There's a really beautiful beach by where I now live on Malekula. It's called Aube, and on the weekends, it's full with people having picnics and going swimming. When you go on weekdays, it's totally empty -- and absolutely idyllic.
While I was in Australia, I bought a pair of goggles, so I'm hoping to start doing open-water swimming. It's something I always wanted to do for exercise but never did. One of the great quality of life aspects to my time in Vanuatu is that I have enough time to relax, workout, socialize, and do whatever else I feel like doing. If I want to take off work to go do something, I take off work to go do something. If I want to go swimming, I go swimming. It's like my friend Sam's little host sister on Paama said when her mom wanted her to take a bath -- "Mi boss blo mi wan!" (I'm my own boss.)
I went with my new host mother, Mami Jacqueline, Jo-Jo (who's 19), Cassandra (8 or 9), and another volunteer, Laura. We bought steak and had pre-cooked rice, pineapple, and some frozen chicken. Must wash out the pans in the salt water, right?
There are lots of trees around, and different places where you can just make your little picnic area. Very very nice.
But the best thing? SALT WATER CHICKEN COOKED ON CORAL. Not even kidding -- this was absurdly delicious. Somehow it came out all caramel colored with this really delicious flavor. I think it must have had something to do with the temperature of the hot coral. I have never heard of this before -- either on Tongariki or any other island -- but it was super delicious. One of the best picnics I've had in Vanuatu.