Beneath a giant banyan tree that was lifeless and leafless three months ago, the community of Isaka on the island of Tanna dance below the lush new leaves in celebration of the renewed life around them.
It’s been three months since this remote community - in the south-east of Tanna near the infamous Mt Yasur volcano - was decimated by Cyclone Pam.
The grey volcanic ash which carpets the village was a slushy mud patch. The few crops that families managed to grow here in tough conditions were flooded by heavy rains, and the lightly thatched huts which communities live in were blown apart.
The village of Isaka was decimated. Children were left without safe homes to sleep in, access to food destroyed and for a village that relies on tourists from the nearby volcano for income, no way to earn money.
This week marks the last week of emergency food distributions on Tanna, as local root crops of manioc, taro, and cassava grow once more.
Joanne, 22, who has lived in Isaka her entire life, described how the whole community sheltered, like so many other villages, in a school.
“We fled our homes…we knew they weren’t safe and went to the school where we stayed for hours, when we could leave all of the houses were destroyed,” said Joanne.
Tarpaulins remain on some of the homes today as a shortage of natangora leaves - used to thatch homes and walls - is widespread since the cyclone.
It is a sign that even though leaves on trees might be re-growing, the recovery for the people of Vanuatu is far from over.
Despite the shortage of local building materials, there is much to celebrate though. This week marks the last week of emergency food distributions on Tanna, as local root crops of manioc, taro, and cassava grow once more.
“World Vision came to our village with food; rice, noodles and canned meat…without it we had nothing left to eat. We had some cassava but it got water damaged and was going rotten. But now our gardens are back again, we have vegetables to eat and some fruit too,” said Joanne.
And so the people of Isaka dance. In grass rainbow skirts made from pandanus, and sarongs, men, women and children stomp the ground, chant and clap.
Three months after Cyclone Pam there is more work to do but there is much to celebrate – the safety of their families and the signs of life growing around them.