Street Photography in Port Vila, Vanuatu

This was the 10th post (Day 10) of an entire year-long series, which I named ‘Project 365′. The idea was simple enough: travel for a full year and document every day of it, in the form of a daily picture and poem. I am still working on a book of this year-long travel, but till then, enjoy all the posts here. You can check out the daily posts in the details below or jump to the final day of the project by clicking here.

11th July 2014 – Port Vila, Vanuatu

Through open windows, and creaking doors,
They stared at me, like a naked leprechaun falling from the sky.
Eyes like uncut diamonds, piercing into my camera,
They seemed to ask, “Man blong India, why yu come by?” 


port vila vanuatu

Curiosity is a funny thing, he thought. – Port Vila, Vanuatu

I read somewhere that the children of Vanuatu are extremely photogenic. And I found that out the easy way – by taking lots of pictures of them. They are naturally curious of everyone they see, and I think especially with me, because it’s not normal for them to see an Indian tourist. Oh, there are plenty of Indians here, just that they own a lot of the establishments in Vanuatu and travel in fancy cars. But a travelling Indian, who wore flip-flops and vests and lugged a camera with him everywhere? Nah, I was the first dork these kids came across, I guess.

Note: I strongly recommend that when photographing people on the street – even if it is only children -, you should first ask them for permission. But in the case of some candid shots, like the one above, you may not be able to. Then, just walk over, show the photograph you just took, and ask them if they like it. I did, and the boy’s reaction was priceless!

Introduction to Bislama

The rest of the day went by, with me trying to learn Bislama, the national language of Vanuatu. Bislama is a pidgin/creole version of English, that originated from the south pacific plantation workers in Australia in 1800’s. So, although the words are in English, they are very localised. So ‘belong’ becomes ‘blong’, and thus, I become the ‘man blong India’. And apparently, i always ‘Dring, smok, dring, smok”!

In the evening, I met a Polish traveller, named Maciej, in the hostel, to whom I was showing my project 365. Turns out, that this is his 3rd round-the-world trip. Oh, I am so humbled now! We decided to rent a car tomorrow, and drive out to see some outskirts of Efate Island. I told him about my driving skills, and how I preferred to be on a motorbike than a car.

He offered to drive.

Click here for the previous day’s post. Or you can follow this project from Day 0, by clicking here

Or. Follow my travels on Facebook.

Unless mentioned otherwise, all pictures are taken by the blog admin. If you would like to use them for any commercial or non-commercial purposes, please contact for approval.



About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.