May holidays

The kids were home last week, so to keep busy went for a short hike to a nearby cave...
...Rurutu is riddled with them. Great places to search for hidden treasure.
A legacy of its geological history, the island was secondarily uplifted, so the established coral reef was lifted dry out of the ocean, forming coral cliffs, that over time have been eroded to form a host of caves, some with beautiful formations, like this one.



Full moon gardening

I'm getting interested in the garden again. Here in Tahiti different moon phases have been traditionally used for planting, harvesting and fishing. Back in Europe also, agricultural practices followed the moon, supposedly linked with the effects caused by the varying gravitational pull (affecting the availability of water) and the amount of moonlight. It sounds interesting, worth a try (anything that can improve my mediocre gardening is worth a shot!). May's full moon was on the 10th.
It was also Vesak or Buddha full moon. A festival that celebrates the life of buddha. It seemed like an appropriate moment to initiate the first stage of my new mandala garden project (this is a permaculture concept, a round garden with keyhole paths that form a 'mandala' , an aesthetically pleasing and practical way of growing veggies)

Hopefully it'll inspire us to eat more fresh produce....
The first step is to get one of our pigs to thoroughly dig and fertilize the garden for us, then we'll definitely need to put a fence in, what with the chooks, piglets and especially our puppy, Maui (named after the Tahitian demi-god, and who has wreaked havoc on the salad seedlings I dutifully planted out after the full moon, in a beautiful layered mulched bed, dug and filled by my own fair hands).... I'll get some more seeds started once the moon is right again! 


VE Day

May 8th was yet another May bank holiday (there are 3 different holiday weekends and a week of school holidays here in May), this one marks the end of the second world war in Europe, VE day. In 2017, it also marked a victory for Europe, with the election of Emmanuel Macron as French President the day before.


The reason behind it all!

The Hokulea, the Hawaiian voyaging canoe first launched in 1975, arrived in Tahiti, at Point Venus in Mahina, on April 14th, (the same place that Cook first weighed anchor, as well as the first missionaries). On its way back home to Hawaii after an almost three year long circumnavigation of the globe, along with its sister canoe Hikianalia. Just recently they have been visiting the marae Taputapuatea in Raiatea, an exceptional sacred complex, which is currently under consideration as a UNESCO heritage site, and is considered to be an epicenter for Polynesian colonisations and traditional voyaging.
Along with the Fa'afaite, these modern day voyaging canoes represent a new and exciting era of cultural renewal in Polynesia, it is a truly emotional experience to see them under sail.
I'm sorry not to have been in Mahina to greet them, but the images we have seen are quite beautiful. The Hokulea's website is great with pictures and stories from Mahina and across the globe here.

The reason behind this world tour, beyond an impressive feat of traditional navigation, is to share a message of ocean stewardship, protect the oceans for future generations. Large marine reserves, such as the Papahānaumokuākea reserve  in northwestern Hawaii (one of the largest marine reserves in the world) or our Rahui Nui no Tuhaa Pae, here in the Australs have an important role to play.