what is the best welcome you ever received?
for me, undoubtedly it was upon arrival on rah island (vanuatu), a tiny piece of paradise that is separated from mota lava island by a shallow lagoon:
the story behind this video:
during our travel through vanuatu, dori lagoon bungalow was one of very few places that we reserved ahead of time, since this was going to be a stay over the christmas holidays. we arrived by boat from sola, and our host cecil picked us up at the landing, maybe 200 meters down the beach. as soon as we got to the beach-front bungalow, we saw a few women in white and pink dresses and didn’t think much of it. to our surprise they started singing, and it still took me a few moments to realize that this was an official welcome song, just for the two of us.
as it turns out, this is how our hosts ruthie and cecil, the local priest (one of the three guitarists) and the island’s women’s association welcome visitors to the island. there was song, choreography, frangipani leis (flower wreaths), swaying, and lots of kisses. i had never received such a warm welcome in my entire life.
all this was closely followed by a fresh coconut drink with natural straw (a young papaya petiole), and hanging out in a hamock overlooking the lagoon. there have been worse december days! :)
side note: adorably, the lyrics somehow changed from “you’re most welcome” to “you’re mostly welcome” about 1:30 minutes into the song.
if you just got a taste for vanuatu, you may also like: vanuatu independent travel notes and recommendations, january 2018