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Vanuatu

1,170 bytes removed, 19:50, 5 June 2011
Respect: removing pointless and slightly racist comments that go beyond ethnocentrism
'''Communicating With NiVanuatu people''':
*It's particularly important in Vanuatu to be specific in what you ask someone to do. For example, someone reportedly asked their gardener to do what was necessary to get a lawn mower working, thinking he would bring the spark plug to be exchanged. Instead, he brought the piston. Since he did not know how to rebuild the machine, he walked away never to be seen again!
 
*Don't provide tools or machinery to people unless they have a practical knowledge of them. A NiVanuatu man nearly killed himself from exhaustion after spending days trying to cut down trees with a chainsaw. He found this tool most inefficient: It was heavier and bulkier, in addition to being much slower than his bush knife and could not see why the white man had told him to use this tool. It turns out that the white man had forgotten to show him how to turn it on!
 
*In Vanuatu, the display of anger, displeasure or irritability at a person or situation will reduce the recipient to a stony silence with a lack of co-operation or empathy to your point of view. Please be patient as it is a waste of time complaining. It will have no bearing on the outcome. And if you are verbally abusive, you will generate one of three responses: Smiling, subdued laughter, or a fist in your face.
*Don't ask a question with the answer built into it. Locals will always agree in order not to contradict you. "Is this the road to X?" will generate a Yes. Try: "Where is the road to X..?", and you might get a different answer.
 
*Expect people in Vanuatu to have a flexible viewpoint on distance and time. If you ask a villager the distance to a particular place, he may reply that the two communities are 5km apart, but the actual distance could be 15km. You'd do better to ask how long it would take to get there, but build in some wiggle room, anyway.
*Be aware that in the islands, direct eye contact or raised voice level contact may be interpreted as intimidation. A local person's voice level combined with body language may be directly opposite to Europeans. He or she may nod agreement with everything you say in order not to offend you but may not have understood a word you have said!
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