The Orange Festival in Tahiti

june29-DSC03550 (Custom) We invited our friends, the Maihi family to breakfast this morning. Our plan was to leave after breakfast but things changed throughout the day to keep us in Tahiti. The Maihi family brought three of their five children over for a feast of a breakfast. We had crepes with all of the toppings you could imagine, I have to admit I was a little surprised to see the small $5 bowl of strawberries on the table but they went well with the chocolate Nutella spread, limes, powdered sugar, whipped cream, chocolate cream and bananas. It was a feast that also included grapes, baguettes, pain-au-chocolate (chocolate croissants) and Milo (Barley chocolate milk). We did our best to mix the polynesian foods with a bit of a Canadian twist.

After rapping up our meal we spoke to the parents and the oldest 19 year old boy to find out if he would like to join us on our trip to Bora Bora and back. He said he would have to get back to us as he had plans for next week which included going to the Marquesas Islands with a friend to do some surfing but really would like to come with us instead.

As a result we decided to postpone our departure for tomorrow to give him time to decide if he would like to come. Instead of leaving we headed off for local town hall of Punaauia where they were having an “Orange Festival” to celebrate the citrus fruit season in the local mountains. I have been told that the oranges in this area are extremely delicious and sweet but I wasn’t willing to pay the $40 to $50 for a bundle of 40 to 50 oranges.

As we were walking around the various booths that were selling all sorts of local pareos jewelry and snacks we heard on the loudspeaker that they were going to be doing a game. Inside each booth was a number and if we found the hidden number inside of the booth we would win a prize. The kids all got excited and set out with an older kid in search of the hidden numbers. They stipulated that the game was not for kids but teamed up with someone older so they could help play the game. It didn’t take long for the kids find the first number but after winning a ring they didn’t want to stop. For the next hour they scoured stand after stand looking for the elusive numbers.

As I walked around myself in search of a number I noticed a sign posted on the front of a stand. Right there hanging on the sign was a little number that others had not seen. Instead they were lifting up all of the objects to look under them for a little number. That little number won me a floral Polynesian shirt!

The 36 degree Celsius sweltering weather was starting to get to all of us in the afternoon sun. We searched for shade wherever we could and couldn’t resist a nice cold ice drink that was less ice and more liquid in the heat of the day. It ended up being more like a Slurpee that had been left out in the sun for a few minutes when it came out of the machine dispenser. I wasn’t about to complain however as it still gave me a brain freeze as I drank the 4 ounce 100 franc ($1) cup a little too quickly. A bit tired of the heat I asked our friend for a ride home even though it was only less than a kilometre away.

june29-DSC03526 (Custom)I had only been on the boat for about half an hour when Maeva, another great friend of ours invited us over for dinner with her her husband Michael and two children. Only the youngest two of our children had returned from walking back to the marina from the park. We had been wanting to visit her home and family so with us leaving soon we knew this would probably be the best time to do it. We made an appointment for her to pick us up in 30 minutes (as we no longer had the car that had been loaned to us) and started to get Zakary and Teyauna ready hoping that the rest of our kids would be back soon.

Jaeden, Dailin, Orin and Eli arrived just as we were motoring in the dingy back to shore. Alyssa was still down the street at the nearby church using the internet so that she could talk to her friends back at home and so we picked her up as we drove up the mountain to the home our friend from our University days. It was a beautiful place up on the edge of the mountain looking out over the ocean and to the island of Moorea. Teyauna was happy to have a chance to ride a little bike around in circles with Arama following closely behind. I forget frequently the simple little things that some of the kids miss out on while on a sailboat. Alyssa missed the first half of our dinner as she was busy talking to friends using the internet. It was wonderful to meet up with a friend and her family after many years and to pick up where we left off to enjoy some delicious chow mein and fried chicken. Its the friends and people that we meet along the way that certainly create the highlights of our adventure.

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