Thursday, May 31, 2007

Good bye Raraka

Sunrise in Raraka.

We wrote a letter to the class that gave us the welcome, then I tried to translate it to Tahitian. I believe it was a miserable failure, but the teacher said thank you anyway. Because Trinda lusted after Donnie's tree with shells and pearls and Donnie eyed her necklace, Simon, her husband, made more! Now Trinda and Jeannie get both a tree and a mother of pearl necklace with black pearls. He also made Donnie and I men's necklaces from pearl shell.

Then, when we asked about the process, he cleaned and polished 2 more shells and gave them to us too! It was a simple process of grinding off the rough outer surface of the shell with an electric grinding wheel, then sanding it with a sanding wheel and polishing with rouge on a cloth wheel. Only took him 15 minutes each to do the shells.

We Asked them if they would like to see the boat. Madame, the teacher was reluctant, but came with Simon and their adopted daughter, Eugenia. They enjoyed seeing the boat I think. They stayed about an hour and had to get back. The doctor from Tahiti had just arrived for his once a month visit. She needed to help see him around.

We said our good byes and prepared to leave. It is with sad hearts we leave such a hospitable village!

This morning about 6:30, we started trying to pull up the anchor. It had wrapped around several coral heads. I finally had to use the scuba gear to go down in 40 feet of water and untangle it. We are on our way to Fakarava, where 2 of our friends are.

Oh, and no coconut crab. The brother of the chief was supposed to go get us one, but rumor was he worked hard the day before and probably would not show up with it. Maybe somewhere else ;(

Raraka is small, 12 families for a total of about 70 people. 1.5 hours by speed boat to the airstrip in Kauehi. 14 kids between 4 and 10 in school. They go to "collage" in either Makemo or Tahiti.

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