Princess Feet!

Matotea (after a week of working on me) has finally got me to buy her the shoes she's been dreaming of! I'm not sure I approve, but it is very Fairy Princess....


Our new hobby

 We've both been playing around with various arts and crafts since we've been back in Rurutu. Viriamu made some penu (taro pounders) out of limestone for the salon de tourisme in february and more recently he's been focusing on woodwork.
 For this year's heiva we made some umete (bowls) in miro (tahitian rosewood) and purau (wild hibiscus) with carved motifs, inspired by traditional Rurutu and more generally polynesian designs. Viriamu shaped the bowls and I did the carving - I'm by no means an expert, but I have been enjoying it a lot and am getting better.....
We sent five bowls along to the heiva, and have already sold three. I think we may have hit on something .....I've always fancied myself as a sculptor, so maybe we've both found our callings.....


Father-Son Horse Races

Father and son wait for the start of the final horse race
As usual on july 14th, aside from celebrating liberté, egalité and fraternité, we also celebrate the horse races in Avera. Last year Viriamu missed the birth of his daughter to race, this year it was the first time that Tuati has been allowed to race, as well as Viriamu's would-be champion horse 'Oviri'. The last few days have been pretty tense, there has long been rivalry between Viriamu and his little brother Mani, the reigning champion, but the tension was palpable yesterday. To cut a long story short, Viriamu got fifth and Tuati got third in the final, but Tuati gave Mani (the winner for a 7th time in a row) a good scare, he overtook him and was ahead for part of the race, but Tuati took the wrong line on the final stretch and was overtaken at the last moment......next year, next year! Tuati still dreams of gold!
The final stretch, so close but so far! Tuati (far left), Mani (far right). 
Tuati did a great job in his first race, he's just a slip of a thirteen year old lad!

The cake cutting

More pictures of Heimana's first birthday (for those who didn't get enough shots of the birthday girl), as always first birthday parties are more about the sibs than the baby, like Matotea she didn't really know what was going on, though it was quite amusing to watch the other kids running around in raptures, and chocolate cake is always welcome!


Kids 'n' balloons

A timeless combination....... a first few pictures of Heimana's birthday celebrations.......


Totally Eclipsed!

This morning in Rurutu there was a 95% eclipse, all at the same time as the football world cup final....spooky coincidence......or not. Sadly it was cloudy and the sun was hidden behind the hill to our east. But we still dutifully put on our eclipse specs and squinted at the sky, in between watching Holland being eclipsed by Spain. Supposedly it was something to see in Tahiti, with a 98.8% eclipse. Oh well, we'll put our eclipse specs away for next time!


Lost in transit

Living out here has so many charms, but also it's fair share of hassles too. Post is one of them, our postmistress is lovely and friendly and has a large shiny air-conditioned post office to sit in all day, however the post system itself is a big old mystery.....mail just takes forever to get anywhere, outgoing or more particularly incoming, where it goes I'm not sure. Though Heimana's birthday parcel which has taken over six weeks to get to us from the UK, may provide some kind of clue.......
 .......maybe all our mail goes via the Falklands (well it begins with an 'F' just like French Polynesia, so why not!!!!).....