December backblog

It was the run-up to Christmas, and school holidays and our first december horse-race, organized by our association. The girls were practicing for the school concert.
Heimana, a blossoming star, even seems to be enjoying herself on stage!
Matotea concentrates before the performance
Matotea got a quick trip to Tahiti (and mum went along too and got to visit tattie Tracey, yippee!) for a medical check-up, but also had time to take-in the Christmas village and lights at Papeete's townhall!
Viriamu was busy putting the finishing touches on his first horse-cart, it was quite a hit with the kids on the day of the race, though sadly heavy rain made the whole thing a bit of a washout - but even so the race went ahead as planned.
In true form, Viriamu's horse won the heat (below), but hurt it's leg and wasn't able to run in the final - so Viriamu continues to seek his elusive race win!


November backblog

November ended up ticking over quite nicely on the guest front. It also heralded an important decision for the Austral Islands, there has been an official commitment to create a Marine Protected Area across the Austral Islands, an initiative put forward by the Pew Charitable Trust, who are looking to preserve the world's oceans and more specifically save the world's fisheries......http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/projects/global-ocean-legacy-french-polynesia
 Here in Rurutu we await to see how this project will help us, but I feel it can only be beneficial in creating an awareness of the fragility of our ecosystem and educating us all on the need to protect and preserve our environment for the future.


October backblog

 October kept us busy with guests, the island and our tourism committee welcomed the cruise ship Silver Explorer, Matotea turned eight and we harvested some more bees and deliciously fragrant wild honeycomb, our previous colonies hadn't quite survived the wet winter, fingers-crossed for this lot.


September backblog

The whales and the salon du tourisme kept us busy with guests all month long.


August backblog

In August our friends Mandy and Bank were visiting from Bangkok, to give us a crash course in Permaculture and Thai cuisine, now we have a banana compost circle, herb spiral and the best green papaya salad on Rurutu! Amaiterai found it all exhausting!


July backblog

The opening parade of the heiva on horseback
A traditional ti oven - the root of this common local plant is cooked in an earth oven, slowly over several days, to produce a sugar-substitute, which was used as a food source on Polynesian voyaging canoes.
Back in Rurutu and back at work in time for the heiva! Heimana turned five in her mermaid costume, though Amai stole the show in her wig......


June backblog

In june, we were in Wales for grandpa's 80th (and grandma's upcoming 70th) birthday celebrations, even more exciting new discoveries to be made......


May backblog

After our magic send off in Rurutu we headed half-way around the world to visit granny and grandpa, via California and a whole world of new experiences.....


So what happened in 2014?

This is a good question! Already four months have passed by and we're into the fifth with not a word on the blog! If I had a penny for every time I sat down with good intentions, I'd be a rich woman!
The truth of the matter is that Amaiterai is what's happened - now he's up and about, and I mean REALLY up and about.
I can't take my eyes off him for more than a few seconds, before he's halfway down the garden on the way to the beach, or running up to the horses!
But at long last here's a quick summary of life here in Rurutu:

January saw us welcoming in the Chinese New Year at the salon du tourisme in Tahiti. It is now the year of the horse - very apt given the activities of our horse-riding association. Since our first meeting we've had two food sales, a horse-back TERE and a 'horse day' event, lots of fun and hard work. Now we're working up to the horse-race in july and setting our sights on some further goals to reach - a fenced paddock for use by members, a training course for equestrian guides and maybe even a trip to see how they do it in Rapa Nui (in the next couple of years).

In february Amaiterai (aka le chef) celebrated his 1st birthday....
 ....he couldn't quite make out what all the fuss was about....
 ...but the cake wasn't bad....

March saw us busy, busy, busy with more guests than we knew what do do with - a remarkable situation at this time of year, not that I'm complaining, far from it I'm counting my blessings. A much needed injection of funds,  with the run up to our much anticipated family holiday in the US and UK. Among our guests a beekeeping instructor so now.......

We've got bees......yes, I'm so excited, it's been a vague dream of mine for a while to keep bees, tying in with my permaculture notions and particularly because we can no longer buy imported honey here, meaning there's no more honey for our tea! The course was a very rapid introduction to the rudiments of bee-keeping and wild nest collecting, but here we are now with two little hives out back on the marae..... I'm feeling particularly smug because we already have a new queen in one of the hives (OK not my doing, but I'm still feeling pretty pleased about it!). Time will tell if we manage to get a crop of honey anytime soon.....

April brought in my birthday, and still a steady stream of guests. For the first time, I had a couple of beautiful birthday drawings, a birthday story written by Matotea (the tragic story about a mother who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl called Matotea, who was tragically displaced from the center of attention when her mother had another little girl and boy! I wonder does life imitate art here?) a half-eaten birthday eclair and a belated bunch of tropical flowers, from you know who!


Back in May.....

This seems like a while ago now, but back in early May, as holiday fever was reaching an all time high amongst the girls, we also had a magician come to visit! It was too much for poor Heimana, who, in her excitement to get the magician to do MORE tricks for her, went skidding across the living room floor and didn't stop going, forehead first into our glass-topped coffee table - OUCH! Three stitches, a great way to start our big family holiday adventure. The magician was a BIG hit, as were the balloon animals and face-painting that came with him......


.......and then it was 2014!

Happy New Year from Rurutu! 
Ia ora na i te matahiti api 2014! 
Hold on, my last post was for halloween, and somehow we're already well into the first week of january 2014! How did that happen?
We've completely skipped Amaiterai's 10 months (out longer than he was in!), his first six teeth and going from no legs,
to four legs,
to upright, with even a few first faltering steps unaided 
We've missed the girls school Christmas celebrations.
And the grandparents, who returned to us for an odd sort of festive season filled with unexpected visitors and a good dose of island epidemic diseases. Amaiterai's first Christmas and the girls' new bikes. 
A good few afternoons at the beach.
 The creation of our new equestrian association on Rurutu, and a new arrival to our equine family