State of emergency in Vitaria!

On friday, as the east coast of the states braced itself for the arrival of hurricane Irene, the humdrum, sleepy existence of our small district, Vitaria, was also thrown into turmoil, when strong swells brought 8m waves crashing directly at our driveway! It started in the evening, we'd just finished clearing up the evening meal when the sound of the surf started to really amp up, by 8:30 pm the waves had started coming up over the beach and onto the road outside our driveway.....
Viriamu surveys the surf as it breaks at the top of our beach
Fortunately it didn't come much further than our front gate. Nevertheless we were the focus of attention for the emergency services on the island. We had the police, the mayor of Avera, the fire service, the public works people and municipal police all gathered outside our front door at some point during the night, not to mention a municipal minibus, in the event that our guests needed to be evacuated!!!! Fortunately we avoided catastrophe......
The waves drenched the road bringing with them a whole pile of ironwood tree needles
Remarkably our guests slept on, oblivious of the whole situation, but I definitely feel reassured that we're in good hands here! The island has clearly been working on their emergency action plan, maybe since our brush with cyclone Oli last year. By 6:30am on saturday morning the swell had died down a fair bit.
The road was closed off with diggers and workmen out front cleaning up the mess, which strangely seemed to be entirely isolated to a 20m stretch out front of our place (Hmmmmn, we're starting to wonder whether it might not be something we did!).
Fortunately, we have a barrier of ironwood trees planted along the beachfront facing our house, they clearly saved our garden from a good dousing in saltwater..........
The ironwood trees along our beach, with exposed roots thanks to the waves
Our beach is now very clean and very smooth! Good thing we managed to salvage the hammock! What can you say, island life is often quiet, but never dull!


Back to school!

The new school year here kicked off on monday. Matotea's now in Monsieur Vaitea's class, where they are busy learning letters and making painted butterflies. Meme, newly back from her first holiday
to the mainland US, gave her a brand new outfit, backpack (complete with magic wand!) and a nice hairdo for her first day back......Matotea was delighted!


puppy's progress

It's already mid-august. I didn't even manage a birthday post for granny on the 15th, though we were all thinking about her and Matotea did offer to eat some cake on her behalf! The school holidays are drawing to a close, and we have a slight respite for a week or so, before the guesthouse gets busy again. The whales were here, but have mysteriously disappeared for a few days - hmmmn, I wonder if it could possibly be linked to the fact that they've been dynamiting the cliffs on the east coast.......the timing coincides.......I just hope they come back! The cold season continues, though we have been pretty lucky with the weather this year, it's been super dry, which unfortunately means that a lot of my cuttings in the garden are suffering! The honeysuckle's pretty much dead and the fig is only just hanging on in there......
However, our two puppies are growing, almost visibly, and are now up to all kinds of mischief, mostly cutting their teeth on people's feel, much to Heimana's upset. Like many tropical doggies they are rather laden with parasites, particularly as we have no vet here, Hina has contracted some kind of mange and the puppies are suffering too; not to mention their flea-load, which is just incredible, we're trying to keep it under control, treating them with some of my homemade anti-flea essential oils dog shampoo and some good old tamanu oil.......but Hina is a bit of a wanderer and the fleas seem to keep appearing as quickly as we get rid of them!


Tahiti's Elvis impersonator

Just FYI, even here in Tahiti we know how to pay hommage to 'the King', you might not be aware of this, but, we have our very own Polynesian elvis impersonator, Rocky Gobrait. We might be lost in the
middle of the Pacific, but there's still rock 'n' roll in our soul! Here he is performing with his lovely lady wife, his BlueHawaiian dancing girl, ahuh!