New Caledonia

Mouli, Ouvea, Loyalty Island
Vase planted by Jean-Baptiste Labbe, December 18, 2013

“Ouvea is one of the three Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia. It is full of coconut trees and the most beautiful beaches. In 1988 during the civil war there was a cave hostage on the Island and many people were killed. This traumatic event has caused a lot of people to suffer and resulted in an increase in tension between the Kanaks (Indigenous New Caledonian People) and the rest of the population. I went to the southern part of the Island of Ouvea to a place called Mouli.

I drove to the very end of the Island. When I couldn’t go any further , I then walked through the bushes bordering the sea-shore. I made my way through the vines, rocks and bushes. It was a strenuous walk as there wasn’t any path to follow, and the weather was hot and humid. I also didn’t feel very safe, as I was worried that someone would see me and wonder what I was doing.  After looking at a few different spots, I found a place with a hole in the ground. The ground on the island is made of reef, which slowly rose out of the water a long time ago and has now become fossilised. It is extremely sharp!  The vase fitted perfectly in the hole. I was sweating, lying on the ground on the rocks in order to place the vase. I then enclosed the vase with rocks and the mission was complete. Having gotten myself all dirty and sweaty, I jumped straight into the ocean, which felt so refreshing!

I felt very fortunate to have been able to contribute to this wonderful project, and hope that all the vases are swiftly placed throughout the world bringing infinite benefits to all beings.”