There was a “war” on Pentecost. It wasn’t anywhere near us, though it did affect another PCV. She came and stayed at our house for the duration of the madness.
The story as we understand it goes something like this:
A man from Londar told a man from Bunlap that no one in Bunlap could sell kava on the beach anymore. The man from Londar was not a chief, which leaves me confused about why he had that authority. Bunlap is one of the inner island communities and doesn’t have its own beach front area. Kava is a main source, or only, source of income for most families on Pentecost. The Bunlap men got mad. The told the Londar man that if he or anyone from his family went to the gardens, they would hunt him down and “kill” him. (Kilim in Bislama means both “to hit” and “to kill,” which leads to some confusion in this situation.)
Everyone here does subsistence gardening. You can’t not go to your garden. He went, they caught him. They beat him up. He was found by another man from Londar and “brought back from the dead.” My guess is that he had a concussion or he fainted from pain. I don’t think he was dead, despite the stories.
Because that wasn’t enough, the Bunlap men then threatened to go burn down the village by the ocean where they were no longer allowed the sell kava. The men from the an tappart of the village went running down to defend the lower village and the women and children ran to hide in the bush. That night, the men came back without having gotten in a fight and set a guard around the nakamal that contained all the women and children.
The next day they were told the police were coming. They waited in the school building all day but the police never showed up. That afternoon, the promised fight at the ocean happened. Three men from Bunlap were sent to the dispensary due to knife wounds. No one from Londar went.
The next day, the police showed up in the afternoon and “made peace.” I’m still not clear what they did to make peace but things have been quiet since then. We haven’t heard of anymore fighting and the PCV went back to her village. She said she is safe there and doesn’t feel threatened.
All of this happened about an 8 hour walk south of my village. The general agreement is that they are all nuts and shouldn’t be doing these things. In my opinion, they need to drink more kava. It makes you happy, friendly and full of good will. It also makes you sleep and too lazy to go starting fights.
Ol kranki man bush i spoilem ples.