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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Meet the Natives!

A new show premiered on the Travel Channel tonight: Meet the Natives. It's amazing. You should watch it. It's about five guys from the island of Tanna, an island of Vanuatu, where they live in a primitive, self-sufficient, supremely peaceful society, who come to the United States for something like five weeks, to travel, learn about our culture, introduce us to theirs, and, most importantly to them, spread the message of peace and harmony.

They're super upbeat, completely without pretense or affectation, and they offer us a rare and cool opportunity to view ourselves and our existence through fresh eyes, which proves to be surprisingly insightful. At times, you feel guilty for the amount of excess we as Americans enjoy. Other times, you almost feel embarrassed for them, like when their chief prays earnestly to a massive boulder in Yellowstone (it's reminiscent of how Hugh Grant feels in About A Boy, the only good movie he's ever made, I think, when the little kid and his mom sing with their eyes closed), or when they ask a table of people in Montana if they know "Tom Navy," the Jesus-like figure to whom the Tanna people attribute their peaceful philosophy. But the thing is, they're not embarrassed because they're totally sincere. And that's refreshing.

Here's the website if you want to check it out:


  1. Glad you liked the "Man Tanna" perspective, my wife and I lived on Tanna for three years and I revisit my adopted Tanna family twice a year. You can see thousands of photos Tanna and numerous other Vanuatu islands I have shot over the years.

    Loading many more images every week for all that are interested in peeking or simply dreaming of Vanuatu, see:, have fun.

    Tropical regards from Port Vila, Vanuatu

  2. That's great! Was just looking over what you do, and if I ever get the balls, time, and money together, I might have to request your services. Thanks for reading!