanvari on the far south of the island. The island is volcanic and mountainous and because of the terrain there are no roads and there is no ferry service.
Vanuatu is an independent island nation where co-exist over 130 languages and cultures. Most of the inhabitants are descended from the Lapita people who migrated from Asia into the Pacific thousands of years ago, though over the years isolated clans or "nakamals" developed their own language. Today, ni-Vanuatu speak their native language in their village, Bislama (a pidgin English language that has recently become a written language) to those outside their village, and English or French to visitors.
Leslie & Philip (and fat cat Jake)
Losalava, Gaua (Santa Maria), Vanuatu