Everyone onboard has commented at one point or another that Tahiti is far more commercialized than we’d expected. For so long now, we have been exploring slow paced, sparsely populated islands, and we were not prepared for the hustle and bustle of Papaette.
It was a little intimidating at first but we are adapting well and are taking advantage of some of the conveniences – especially when it comes to reprovisioning, which is something we haven’t had the opportunity to do since Panama City a few months ago. Until now, we hadn’t seen a respectable grocery store or any place to buy things in bulk.
We have docked in a marina for the first time in a long time, so we can use the water to give Tanda Malaika a good scrub down, and to hook up to electricity to give the generator a rest. The creatures enjoy land showers where they don’t have to be as conscious of conserving water, and we usually use the marina laundry rooms which is a big luxury.
But…the marina has 220 volt hookups, and an adapter is not available, so we can’t hook up to electricity, and the washers cost $18 a (small) load, so we won’t be using those. When we were in Fakarava, we met a wonderful family who have a flat here in Papaette, and they have graciously offered for us to use their washer and their car.
Papaette is an interesting place with many modern businesses, as well as the quaint markets we have become accustomed to. Beautiful little ladies making fragrant flower leis are everywhere,
and markets with local goods like honey, sugar cane juice, jewelry and baskets, etc.
Produce stands are also in great abundance, which are always less expensive than grocery stores.
Every produce stand sells loofa, which is not something we have seen on the other islands. I explained to the creatures how the loofa pods grow, and they thought I was pulling their legs. They had assumed that all loofa are brightly colored balls found in stores.
I love to admire flower stands, where the beautiful fresh fragrance of jasmine and plumeria replace the smell of fish markets and perspiring bodies.
Many of the women look so lovely with fresh (and fake) flower leis in the their hair.
Danny and I came across a fishing store, which is one of my places. I feel like a kid in a candy store as I admire the gorgeous lures in every color, and I immediately want to throw off the dock lines to go fishing!
We’ve seen some amazing street art, one of my favorites thus far has been a funky, musical hermit crab.
I also love the colorful stairs outside the street art museum!
The streets are clean and well kept, and the people are friendly and full of smiles.
After having Kjira on board for a couple of months, and loving every second of it, we finally had to see her off as she flew back to the US to get back to work. She has been such a great crew member, fish gaffer, cook, Settlers of Catan player, comedian, entertainer, shell collector, hermit crab saver and hugger. She has read every book we have on Tanda Malaika and braved trying every local dish served to us. We love her so much and already miss her beautiful face.
Danny left with her so he can get his flight physical, and will return next week with some engine parts we need. We miss him too much already as well! He is such a warm, bright, secure presence, as is my best friend and Sweetheart. We are excited that he will be able to spend time with Mom and Dad in California.
The creatures and I made a list of 20 projects to work on while he’s gone so we can surprise him when he returns. We also hope to get some hiking in, and will always be on the lookout for service projects to do in the community and interesting characters to get to know.
Life is good.
**I listened to a funny conversation between the twins this morning…
Emma: “You need to gather up your laundry because mom said we will be using Jane’s clothes cleaning machine today.”
I chuckled at what Emma said, and Aidan turned to me and asked why I was laughing. I told him I thought it was funny when Emma said ‘clothes cleaning machine.’
Aidan then asked, “well isn’t that what you call it?”
I reminded them that it is called a washer, and had a good laugh at my crazy little boat kids.