Saturday, September 14, 2013

Monday Day 12 Fakarava Tuesday Sea Day 13

Got myself in an awkward place a few times trying to pronounce this Island, try saying it, for that matter try saying it 3 times in a row--it's a challenge.
I woke up, said my little prayer for the day, no scriptures, I ate very little breakfast, not feeling too well today.  The Island is really flat, not any mountains, we took the tender to the Island and were met with singing Polynesian music by 4 women. Dressed in traditional Tahitian clothing and so happy, I tried to give them a tip, and graciously they refused, how many times does that happen? I still insisted and got a kiss on each cheek, well worth the money.
Jesus, Antonio and Eric were off to find either a boat to take us out snorkeling, or a car to drive around the Island.  NOTHING--Jesus and Antonio came back to tell us there was nothing available, I said "where is Eric?" they looked around and, well I guess the only way I can explain Eric is he is a salesman and does not take NO for an answer....he went door to door literally, he found a young girl said something to her in French and off she was on her bike.  I walked out to the beach to take a look and some pictures, soon the girl came back and Eric said "let's go"  He found Fernando--a young man who was willing to take us all in his truck on a trip around Fakarava.  As a new set of people arrived off the tender to the Island, a husband and wife asked if they could go with us, and they were willing to sit in the back of the truck, Fernando said "WeeWee" and off we went.  Fernando comes from a family of 17 children, he is number 10.  Born and raised on this Island, I wondered if he ever thought about leaving or exploring other places in the world.
This Island has been protected and preserved, not much has probably changed here from the beginning of time. This Island is literally  filled with unexplored beaches and villages.  The pink beaches, shaded by coconut trees and crystal clear waters.  Fernando took us and showed us where he lives and helps with his grandmother, then we went to one of his uncles land and fernando picked green coconuts for each of us, chopped them at the top and gave us a taste of the sweetest coconut milk I've ever had--I don't like the mushy insides of the green coconuts so I went and picked a brown one, shook it up to see if it had any juice in it, he chopped it up and we ate the meat from this coconut--I love the raw, natural taste of organic coconut--I actually ate the whole thing--no sharing.
While we were exploring the ocean waters, just a few feet from me was a shark--ummm---I was running out of that water faster than I ever did in any race I've ever done, it totally freaked me out.  Fernando laughed, I looked over at him and he was making everyone hats out of palm leaves--it was so sweet.  Then he surprised us by putting his hands down these holes in the sand where crabs were living, after several holes were dug into viola' he pulled out a crab, crustaceans are just one of the things the people from Fakarava are proud of.  In the village of Tetamanu stands the oldest Catholic church in Polynesia.  This is also an amazing place for divers, drift diving is very popular here, the coral colors were beautiful.  This Island only has a population of under 1000 people, I told Fernando "no wonder you can't find a wife, you may end up marrying a cousin"  Eric had to translate it in French, I was glad he laughed, I wasn't sure how he would take it.
He drove us to places and showed us amazing scenery that I know for a fact no one else on that ship got to see--although this was a short day and we had to be back on the ship by 5 it was really fun.

The Fakarava School Bus

flat land coconut trees everywhere

She chopped open a coconut and we drank

white sand beaches, full of seashells, and beautiful coral

driveway to the beach

Thinking of Vi

These rocks were stacked all along the beach

put a rock on top for goof luck--mine is on the top

how'd you like this to be your backyard view?

I'm actually in the water, and a shark is within a few feet

beautiful beach views

the crab Fernando dug up

The home Fernando shares with his Grandmother

can you see the shark?---I didn't realize it until it swam just behind me

what can I say?

Mr. CocoNUT

He thinks if he holds a machete and 3 coconuts I'm impressed.....

I just loved this abandoned little port

I loved this homemade picnic table they made on the beach for the kids

Fernando's truck and the guys in the back

Fernando showing off the crab and the hats he made for everyone

I could sit here, in this place all day under a coconut tree

Tuesday SEA DAY--more like SEASICK day for me by day 13, I was physically exhausted and really missing home, my children and grandchildren.  I stayed in my room a lot of this day, not feeling well, not because of being seasick, I had a migraine, and was fearing another mini stroke.  I looked out my window and saw a half rainbow--it reminded me of Haleigh and when she and I went to Hawaii just a week before I was diagnosed with cancer, and then the day I finished chemo, the most beautiful full rainbow appeared out of the window where I was sitting--Rainbows are always a sign to me that something good is coming--
What a beautiful sight
This evening I got ready for dinner with  our new friends Antonio and Maria, Jesus and Conchi & we were invited to sit at a special table with the cruise directors on the staff.  We wondered why they invited us and we soon found out, it was because they wondered "why and how, people from Spain, Canary Islands, and the United States could all communicate and have so much fun together?"  They also wondered if something was wrong with Eric,  both of the cruise directors spoke perfect English, Russian, Spanish and French, they asked me "what language does your husband speak?" when I asked them why they said "it sounds like he puts Spanish, French, English, and Filipino all together in sentences" I laughed and responded, "nothing is wrong with him, he speaks fluent English and French, knows a tiny bit of Spanish, and any Filipino he has learned has been on this ship from the workers, he just wants to speak all of them fluent so he throws a few words of each language in here and there. it drives me crazy"  They then understood Mr. Eric.  As far as the question they had about our instant friendship with Antonio Maria, Jesus and Conchi, I told them that normally I would stick to myself, for fear of offending someone when trying to speak with them and help them understand, but they all wanted to know English so badly, they would ask us about everything, soon we were able to communicate--not sure the translations all were exactly correct, but I really fell in love with all of them.  We are hoping to see Jesus and Conchi in New York in November.  After dinner tonight I went off to bed while Eric went with the rest of them to the top of the ship to see a spectacular view of the stars.
Jesus and Conchi Antonio and Maria Eric and I


Anonymous said...

Love the pictures i have never heard of this island but one i sure would like to visit looks beautiful remote and not crowded at all. What a great trip.