Tuati and Iro have left us, back to Tahiti and a new school term...

....after a fun few weeks we're all missing them, particularly Matotea, who enjoys having her fan club in tow! We're hoping they'll be back for the easter holidays.......

The 'Tere' is also finished and so the celebrations are officially over......except that the grandparents arrive tomorrow, so maybe there will be some unofficial celebrating.....we do still have a couple of bottles of bubbly stashed away from our New Year extravaganza, thank goodness!


the Tere

Today we took part in the second island tour of the 'Tere' our special Rurutu New Years celebrations, it was Matotea's first 'Tere'. This one was arranged by our principle village Moerai.

It was stinking hot and we spent a lot of the day in the car in self-imposed traffic jams (it's a novelty here!!!) processing around the island with a good part (I'm guessing near half) of the island's population......

with stops at important historical sites to recite the history of the island and a stop at each major village for our traditional stone-lifting sessions and refreshments......

Tonight there's a big shindig in Moerai, complete with dance-show and lots of Hinano (Tahitian beer).......we're opting for a quiet night in, instead!


The long Holidays

Christmas and New Year have disappeared in a haze of children and food! On the 23rd we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary with New Zealand oysters, Cajun shrimp and a sunset to die for. With more than a few moments contemplating all that's happened over the last few years - I think I'm still trying to digest a lot of it! Then it was Christmas which saw us hosting the cousins for our usual BBQ, steak and brochettes (heart kebabs, that the kids just love) with 'Russian salad' (potato salad with beetroot and corn, another Tahitian staple) and pure indulgence with 3 kilos of green-lip mussels......in white wine and garlic, of course.
Boxing day Viriamu's boys arrived.......
On the 28th Tania, Viriamu's good friend and owner of Pension Kanahau in Hiva Oa, showed up somewhat unexpected and transformed our plans for a quiet New Year, as did the last minute booking for a family of six, who have been with us over the New Year up until today! Viriamu and Tania were at the 'Foire de Marseilles' last year, along with a group of other guest-house owners, from across French Polynesia. She's really quite a colorful character, arriving in flamboyant style with a tonne of smoked salmon, foie gras and duck breasts! Her friend Stephane also arrived a few days later loaded with champers and wine!!!! So our celebrations took on a rather up-scale French theme! It was a bit of a shame that a large storm hit around 6pm on the 31st and stayed with us until well into the afternoon of the 1st....so we had to wait for our New Year fireworks. But it was still lots of fun, and we certainly ate A LOT..... On New Years Day we had a traditional Tahitian oven, a welcome contrast to all of the rich European fare.

Now it's the 5th and the New Year celebrations here in Rurutu have not yet finished, we are in the midst of our traditional 'Tere' festivities, a series of three island tours, hosted by each main village in Rurutu. This holiday lasts 'til the end of the week, we also have the Epiphany and the 'Galettes des Roixs' somewhere in the middle. Today is Iro's birthday so there will be more cake and BBQ food again today......but then at the end of the week it really will be finished!