What do you do when a man introduces himself as a small penis sheath? No, really, what do
you do? Richard, when presented with this problem performed admirably. His eyes widened, his
mouth twitched, but somehow he managed to simply ask the fellow's name. Another
international incident narrowly averted.
You see Vanuatu is home to both the Small Nambas and the Big Nambas. A namba is a penis
sheath. These two tribes distinguish themselves by the size of the sheath. Dorothy, we're not in
Kansas anymore. (On second thought its not so different from Honda owning men versus
Hummer owning men, different sort of sheath I suppose.)
At the moment Richard and I are in an anchorage in the Maskelyne islands. We are also hiding.
Hiding from persistent politeness. Once a boat anchors the nearby villagers paddle out to see
what you are all about. They ask your name, where you are from, do you want to trade for fruit,
veg, carvings, shells, dances, walks, etc. They are lovely and charming. But, they keep coming.
Wave after wave of insistently polite people. Do you have spare rope, clothes, earrings, and
horn (we decided to hear horn, not porn.) Local villagers arrive, nearby villagers arrive, far away
villagers arrive, they keep coming.
For awhile its fun. We do want to make a good impression and to be thoughtful visitors. But,
after awhile its tiring. So many people, so many requests, the inevitable guilt involved in saying
Richard and I were reading and we chose to lie down rather than sit up. Richard arose to get a
drink then quickly ducked his head - ack, more canoes, do you think they saw us? So, here we
are in Vanuatu surrounded by live volcanoes, chirping birds, sparkling water and we huddle in
the salon as if we were avoiding bill collectors. I wonder if we can have the Red Cross deliver
food to our bunker under the table?