Day: May 31, 2017

New names

Posted on

> On May 30, 2017, at 10:51 AM, Belinda Govatos wrote: >
> All of us except Mycah returned to Tanda Malaika after hiking and chatting with Manfred. We were able to wash the mud from our bodies, fill our bellies and relax, but Mycah had yet another strenuous workout ahead of her! Atea had been waiting at the dock, ready to teach her how to paddle an outrigger, and Mycah was so excited!
> Atea let Mycah use his faster canoe while he used a slow wooden one, and off they went paddling around the bay. >
>
>
> Mycah came close to the boat with a big smile on her face. She was thoroughly enjoying herself! >
>
>
> After some lessons in technique, Mycah challenged Atea to a race, knowing he was the champion racer of the village, and he was such a good sport claiming that Mycah beat him. He laughed and said he gave her a lesson and she is now the champion of the village. >
>
>
> They paddled out into the glistening waters in the afternoon sun, >
>
>
> after which Mycah returned, showered and rested her tired body while Aidan brushed through the knots in her hair with great concentration on his face – not wanting to hurt her. He is such a sweet brother. >
>
>
> When we returned from our hike after the heavy downpour, we realized we had a banana disaster on our vessel. In the hot sun, every banana had ripened even though their skins still had a green color to them, and the heavy rain had stripped most of them off of the stem. >
>
>
> We had a lot of bananas to eat in a hurry, so I whipped up a batch of banana bread, the creatures began eating and I froze many of them for future bread and smoothies. What a delicious dilemma. Danny and I lay out on the trampoline and suddenly before us was the most intense, beautiful rainbow we’d ever seen. >
>
>
> We called the creatures out and all seven of us stood watching the unbelievably beautiful sight until it had completely disappeared several minutes later. >
>
>
> We cut up a watermelon to take to dinner, Emma baked a tray of brownies, and I grilled tuna steaks and marlin. When the time came we packed ourselves into the dinghy and made our way to Atea’s home. When we arrived we were greeted with hugs and kisses by Atea and his mother and were introduced to Nadia, Atea’s wife, and their two year old son, Haku. They had a huge spread of food, including breadfruit prepared in two different ways: One was a pot of it baked and broken up into sections, and the other was a type of breadfruit dough looking dish that one pours coconut milk over and eats with their hands. They also prepared a dish with raw fish and cucumbers, also baked bananas, stewed wild pig that Atea had hunted for, and large grilled fish of some sort, baked or boiled octopus (not sure), baguettes, rice and a mashed banana puree of some sort. >
>
>
> I am so grateful that I raised the creatures to not be picky with food, but rather to be open minded and polite, because every one of them tried everything that was served, and ate all of it, commenting on how delicious it was. Kjira later admitted that she just swallowed her octopus whole, and Emma felt like it’s suction cups sucked onto the inside of her cheeks! When we saw that Atea and his family were not using utensils, Emma leaned over and quietly asked if she could eat with her hands too – I told her of course, at which point most everyone followed suite.
> They especially loved the marlin, and during the meal a gecko fell from the ceiling onto the marlin plate with a bug in its mouth. >
>
>
> After we finished eating, Atea told us he wanted to give us each a Marquesan name. Danny, he named Takitoa which means war spear, or protector. My name is Moeata, meaning natural beauty. Kjira’s name is Kua Anui, meaning beauties of many women. Jude is Heani, which is flower lei’s from the sky. Mycah is Vakaiki, which is canoe queen. Aidan is Vakatua, which is canoe warrior, and Emma is Vaikehu, meaning princess. He took it all very seriously, and we felt honored that he would gift us with these names.
> We asked him about Manfred, and he shook his head and said, ‘the man who talks a lot.’ He went on to tell us that Manfred went to the US and stayed in New York for a while, and was violent against black people – killing some, and was wanted by authorities so he moved to Ua Pou to hide and start a new life. Crazy Manfred…
> Eventually after a wonderful evening together, we decided it was time to head home, and left them wth all the food we’d brought. They sent us home with breadfruit and pork. What absolutely wonderful, beautiful people. We truly love this village and these people. >
>
>
> The following day Atea paddled out and Danny took some pictures of him, loaded them onto a thumb drive, and left them with him for future use. We was so excited when he saw himself on the screen. >
>
>
>
>
> As we walked out of the village for the final time, we noticed thin slices of tuna hanging out to dry. >
>
>
> We glanced back one last time at the trees and vines filled with food, the happy faces and the beautiful scenery, and left part of our hearts behind. When I am on night watch in the middle of the ocean somewhere, or hiking some trail in a far off land, I’ll always be able to think back on the beautiful little bay in Ua Pou, where an elephant rock stands watching over the village, and angels roam through the streets and jungle trails.

Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

Posted on Updated on

The only reason we can actually raise anchor and leave a place like Ua Pou, is because our visas for French Polynesia are only for three months and we still have so much of it to explore. Also, we know we need to be in New Zealand by October or November to be safely out of the cyclone belt. With that said, raising our sails and heading for Nuku Hiva was a bitter sweet experience. Nadia, Atea and the beautiful island of Ua Pou and the experiences we had there, will be part of the stories we tell our grandchildren and our children will tell their grandchildren. I am so grateful for memories.

Nuku Hiva was about a four hour sail away, so I thought I’d take the time to try figure out what to do with the mountain of startfruit we were given.

I decided to try make starfruit/banana juice. I washed and prepared several starfruit, placed them and the bananas in the blender, and Bob’s your uncle, a minute later it was all pulverized! I had to add a little sugar since it was quite sour, and poured a few glasses full for the family. Everyone except Aidan and Mycah were thirsty, Danny had a little while Kjira, Emma, Jude and I drank till we were overflowing with the pulpy deliciousness. It didn’t take long for it to work its magic in our bodies…we became nauseated and our bellies churned like a cement mixer on overtime! All four of us girls suddenly had important, intimate appointments with our porcelain thrones, and frequented them for the next 48 hours! I told the family that I’m going to market that juice as an excellent effective exotic exlax!

Nuku Hiva is the last of the Marquesan islands that we will visit before heading to Tuamotos. As we approached, suns rays was highlighting patches of land against a dark and cloudy sky.

We noticed that the ridge of a mountain off starboard resembled the profile of a lumberjacks face. Notice his eyebrow off to the right, following down to his big nose, then lips and all the way down to his big beard on the left.

A large tiki watched us approach, standing proudly atop a small knoll, with full lips, healthy breasts and a rounded belly.

Shortly after anchoring we were able to hook up to wifi, and immediately made contact with Hunter and Nonna so we could see our sweet little Zailyn. We love our little angel so much. It’s easy to see from the photo that her aunts and uncle adore her!

She has her first tooth, is four months old, rolls and scoots and can almost sit up alone. She fluently speaks in three different languages and has mastered calculus. Clearly, she inherited her grandmothers intelligence.

Nuku Hiva is the largest of the islands in Marquesas.

Like Ua Pou, there are many fruit trees and dense jungle covering the mountain sides. Artisans sell their hand made crafts of carved wooden tiki’s, jewelry, bowls etc.

We’ve noticed several beehives throughout all the islands and local honey is sold here too.

The streets are clean and paved,

and once again Aidan enjoyed breaking out his skateboard for some tricks and exercise.

We found a beautiful church, where the wood work was so gorgeous,

the doors carved in beautiful woods with amazing color.

I love the way the stone work is done, with a thick boarder around each stone.

The grounds were quiet and and well kept, surrounded by mango and breadfruit trees.

So picturesque.

We stayed a while and enjoyed the quiet,

then made our way back out onto the street where kids were popping wheelies on the bicycles.

With the help of some locals, we collected a bag full of mangos, then continued on back to the boat.

Nuku Hiva definitely feels less village like than Ua Pou, but the people are still beautiful and friendly and the scenery so gorgeous.

Before we leave we will rent a car and drive around the island to get a better feel for it.