Author: Wendy Stenberg-Tendys
Generations of people with an oral tradition, keep their ancient traditions and customs alive in the far northern isolated tropical islands of Vanuatu, in the South Pacific.
The sacred Bay of Olal, on the Island of Ambrym, is the home of a large rock, named Pouviaserole. The locals say it was once the guardian of the bay.
Pouviaserole, or Guardian, was a marine beast with a large horn in the middle of its head. Tradition says it had the appearance of something between a wild boar and a savage dog of enormous proportions.
Pouviaserole transformed itself into an innocent looking log. It would lay on the beach watch the children, from the nearby villages, enjoying a swim in the tropical and tepid waters of the bay.
The children would often pick up the log and throw Pouviaserole into the water. Peals of laughter would fill the air as they watched the ‘log’ drift back up on the beach.
Pouviaserole would suddenly transform itself back into the monster it really was, pounce on the unsuspecting children and consume them.
The beast repeated the deception after many months, as undetected it would once more slink away to its underwater lair, with a belly full of children.
That area of the ocean eventually became off limits, as the Chieftan of the neighbouring village finally declared the children were no longer allowed to swim there.
Pouviaserole showed up at the village, after realising the children were no longer visiting his beach. In anticipation of the coming feast, it hungrily licked its lips as it slithered along.
The most handsome and the strongest child of the village, was suddenly snatched greedily by the monster. It was the Chief’s son.
The men of the village were ordered, by the enraged and grieving Chief, to hide in the bush which surrounded the beach. Finally revenge would be exacted on the guardian of the sacred bay.
Still hungry, the monster needed more food.
It was only out of the water a small way when the avenging hunters attacked. The men of the village rushed forward in spite of the size of the huge beast. Throwing their spears, the first hit the monster in the eye and the next in its stomach.
Mortally wounded the beast turned, determined to reach the safety of its lair before breathing its last breath. In one last effort, a valiant warrior threw his spear. It embedded itself in the nape of the monster’s neck.
Pouviaserole blood stained the sacred waters. It stopped, as if in one final act of defiance, it turned into a rock to protect itself from its attackers. Immortality had come to Pouviaserole.
Visitors can see the guardian of the bay in the Bay of Olal, even today.
An illustrated anthology of the oral traditions of Vanuatu called Nabanga is rich with tales like the one of the Guardian rock Pouviaserole. Vanuatu is beginning to share its many secrets, as when it recently sent some of its sacred art to an exhibition outside Vanuatu for the first time.
Some may read these anthological tales with amusement. However, an underlying tragedy lays at the heart the beautiful tropical islands of the Happiest Country on Earth.
Education is an elusive goal for many children throughout Vanuatu. Education is not free. The meagre income, of many of the isolated villagers in a “no cash” economy, on under $1 per day, means there is no education.
What are the consequences for the island children?
Only 55.8% of Vanuatu kids will get to grade 6;
of those only 18.2% will go to high school ;
26% will never go to school at all.
The Vanuatu government in late 2007 admitted it did not have the money, or the resources to provide education outside of the main islands. Education is not a priority.
Make a difference; join an exciting Blue Moon Opportunity. Help children who love and appreciate their own culture while being hungry to enjoy the benefits of the 21st Century.
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As an innovative worlds first initiative Rick and Wendy Tendys founded the YouMe Support Foundation. They are and are raffling Seachange Lodge Resort on the Internet to raise funds for non-repayable the resort called Seachange Lodge.( http://youmesupport.org )
This Blue Moon Opportunity will see the lucky winners own outright a private holiday home, plus 6 luxury holiday apartments. The foundation will provide non re-payable high school education grants for the children of the outer islands of Vanuatu. ( http://winaresort.com )