Organic * Vanuatu * Tranquillity
Before I had even arrived, Janet Bunyan, the host and owner of Malowia Guesthouse in the village of Paunangisu – North Efate – had shown her attention to detail. I had intended to arrive well before dark, but was delayed in Port Vila. At 5.45pm, it was already dark, I received a call from Janet, checking in to see if I was okay.
That first evening I had the pleasure of dining with Willie and Janet and hearing Janet’s history of life in Vanuatu since she arrived there many moons ago, as a volunteer in her chosen profession, education.
Awakening to a picturesque view of Nguna, Pele and Kakula Islands in the short distance across the aqua blue sea. The garden is abundant with frangipani and bouganvillia entwined, alamanda flower blooming, banana and coconut palms, pawpaw and pamplemousse. Healthy chickens roam in their spacious luxury chicken coop. There are the sounds of the nearby villagers going about their morning tasks yet a peacefulness with no vehicles rushing by. Saturday morning dreaming – I was in paradise.
Breakfast was the most delicious aray of local fruits, bread and Janet’s much talked about by previous guests; homemade Rosella Jam and Lemon Curd and some locally produced honey – another recommendation from previous guests. I now know why – intense and delicious flavours.
A 20 vatu market was being held in the village later that day – so I stopped to buy some local kakae. Delicious and fresh. Not 20 vatu, but still very reasonably priced and fundraising for a community project. I ate and had a chat with Emma the boss lady for the day and the two gorgeous pikinini Andrew and Stan.
Dinner that evening included the most delicious simboro I had tasted. It’s all in the way Janet cooks it – not in water but simmered in freshly squeezed coconut cream. Simboro is a blend of local root vegetables, most commonly grated manioc (cassava) pressed, then rolled into a small parcel, wrapped in island cabbage (a leafy green). Malowia-style deliciousness. If you wish to have your meals provided, Janet will arrange at an additional and very reasonable price.
Janet and Willie’s attention to the detail, have kitted out Malowia with snorkel gear, books, board games etc. etc. Spotlessly clean, with all the extras really adding to the feeling of welcome, and making your stay at Malowia one you will always remember.
I will return to Malowia – it really is a “good place” to be. Thank you Janet and Willie – mi lukim yu.