Meet The Natives USA

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 8 November, 7.30pm

The five ambassadors are staying with the final family on their journey, Staff Sergeant Steve and Sergeant Tara, on the huge army base of Fort Stewart, in Georgia. They are hoping to learn more about the American soldier known on Tanna as ‘Tom Navy’, who stopped the infighting on their island, and complete their mission of returning his message and ensuring his words of peace are alive in America today. They experience different aspects of life on the military base: from the scary warfare simulator to the happy welcoming of troops back from Iraq. They gradually find out more about Tom Navy, learning about the dog tags he left them in the museum, and meeting a contemporary of Tom’s on base. On their last evening they encourage the soldiers to dance, but they have learnt that it is the big Chiefs elsewhere that actually send these men to war. To take Tom’s message to these Chiefs they go to Washington DC. They visit the Capitol Building and the National Mall, finding Tom’s message of peace written on the walls of the Second World War Memorial. Then they receive a letter from General Colin Powell, inviting them to his office. At the meeting with Powell they receive his reassurances that he will enforce Tom’s message of peace, and that Tom’s spirit lives in Barack Obama. Jubilant at having completed their mission, they return to Tanna and, after a spectacular welcome, report back to the Supreme Chief. The series closes with the community watching what their ambassadors discovered in America on a big screen under the banyan trees, while the five offer their final thoughts on their epic adventure.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 25 October, 7.30pm

The five Tanna ambassadors travel to meet the people of “Middle America” to experience how average Americans live. A visit to the pet store reveals a number of odd pets kept by Americans, and the men find it even more bizarre to see clothing for dogs. On the Thanksgiving holiday, they join their hosts in all the seasonal rituals: everything from cooking the “big chicken” and watching football on TV to waving to a traditional procession called the Santa parade and helping to build a plastic tree inside the house. They visit a school where Jen, the mother, works with special needs children. Their final evening is spent amid the excitement of a basketball game before a tearful goodbye with their host family.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Sunday 11 October, 7.30pm

After five flights and a journey across the Pacific Ocean, the five men from Tanna reach their destination: Montana. Spending the week with a cattle ranching family, they are overwhelmed by their home, which comes complete with an elk head displayed on the wall. The men join in everything from cooking pancakes for breakfast and hunting deer to branding some of the cowboy family’s 5,000 cattle. Donning cowboy shirts and hats, Kuai and Namus show off their riding skills and impress the old time cowboys during the cattle roundup. After a few days, they feel great love for these Americans, who are deeply touched by their visitors, but the Tanna men realise that unlike back home, farming here is driven by something else: money.