Soursop season brings Christmas cheer

My goodness, it's hard to believe that a whole month has gone by, and no blogging, and it's not for want of news, call it pregnant lady lethargy!
Firstly the Pleaiades are up and the fruits are here with us. Quelle plaisir! We have mangoes, soursops and pineapples a-plenty, the tahitian goosberries and lychees have been and are almost gone again.


So it's time to get busy jam-making and feasting on the bounty. I made a great lychee coconut milk sorbet, served up with fresh mango, a real gourmet treat. We're also gorging ourselves on the humble soursop. It turns out that it contains active ingredients that are supposedly more effective than chemo at targeting and killing cancer cells, but without the unpleasant side-effects, it tastes good and is freely available here in our backyard. Not sure I need more excuses than that to overindulge!
Other exciting and news-worthy events on the social calendar include a tourism day - complete with dancing in the caves, historical re-enactments and a huge tahitian feast, the official opening of our new marketplace complete with a visit from the high commissioner (I was entertaining the charter jet's pilots, so I missed the excitement as usual!), the inauguration of the renovated Church in Moerai (with several hundred participants, several delegations arriving on charter flights) 
as well as the much anticipated arrival of the NEW Tuhaa Pae, the cargo boat, the new model that we've all be awaiting for the last 6 years or so, is sadly too big to fit in the harbour entrance, so it has to sit outside in the bay - unloading took over 48 h with containers being lowered onto a barge and shuttled to and fro - new but not so improved....
.....they weren't able to carry enough fuel this first trip, so we're back to fuel shortages and the shops are looking surprisingly bare for the week before Christmas!
School's out again (already?) and the girls are at home, but not after a school visit by Papa Noera himself.....he biked into school looking strangely lithe and tanned, sporting a pair of shades and a remarkable pot-belly!

The kids were all going wild with excitement, it was truly fun, if a little surreal, Christmas time here often strikes me that way. Matotea recited a poem for us and there were rounds and rounds of a tahitian version of Jingle Bells......an extraordinary experience indeed, not too much like our nine lessons and carols services!
Now it's wedding time, exactly 6 years on from our own wedding and our neighbors and family are launching their big Rurutu wedding, it kicked off this morning with the anticipated glamour, the first family showed up with heaps of gifts (gift-wrapped plasticware) boxes of frozen chicken thighs, a huge hog and the requisite bunches of taro and bananas, it really is something to see, and honestly less nerve-wracking from the spectators seat.
Here the five couples (dressed in a rather glitzy red and white number) are being paraded around wrapped in fabric and tifaifai, by the visiting family and co-ordinating parties! Matotea has decamped to meme's house to be closer to the action and of course hang out with the cousins.