Our little porkers

One of Viriamu's sows has just had her first litter. He is very proud, he had one of his friends lend him a boar for the occasion, his friend's pig is much admired for its long body, and the piglets, apparently resemble dad. I'm no pig-breeder but they are very cute!
It always makes me giggle to think about our pigs. At secondary school we were made to take a career aptitude test, I remember being a bit put out to find that pig-farming came in high on my suggestions list (along with fish farmer too as I seem to remember), I think it was my love of the outdoors and aspirations to become a vet or scientist. Anyway, it turns out it's not so far from the truth after all!


More March Madness: Horse racing

While Viriamu was off sailing the Australs, we were left on land, to manage our annual horserace, without our president.
We did just fine, Viriamu's brother romped home easily on our champion horse, without much serious competition. We duly cooked and sold our three hundred portions of chicken and chips!
We even sold a bunch of t-shirts and made it onto the Sunday evening news! A successful day, the crowds were there, but it was all a bit too predictable...
Since the race, several new horses have arrived by boat, one from Tahiti, a race-horse that has competed at the hippodrome in Pirae, and another from Tubuai. So maybe July's race will be a bit more exciting, the bets are already on! 

(Thanks to Dorianne and Ilona for the photos)


Second round here we come...

It's been a rollercoaster ride of a French presidential election campaign, the results of the first round came in this morning!
France voted Macron and LePen into the second round in May.

However, here in French Polynesia, we voted Fillon (supported by our president Edouard Fritch, above right), followed by LePen (supported by his estranged father-in-law Gaston Flosse, above left). Never mind the serious fraud charges Fillon and his wife Penelope face!
Here in Rurutu, it wasn't even a vote for a political party, but a vote with or against M. le Maire Fréderic Riveta. Fillon or Riveta won, with LePen (the mayor's rivals and supporters of Flosse, the most condemned politician in French history!) trailing in second place...

As for the socialists, they didn't register. The local socialist, pro-independence party, had supported the ex-Polynesian president Oscar Temaru as a candidate, but he didn't make the list, so, he advised his supporters to abstain, in Faa'a, Oscar Temaru's home constituency, 74% of the voters stayed at home (61% overall!).

Hard to believe if it wasn't true....


Revisiting March Madness: Matotea's Adventure in Tubuai

More than a month ago now, Matotea left on a jet-plane, all set for a great big adventure in Tubuai, with a group of Rurutu  primary school pupils.
They spent a week at school in Tubuai, celebrating a travelling version of Tahiti's book festival...
...learning about bee-keeping...

...welcoming her dad on the Fa'afaite...
...and last, but not least, competing in the Austral Islands orero competition final.
Here are a few pictures of the children and their amazing costumes....
She enjoyed meeting students from across the Australs...
 ...from Raivavae...
...and even two children from Rapa (a two month absence from home for them, as the boat only visits Rapa once a month!), and of course from Tubuai as well (visiting her aunt, uncle and cousins there, as well as meme who made a flying visit).

Matotea was thrilled by the book fair, she bought signed copies of several books by local authors, including Simone Grande (left), she also saw the published collection of Austral Islands school stories, which included her detective story.
As part of the celebrations there was also a real live, singing and dancing Maui and Vaiana (Moana), as well as Vaiana's canoe and cute papier mâché versions of  the cast, including Pua, Heihei and Tamatoa!


Easter fun

We celebrated Easter this year, with our horse association friends and a couple of roast lamb legs, served with roasted taro, homemade mint sauce and guava jelly. I was impressed with my efforts!
We also enjoyed several Easter egg hunts, thanks to Dorianne, my sister-in-law who’s in Tahiti at the moment and was able to send the chocolate eggs (and the lamb joints also) by air ! Here in Rurutu there was hardly even a bar of chocolate to be found in the stores, let alone Easter eggs ! I am rather proud of the girls, last year I went mad making Easter baskets and origami bunnies – this year it was Matotea who got googling an oversaw the homemade basket making ! She is getting to be a talented craftswoman, not surprising with artsy grandmothers on both sides. The girls and my mother-in-law starred in a documentary about Dorianne and Rurutu weaving, filmed back in February. It’s in French, but the images are beautiful…and Matotea is on horseback with her dad (link).


Changing seasons

It’s already moving on for mid-April, and while the days are still hot and humid, there is a definite coolness to the evenings. It’s a welcome relief after this extra hot season, and we're not the only ones suffering !

For a few months now, we’ve been seeing increasing number of ominous ‘white spots’ appearing on the reef, I’d never seen anything like that  here in Rurutu before. Coral bleaching is a global issue, and the Great Barrier reef in Australia and parts of Tahiti and Moorea are known to be suffering, but it’s a first for us. I was particularly struck by how fast it all happened and how many bleached corals there are now. Only time will tell how many are actually dead and how many will recover. It’s quite likely to be linked to a rise in local sea-level temperatures,  and exacerbated by pollution. Every time it rains here in Rurutu the ocean turns reddish-brown with sediment washing down from the interior... even here, lost in the middle of the Pacific, we can't ignore human impacts on our environnement for very much longer...  

It’s also time for me to face the changing seasons of my life, I am now officially in my forties, we celebrated with pizza and a mousse cake, life ain’t so bad !
Looking on the bright side, the advantage of this hot rainy season, lots of sunshine and showers = beautiful rainbows!