12 November 2016 (+11 UTC) Eastern Hemisphere
Dear Friends and Family,
We had a fabulous time seeing the very active volcano, Mt. Yasur which means mountain of God the local language.
Sulphur, Steam and Ash were billowing constantly in addition to the red hot lava we could see after dark.
We got some really good photos and we\’ll post (hopefully!?) in New Caledonia.
We also went to see the \”Cargo Cult\” of John Phrum (the actual spelling vs. Frum which is usually seen). The entire experience was literally in the dark, but we were enlightened as to what it is all about. There are 14-17 villages on Tanna and the entire island of Aniwa just off Tanna, all believe in the prophesy of John Phrum. What we really learned is that it\’s entirely different that we were led to believe. John Phrum is actually, not a religion. The local religion is called Kastom or Kustom or Custom depending on who you ask.
It is most interesting to see how the US Military has a huge part in this and that the American Flag, the US Navy Flag and the Marine Corps Flag are held in the highest possible esteem. The US Flag has been risen daily in these villages since 1942!
They were most interested to know about the recent US Elections and who the new US President was. They all loved President Obama and wanted to know why he wasn\’t going to be President any longer? I explained to them that US Presidents could only serve for 8 years and then they understood that it was \”the law\”….:-)
John Phrum is said to have come to the islanders in 1938 as a \”spirit\”. He is not, nor ever was \”an American\”. When he appears to the elders in their visions (after a large portion of very strong Kava!), he is said to take the embodiment of looking like a Tanna Islander. He is said to have told the village elders (the current generations Grandfathers) that a great nation, \”America\”, would come to help them. Right at the time of this vision, the Colonial Govt. imprisoned 17 of the Grandfathers for their unwillingness to convert to the Christian Church and cease the practice of \”Kustom\”.
Indeed and quite ironically, WW2 broke out and \”America\” showed up as John Phrum prophesied. When the US Troops arrived and rounded up the last of the Japanese, (something they were also happy about), they also told the locals that practicing \”Kustom\” was perfectly fine and then worked to eventually help get the Grandfathers out of jail! This was done by US service personnel who were of course in uniform. As such, the locals believed in the prophesy of John Phrum and believe that he will return as a man (Messiah?) and the the Americans will one day return and help build their nation. There\’s lots more to it and I\’ll try and do it justice on the main Ship\’s Blog at a later date. Just know that the Stars and Stripes will live forever on the island of Tanna and the entire experience was beyond fascinating.
We were going to head off to New Caledonia today, but the weather was a bit uncooperative. We decided since we were underway, to come to the southern most island, Anatom and anchor for the night. The winds will shift back to the normal trade winds later tonight as a very weak low dissipates and we\’ll be off for the day-night-day sail to Noumea, New Caledonia.
Scott and Nikki
COMMENT: Beach House – Anchored – Anelghowhat Bay, Anatom – Vanuatu
TIME: 2016/11/12 04:37