One man only he found who approved of his project, and that was Ra Vatu, who secretly encouraged him and offered to lend him guides to the first foothills.
John Starhurst journeyed up the sluggish Rewa in one of Ra Vatu's canoes.
This canoe was also the property of Ra Vatu. In it was Erirola, Ra Vatu's first cousin and trusted henchman; and in the small basket that never left his hand was a whale tooth.
The Buli of Gatoka, seated on his best mat, surrounded by his chief men, three busy fly-brushers at his back, deigned to receive from the hand of his herald the whale tooth presented by Ra Vatu and carried into the mountains by his cousin, Erirola.
"It is the whale tooth of Ra Vatu," he whispered to Starhurst.
"Ra Vatu is soon to become Lotu," Starhurst explained, "and I have come bringing the Lotu to you."
"Ra Vatu has arranged that we should be well received."
Income generation had three key objectives: notably paying school fees (which are roughly Vatu
40,000 per year, plus transport costs, for high school, and Vatu
9000 for primary school).
After the passing of the bill in Parliament in November 2005, all incoming and outgoing passengers to and from Vanuatu will be legally obligated to declare to the Department of Customs cash exceeding one million Vatu
in possession (approximately $9,100).