The long holidays!

It seemed like they were going to yawn out in front of us forever, back in July, but in the end the long holidays were over in a flash, a colorful and fun flash.
There were the sights and sounds of the heiva. Amaiterai "oohed and aahed" over the fireworks, won more plastic toys at the the "duck pond" than we could every really need or want.

Matotea our Rurutu allstar, danced and weaved and declamed her way through it all, winning the competition for the best market bag and making headlines, presenting orero (Polynesian orator) and dancing with the dance school's group!

Heimana turned eight, another year, another cake!
Viriamu's horse cruised home easily in first place at the heiva race.

The kids enjoyed new friends, hiking, baking cupcakes and making sand mermaid tails on our favourite beach. And then it was over....
Mato started highschool and Heimana and Amai went up a class.

Now we're staring down another busy week of school holidays, the infamous week in September. It's always chock-a-block here in Rurutu, being school holidays and whale season. This year the season is a bumper one, so at least the guests will be happy, the pressure for there to be whales is fairly intense, though at the moment there are some twenty or more whales around the island on a daily basis. Which is a lot, for our tiny island!


Winter break

I've been neglecting the blog recently - let's call it a winter break. A combination of the cold weather laying us low with coughs and flu over the past couple of weeks, general busyness and the new garden sucking my spare time.
The girls have been preparing the school 'mini-heiva', here they are in costume with little bro' who just wanted to be in on the action too. Now with the long 'winter' holidays looming, the girls are rehearsing for the dance school performance.

It was also school photo time, so here they are, the changing faces....Matotea's last photo, next year it's high school.
Mother's day also passed, the girls wrote me both gushing poems, and I got lots of hugs so I felt truly pampered! In turn they got to go to the Mother's day bash with their aunties - Matotea won a fabulous hat.....which she promptly sold - she's trying to raise funds for the heiva! The girls are also being apprenticed in weaving by their tattie Dorianne, with an eye to selling their creations at the heiva's arts center, Matotea is even considering participating in the weaving competitions, for the prizes - an entrepreneurial spirit that I find admirable! Even if it is just to use to buy popcorn at the heiva.

In the garden, we have moved from pig tilling to brute force, the men put up a fence and dug out some paths, turning the beds. I've followed up filling the paths with gravel and starting to plant out some veggies and mulch. It's become a slightly obsessive thing, I can't believe how excited I am about it, it's silly really. Just hope we actually get some harvest, I have already got some string beans and christophene climbing up the chicken wire, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines in, with borders of greens and lettuce inter planted with onions, garlic and scallions, and a host of other seeds to plant.

I will try and be more diligent with the blog, and there'll be plenty of news to report with the upcoming heiva festivities...







May holidays

The kids were home last week, so to keep busy went for a short hike to a nearby cave...
...Rurutu is riddled with them. Great places to search for hidden treasure.
A legacy of its geological history, the island was secondarily uplifted, so the established coral reef was lifted dry out of the ocean, forming coral cliffs, that over time have been eroded to form a host of caves, some with beautiful formations, like this one.



Full moon gardening

I'm getting interested in the garden again. Here in Tahiti different moon phases have been traditionally used for planting, harvesting and fishing. Back in Europe also, agricultural practices followed the moon, supposedly linked with the effects caused by the varying gravitational pull (affecting the availability of water) and the amount of moonlight. It sounds interesting, worth a try (anything that can improve my mediocre gardening is worth a shot!). May's full moon was on the 10th.
It was also Vesak or Buddha full moon. A festival that celebrates the life of buddha. It seemed like an appropriate moment to initiate the first stage of my new mandala garden project (this is a permaculture concept, a round garden with keyhole paths that form a 'mandala' , an aesthetically pleasing and practical way of growing veggies)

Hopefully it'll inspire us to eat more fresh produce....
The first step is to get one of our pigs to thoroughly dig and fertilize the garden for us, then we'll definitely need to put a fence in, what with the chooks, piglets and especially our puppy, Maui (named after the Tahitian demi-god, and who has wreaked havoc on the salad seedlings I dutifully planted out after the full moon, in a beautiful layered mulched bed, dug and filled by my own fair hands).... I'll get some more seeds started once the moon is right again!