Remember how in the last post, we shipped a bunch of stuff? Remember how I mentioned getting stuff on the ships can be interesting?
It has been raining here pretty steadily for about 4 days. The boat was meant to leave Vila on Monday evening. Due to the wet, it didn’t actually leave until Tuesday morning. Due to the continuing wet, it was delayed. It should have gotten to us early morning on Wednesday. Instead, it got to us at about 11:30pm Wednesday night. I realize that given my previous habits, 11:30 really doesn’t sound late but here, that is the middle of the night. We are up with the sun (or close to) and in bed by 8:30 or 9 when the electricity is working. When it isn’t, bedtime is about 7:30.
We didn’t trust ourselves to wake up and catch the boat, so we stayed up instead. For the sake of full disclosure, I will also say we had been drinking kava, which makes you sleepy. It was a bit of a battle. When the boat rounded the point, we started walking down the hill. After we got to the bottom of the hill, we just sort of hung out for about half an hour and watched the boat come in. It was incredibly windy and eventually the boat decided to stay out and ferry stuff in in little speed boats. By speed boats I actually mean fiberglass, wood or aluminum row boats with motors on the back. They probably couldn’t pull a waterskiier when in good repair and none of them are in good repair.
The little boats would come to about 20 feet out under full power then they would spin the boat around and cut the power completely to glide into where people could grab it to hold it in place while the cargo was unloaded and re-loaded. Every kind of thing you can imagine came off of those little boats. Not only were there plenty of cardboard boxes, some of which were rapidly disintegrating, and chinese bags and bottles of gas but there were some more unexpected items like 3 sheets of plywood and a refrigerator. I kid you not, in a place that doesn’t have electricity without turning on a generator, somebody shipped in a refrigerator. I guess it is still insulated, even without electricity.
Everything comes off the boat as it gets picked up, not in any particular order. We got a bag and a box in the first boat and then a few more parcels on the next. In took 8 trips in total to get everything off the boat, at least for the people working the boat to think they got everything off. We got all our bags, but we were picking up bags for Alexandra, our nearest neighbor, and she is missing 2 packages. The nun we are currently staying with (more on that later), never got her bottle of gas. Hopefully, the boat will be back next week on its return trip from Santo and we will find the other bags then. In fact, that return trip from Santo is looking pretty good since it is also supposed to have a toilet and some screen for us.