Adventures with One
of the Most Traveled
Men on Earth

Lew Toulmin


Vanuatu Mon Amour


Home
Bio
New Land Adventures
Vanuatu Mon Amour
Finding Lost Airplanes
New Cruising Stories
Adventures in Genealogy
The Florian Letters
Living
Songs and Shanties
Selected Academic Publications
Cool Lectures
Boring Lectures
Contact
Links
Most Traveled Man
Lew first got interested in Vanuatu while living as a child in Thailand between 1959 and 1965, when there was no entertainment except for a record player, and his favorite record was “South Pacific.” This famous record, play and film was set in the New Hebrides, later Vanuatu. He first visited Vanuatu in 2001, on a voyage from Fiji to Vanuatu aboard a tall ship, the Soren Larsen, as described in his book The Most Traveled Man on Earth.

From 2012 to 2015 Lew served in-country as a senior advisor in e-government and ICTs (information and communications technologies) to the Chief Information Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu. He continues to advise the CIO remotely from the US. Vanuatu is a country of 255,000 scattered across an archipelago of 56 inhabited volcanic islands, stretching about 700 miles from north to south. The country is west of Fiji, east of Australia, north of New Zealand, and southeast of the Solomon Islands. It is a less developed country, Melanesian, mostly Christian, with a tradition of chiefs who almost all are involved in the pig-killing cult that dominates the nation.

While living in Vanuatu, Lew wrote a number of travel and adventure articles, published in The Montgomery Sentinel, International Travel News, Island Life (the national magazine of Vanuatu), and the Vanuatu Daily Post (the major daily paper in the country). These articles are presented below, and cover everything from the tribe that worships Prince Philip of England as a god, to Miss Vanuatu, to the Phocea superyacht scandal, to the amazing land diving done each spring on Pentecost island, where young men dive head first to earth from a bamboo tower 90 feet tall, (usually) saved by vines attached to their ankles. Lew also did additional research on the “real Bali Hai,” namely Ambae (or Aoba) island in northern Vanuatu, and wrote a major report comparing the fictional Bali Hai from “South Pacific” with the real island that inspired James Michener to write Tales of the South Pacific. Lew has recently finished leading an Explorers Club Flag Expedition on the “Female Chiefs of Vanuatu” to document the previously unknown female chiefs of that country. Below are various products of the Expedition, including a publication in Island Life, the national magazine of Vanuatu; an academic article on the expedition; videos about the Expedition; two songs about the islands; a gear list for the effort; and other related items.

As advisor for almost three years in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lew developed over 1000 documents – reports, memos, analyses, plans, annual reports, standards analyses, briefings, speeches for the CIO and Prime Minister, press releases, and other items. This section provides a small selection of the publicly-available documents from this output.

The first group of openable and downloadable documents below is the Vanuatu travel/adventure stories, while the second group provides the professional products.

Vanuatu Travel and Adventure Stories

Academic Article on Female Chiefs(PDF)

Female Chiefs of Vanuatu Briefing v 1 USA(PDF)

Female Chiefs printed article in Island Life 1-2017(PDF)

Flag Report for Female Chiefs Expedition Final(PDF)

Gear list and Info for Female Chiefs Expedition-FINAL(PDF)

Rollin Down to Old Maewo(PDF)

The Elusive Female Chiefs of Vanuatu (MS + IL)(PDF)

The Kerembei Boat Song(PDF)



Vanuatu – Oddest Country?(PDF)

The Tribe that Worships Prince Philip as a God, Part 1(PDF)

The Tribe that Worships Prince Philip as a God, Part 2(PDF)

The John Frum/Brum Tribe, Part 1(PDF)

The John Frum/Brum Tribe, Part 2(PDF)

Meet the Land Divers, Part 1(PDF)

Meet the Land Divers, Part 2(PDF)

Meet the Land Divers, Part 3(PDF)

Solving the mystery of the WW II air wreck on the north shore of Bali Hai -- part 1(PDF)

Solving the mystery of the WW II air wreck on the north shore of Bali Hai -- part 2(PDF)

Port Vila as a Cruise Destination, Part 1(PDF)

Port Vila as a Cruise Destination, Part 2(PDF)

Meet the New Miss Vanuatu, Part 1(PDF)

Meet the New Miss Vanuatu, Part 2(PDF)

Miss Vanuatu Visits Children in Port Vila Hospital(PDF)

Amazing Vanuatu: Photographic Briefing by Miss Vanuatu for the
Pacific Island Telecommunications Association (PITA) 2014 Meeting


Interview with Vanuatu's Ambassador to the United Nations(PDF)

Cyclone Pam Flattens the Happiest Country on Earth(PDF)

The Super-model, the Super-yacht, and the Super-scandal, Part 1(PDF)

The Super-model, the Super-yacht, and the Super-scandal, Part 2(PDF)

The Super-model, the Super-yacht, and the Super-scandal, Part 3(PDF)

The Super-model, the Super-yacht, and the Super-scandal, Part 4(PDF)

The Super-model, the Super-yacht, and the Super-scandal, Part 5(PDF)

Bali Hai and Wala Island(PDF)

Report on the Ambae Expedition to the “Real Bali Hai”(PDF)

US Ham Radio Operators in Vanuatu (PDF)




Vanuatu Professional Products

Human Rights, Climate Change, Gender Equality: Interview with Vanuatu's Ambassador to the UN, Odo Tevi(PDF)

Prime Minister's Speech at World Telecom Day 2013(PDF)

Briefing on Vanuatu ICTs, Education, Language, Culture(PDF)

First Survey of ICT Usage in Schools Final Final(PDF)

Human Resources and Training Plan(PDF)

ICTs in Health and Education(PDF)

ICTs in the Vanuatu Schools(PDF)

Amazing Vanuatu: Photographic Briefing by Miss Vanuatu for the
Pacific Island Telecommunications Association (PITA) 2014 Meeting


iGov League Table Analysis - for Peace Corps(PDF)

OGCIO Annual Report for 2012(PDF)

OGCIO Annual Report for 2013(PDF)

OGCIO Corporate Plan 2013-14(PDF)

OGCIO Project, Program, and Portfolio Mgmt(PDF)

Prime Minister's Speech in Bangkok 11-2013(PDF)

Prime Minister's Speech in New York 2015(PDF)

Prime Minister's Speech Launching 3 ICT policies, Nov 2013(PDF)

Prime Minister's Speech to PITA 2014(PDF)

Toulmin Speech for National ICT Day 2014(PDF)

Vanuatu ICT status and needs for AusAid(PDF)



-------------------------------

Map of the Republic of Vanuatu, in the SW Pacific

Land diving in Vanuatu involves a 90 foot tower and a lot of guts

Valerie Martinez, Miss Vanuatu, shows her Tanna island and French heritage

A chief on an outer island of Vanuatu shows off his circular pig tusk, from the pig killing ritual that dominates the country

A Vanuatu girl with the flag of her country

Miss Vanuatu & Dorothy

A young Notari of Vanuatu looks to her future (Huang Menders)

Maewo island montage (Huang-Menders)

Notari and children of Kerembei with Flag of Explorers

Women of Kerembei in a waterfight at the Festival (Wyrick)