The smell of rotten eggs filled my body and I thought I was going to throw up right there.
The good news was that nobody would have noticed because the thick mud surrounding our bodies was much too dark to see anything through. Plus the throw up would had just joined the dead floating crab and other little things mixed in with our hot mud bath. Happily I managed to keep my lunch inside.
We were all rolling around like pigs in the sulfur filled mud baths at the “holy healing waters” that we found on the side of the road. Often as a parent we have to force our kids to stick with us during our world schooling adventures!
Since the local medicine man was so helpful 😂
I decided to try another island treatment for ailments.
I had Heard that Vanuatu had some natural Hot Springs and mud baths. I’ve been to Hot Springs before and I definitely felt positive health benefits after soaking in them, so I was excited to discover that this island we were staying on had them as well.
When I went on trip advisor the reviews were kind of sketchy, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. I knew I didn’t want to go alone, and was delighted when my husband and sister and a few of our kids agreed to make the journey with me.
After driving for an hour halfway around the island and up and down windy mountain roads we finally spotted the hand painted sign indicating that we had arrived at our destination.
Eagerly we pulled in but nobody seemed to be around except a couple village pikininis (children) playing in the grass.
We finally were able to track down someone who was happy to take our Vatu (money) and show us around.
She told us stories of how she was once very large and when she went in the waters she became skinny, and how her dad was crippled and when he went in the waters he started to walk. The truth seemed to be mixed generously with some things that seemed quite unbelievable, but I was happy to be there anyways and was definitely not expecting a miracle 🙂
“You must sit in this pool for 10 minutes. Then you must cover yourself in mud in that pool. Then we wash you off and you sit in that pool.” She pointed up ahead as she spoke to us in her broken English.
The instructions she gave us were quite clear and we obediently took off our clothes and hopped with our swimsuits into the first pool.
It was hot but felt amazing. The water was bubbling up from a spring deep in the earth and you could taste the salty minerals.It felt like heaven sitting in the homemade cement pools bathing in the hot spring.
My 15 year old who usually hates getting dirty and my sister were the first to leave the clean hot spring and take a dip in the mud bath. At first the mud pool was gross. It was smelly, and well…muddy.
Mary, the daughter of the owner of the place, got right to work covering our faces and backs with the mud as we tried not to laugh and throw up at the same time. The smell was pretty overwhelming.
Nate just kept saying “this is so gross, get me outta here” but his mom made him stay anyways.
We all got really into it and soon we forgot the rotting eggs smell and we were floating blissfully into the oozing, stinky mud.
It felt like we stayed forever but it was only an hour in the mud. When we felt ready we got out and Mary washed us off by dumping buckets of warm salty water over our heads and body. It actually felt AMAZING!
As I watched her humble, seemingly boring job serving us, I couldn’t help but feel gratitude for this young lady. She spent the whole time we were there watching us, telling us which baths to go in and which were too hot (there were some places that the water reaches 90 Celsius / 104 Fahrenheit ). She helped us when we got mud in our eyes and and washed away the mud from our adventure so we could be clean again.
I also couldn’t help but feel gratitude for One who is greater than us all who chose to humble himself and be the servant of all. I am grateful for His guidance in which paths to take and which places to avoid and most of all his loving sacrifice that washes us clean when we are covered in the dirt and filth of the world.
We truly are blessed to have this special time to draw closer together as a family as well as to draw closer to the Savior and see His hand at work in our lives.