July closes

Tomorrow we welcome August onto the scene, so today we say goodbye to July with all its  cultural festivities. The heiva was stretched out for a full extra week and a half this year, with re-plays of the dance shows, in an attempt to ring up a bit of extra trade. The general feeling being that things were pretty quiet this year, and it's true there did seem to be less visitors (tourists and locals) around this year, which is sad because the dance shows were really very impressive this time, here are a few parting shots that Mato took of Moerai's dance performance......


Our hero takes a fall!

Bastille day, the 14th, always heralds the horse races here in Rurutu, as you already know this is the pinnacle of my horse-loving family's year. There were no tricolor fly-bys or injured parachutists (as in gay Paris), but there was excitement enough. Sadly, Tuati, our raining champion, let slip the title this year, coming in third, after a tumble in his first heat, and some debate about Oviri the wonder horses' form.
Even Mani, Viri's brother came in second, allowing the title to leave the family after 8 years consecutive wins!!!! It does seems like our poor horse has some hoof problems........ and oh well, fortunately no serious damage done (except to my men's pride), we'll just have to come back next year........


Princess for a day!

Heimana, my cheeky little monkey, turned three yesterday, and of course there were children balloons and a rather tasty passion fruit sponge!


Let the heiva commence.....

 Friday was the opening ceremony of our annual cultural festivities the 'Heiva i Rurutu', for the first time I was involved in the opening parade, as a member of the Tourist Committee. It was a fun little moment of island pride, with an odd jumble of participants - the local associations were out in force, the kid's football associations, the Pandanus weavers and the very noisy Moto-cross and quad bikers, the mayor's office workers (all in matching attire, above) and a drive-by of the new communal heavy machinery!
Then there were the three village's dance troupes with their decorated chariots.
There was the raising of the flags headed by the chief of police and an original version of the Marseillaise played on Tahitian drums, by Moerai's dance troupe, all kitted out in ti-leaf costumes. My girls, who'd never miss a party, came along,  dressed up to the nines in their new fairy and ballerina costumes - Matotea was nonplussed when she was not allowed to join me in the parade.

Tama, our friend and the local dentist from Tubuai, took some great photos of the girls as well as the opening of the craft tent, here my mother-in-law shows off her wares.
 In the evening there was the annual fireworks display,  Heimana slept through the whole thing last year, but this year she was completely enchanted.......


Breath of Warm Air!

On sunday I made a trip alone over to the Big Smoke of Tahiti, for an ear problem. It was a warmly welcomed break from life here in the freezer, in Rurutu. There must be 10deg difference in the daytime temperatures (in Rurutu we're in the 20s by day), it never ceases to amaze me how different the climate is! I also got to visit the labyrinthine new (yet somehow already shabby) hospital in Taaone, and spent a long while gazing bemusedly at the over-stocked aisles of Carrefour, the big french supermarket here. I did a fair bit of running around for various bits and pieces, as well as meeting old friends, like Tracey, the other Brit married to a Rurutu......
With friends like Tracey who needs a style consultant (these rather natty sunnies, modelled by us, are the perfect gift for the girls, they'll blend right in on the beach out in front of our home!). It was a nice change of air, but now I'm back in the icebox and it's HEIVA season.......