Espiritu Santo – 2 years on

Espiritu Santo – 2 years on

2 years have now passed since we bought our slice of paradise and in less than 48 hours we’ll be boarding a plane bound for Espiritu Santo again.

Progress has been made and we’ve taken a couple of trips back and fourth in the last 12 months. But there is this creeping feeling that Vanuatu is changing. I’m not sure its our project driven mindset that has me all on edge about living in Vanuatu.

The recent changes in Vanuatu’s political policies has somewhat dampened our spirit. The introduction of a taxation system and how it will be implemented has cooled our enthusiasm and the immigration rules for expat in regard to business set up costs is crippling. Our hope and desires are slowly ebbing away based on huge financial commitments in a county that until recently have had a very corrupt government.

Looking in from the outside Vanuatu looks peaceful and the idealistic place to live and deep inside we both long to have the perfect island escape, it’s just that our focus has shifted from our original plans.

One milestone has been to pay off the block of land, this has finally been achieved. It took us 2 years of literally living on one wage and all of our saved travel money, but at last our 65 year lease is fully paid up.

People keep saying “Oh you’re so lucky” – to be honest luck has nothing to do with bloody minded hard saving, and doing without the $5 cup of coffee that you shop for when out in the mall buying clothes that you don’t need.

There is only two things that you should focus your wealth on

  1. Land as it’s in a limited supply
  2. Water – Yup call me crazy, but look at the cost of the stuff!

Now that the land is paid our next focus is to start on the building project. However, there are a couple of other matters that we need to organise before we start turning over the soil and digging in foundations.

Currently plans are being drawn for dwellings and if my good friend can get them finished in the next couple of days we’ll submit them to the local authorities for consideration. We’ve decided on our building style and will be building two homes on the property. one will be for us and one will be for guests who come and visit.

It’s a far change from some of our original ideas but due to the instability of the countries economic policies and our desire to continue travelling we’ve had to compromise on our island dream. – Vanuatu will still be there, it’s just that we may not, as travel is still a burning passion for us.

On our last trip we camped for 10 days and with the help of Moses and our new worker Mathias a plan was established to make small clearings and move the path that we had created due to a couple of huge trees that had fallen after a category one cyclone smashed through the property.

Setting the drill as we tap into our underground water supply

Our greatest accomplishment to date was to make contact with a driller who managed to juggle a couple jobs and squeeze us in. The result was an 8m bore well drilled and capped. Our next step is to build a small pump house and work out a power supply that will draw water for irrigation and supply to the houses yet to build.

The Bore is complete and now capped