A Big, BIG Day!

Everything just seems to be flowing at the moment! It's exciting and exhausting. Since the salon du tourisme in September we haven't stopped, the guesthouse goes from strength to strength, so we're busy renovating and actually re-doing the kitchen and office, before continuing on to build more and modify! While being busy with guests at the same time.
This year the whales were here and in good numbers, and are still with us now in mid October, so that's great for us and our guests! The September holidays brought friends for the kids, including a keen fisherman called Arthur, now Heimana is hooked too and dreams of having her own fishing rod someday!

The end of the month we said goodbye to Viriamu's grandmother, Ela, she was 94 and had been in poor health for sometime, so while it was sad to see her go, somewhere it was a blessing for her.
She's now buried up on the family plot overlooking Avera. On the day of her burial the heaven's opened in torrential rain, a fitting goodbye.

The week before I was on deadline for the Air Tahiti magazine, it gets the pulse racing in sleepy Rurutu, and takes me back to my college days, rushing to finish essays, it helps that the topics are fascinating. This new issue has articles about Polynesian languages - the Tuamotus have seven different languages! The ti plant, a plant that we use for making leis, dance costumes, wrapping food, medicine, also the roots are sometimes used to make a sugar substitute (there is a ti oven demonstration every year at heiva time, photo below).
Finally the issue's destination in the spotlight is Hiva Oa, the Marquesas, somewhere I plan to take the kids next year, for the Mini Festival that will be held in Tahuata (just a stone's throw or half-hour boat-ride away).

Last week I was taking part in an 'advanced' beekeeping course - I won't hide it our poor old bees are more than a bit neglected, though they seem to be doing ok on it, just not much honey to talk about yet! Now I'm feeling motivated to start seriously on a small beekeeping venture, though I do feel that it's for personal or guesthouse consumption only, so better leave room for the youngsters who could make a living from it.

This weekend was Matotea's tenth birthday, a big day for her (she's now a real pre-teener!).

She has managed to convince me to buy a rather large freestanding pool (what have I done!) - with a beach like this just out front, hard to believe that my kids' only wish is to have a swimming pool, but there you go, we're never satisfied!

It also marks ten years of motherhood for me, quite a milestone. It isn't always easy and I'm not always that talented at it, poor Mato is the experiment, I try not to be too hard on myself, I feel like it's going OK, even if sometimes more by luck than good judgement!!! Saturday was also the day the boat came in, a day we celebrate, if only just for the supplies it brings (the red wine and fuel stocks were running very low!). It was also the day chosen to celebrate 'Ocean Day' here in Rurutu, the marine reserve project is continuing to lobby supporters, despite certain vocal opposition here, in Tahiti and France, mostly supporters of our mayor and big business. Supposedly it's because they don't want the Americans (read the international NGO Pew Charitable Trusts here) telling us what to do - even though the reserve itself is to be created and managed by the territory (i.e. Pew's role is purely as a source of guidance and finance, having accompanied similar projects across the Pacific). There has been a short documentary released, featuring Viriamu, among many other Austral Islands faces. A teaser clip can be found on YouTube or Facebook if you search for Rahui Nui no Tuhaa Pae, it's in French, but the images are still beautiful and you can probably get the gist of it!

Oh yes, and today is someone else's birthday, here he is not celebrating with his three gorgeous kids, who are!!!!