Too often... I would hear men boast of the miles
Covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.
|Boat ride from airport to motu|
|Our host and driver - Taururoa (Arthur)|
|Our bungalow - used to be the main house where Arthur and his wife Rose lived|
|They love patterns - colors - textures|
|Lock on the door... you have to love island life|
|Pass into lagoon - narrow and difficult|
|Same pass viewed from above|
We make a point of checking out the only passage into the lagoon. Seeing how Déjàlà could handle it. It is considered dangerous because it is narrow, shallow, and the current can be as strong as 10 knots. Our host has seen his share of boats not making it and landing on the reef. He has helped some, others were beyond help.
|Erosion - trees fallen along beach|
|Rose des Iles - our ride|
We spend an afternoon kayaking the turquoise waters and paddle with pastenagues (stingrays). In our sailing guides coral heads are called bommies, here they are called reef potatoes (les patates des récifs). We see several patates with various bright colors: purple, orange, blue, green, and yellow. Some are fish, some are clams, and some may be plants. The water is too choppy to take pictures, everything very fleeting nevertheless pretty.
|Finished product - all from plants - biodegradable|
|Food baskets that will go in the Tahitian oven|
|Women sitting at table in water preparing raw fish dish - Got to stay cool|
Handmade woven palm leave baskets lined with banana leaves or tinfoil are filled with po’e, banana bread, manioc, taro, clams, fish, pork, chicken fafa, etc. Surrounding these baskets are breadfruits. On the side table are poisson cru (raw fish), Napoleon fish fermented in salt water and garlic (fafaru), fermented coconut milk (mitihue), coconut water, etc.
|First add layer of small banana trees cut in half|
|Then add food baskets and uru (breadfruit)|
|Cover with sticks|
|Then banana leaves|
|Then more banana leaves, then hides - Notice steam is still rising through dozens of layers....|
Once food is laid out over the coals all is covered with multiple layers of banana leaves, a few hides, the always present blue tarp, then sand. It cooks until about noon.
|Mike's headgear stolen from Arthur - Some vine growing on trees|
|Marie-France's headgear - Took two hours to make|
Shell necklace and pareo
|Arthur with Marie-France's headgear|
We return to our pension to make our own crown of flowers to wear with our pareos. Our hostess, Béatrice, is having us choose shell necklaces and bracelets to wear with our ensembles. They used to belong to her mother, some as old as 50 years! It took me nearly 2 hours to create my floral headgear. I am more inclined to appreciate how much work, dexterity, creativity and talent is needed to make these.
|Tahitian deacon awaiting couple|
|Coming off boat|
|Welcoming the couple to wed|
|Wrapping hands together with sacred leaf|
|Pouring coconut water to seal the deal|
|Dancers take the stage|
|Always with a smile|
|Opening the Tahitian oven - yum|
|Coconut opening and coring contest|
|One splits coconuts with ax, other two core them|
|Showing new woman contestant how to pick up rock|
|Preparing to lift rock|
|Food is ready - basket of various root vegetables|
|One of the mamies (Grand-mother)|
After a walk on the beautiful beach to let lunch go down we join the kids and go swimming in the absolutely clear and warm lagoon facing our bungalow.So from our pension not even knowing we were coming that day to being invited to a wedding, things fell into place like normally happens when you let things flow.
Maruru (thank you).
|Going down after hike to top of Maupiti hill|
|House have tombs in their front yards|
|Waiting airport area (under tree shade)...|