Showing posts with label Tuomotus Islands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tuomotus Islands. Show all posts

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Part 2: Takaroa—Paradise and Friends Found

The Palmer's were such amazing hosts.  This was the first night that we arrived.  Myna made up an amazing spread of typical Tahitian food.  We were all super excited to dip in and try out all the food.
Robert's wife, Myna, is a beautiful, elegant and refined woman who instantly takes you in and shows you a kindness that you could only wish to possess.  She was the ward's (church congregation) Relief Society president up until a few months ago.

In lay terms, the Relief Society was set up by the Mormon church to help provide love, aid, support and fellowship to the women in the church.  There are over 300 members in Myna's ward; which meant she was responsible for all the woman in that area.  This is no easy task in that Myna's home is about a 30 minute boat ride to the other side of the island where Teavona (the main town) is located.  She said that many nights she would have to have Robert or Louis drive her (by boat) over to a member's home to help take care of a fellow sister in the ward.

In fact, the first day in Teavaroa we were roaming the streets and saw Robert at the dock and sitting in his boat (he was reading his Sunday School manual and preparing his lesson for Sunday.)  We asked him where Myna was and he said she was visiting and teaching one of the sister's in their ward and he was just waiting for her until she was done.  I feel very humbled thinking of all the good work that these two are bringing to the members of their ward.

As a side note:  Louis is a counselor to the Bishop (equal to an aid to a minister).  Louis' family lives in Papeete, Tahiti because the school on the island is only for children up to age ten.  So, he comes to Takaroa and works for a few weeks and then goes home for just a few days to see his family in Papeete.  In the meantime, he is taking care of the ward's needs while living in Takaroa.  This is one good family.

Here, Louis is cracking open a coconut to squeeze out the coconut milk for a dish that Sue prepared for dinner called, Poisson Cru (Raw Fish with lettuce, carrots, cucumbers and a mixture of different dressings along with coconut milk).  Sue says that it is their equivalent to our potato salad.  Every recipe differs.
Just a little tap on the top and the coconut water comes pouring out.
Here, Louis is putting the coconut up to a grinder that gently grades the coconut into small shavings.
A better view of the knob that the coconut is placed on to create the shavings for the milk.
That's about four coconuts' shavings here.
Next, Louis takes the shavings and puts them into a cheese cloth and then rolls it into a ball and starts squeezing out the coconut milk.
Now, let's see if I can remember all the dishes that Myna made for us.  Above is Poisson Cru.
Oyster salad.
Smoked/BBQ Fish.
This was a mixture of sweet bread and coconut called, Ipu.  It was so good that Lily and I went back for seconds and thirds.  Yummy!
I wish that this picture didn't come out so blurry, but I had to post it anyway. Sue coming face-to-face with dinner.  That Sue is a funny one.
Meredith trying the raw fish stew.  Basically raw fish in a dish dipped in a fermented coconut.  The minute I saw fish heads and heard the word "fermented" I was "out."   Although, now I regret it because everyone said it was worth a try.  Instead, I made Meredith try it.  She'll try anything.  Me?  I stuck with the sweet bread and rice.  A little too adventurous for me.
Verdict in!  She loves it!  Of course.
The next night was our turn to entertain.  We had the whole gang over and Sue fixed us all a meal fit for a king.  Once again, Robert entertained us with his stories from his childhood laced with the most perfectly pitched laugh in between stories.  It was such a delight to have them all on board AMARA and just letting the time pass with great stories and amazing food.

Note:  Our dessert was "Sticky Toffee Bread" (which was heavenly).  I haven't had that much sugar in a long time and I think I went into sugar overload and had to go lie down for a bit.  It was so worth it though.  (Note to self: Get that recipe!)
Takaroa Airport
Sadly, the day came where we had to drop Meredith and Joey off at the airport by pulling up to the terminal in a boat.  It was so much fun having Meredith join us across the Pacific and she really was a big help to me in watching Lily.  We were really sad to see her go.  Likewise, we loved visiting with Joey and seeing him.  He is a great friend to our family and it was such an adventure seeing him in Takaroa and seeing how loved he is by so many of the people there.
Louis was a full-service baggage handler.
Takaroa Airport.
I stuffed Meredith's bags with all sorts of things that I realized early on weren't ideal for the trip.  So, I sent a good 50-lbs home with her.  Problem was, that her bags were a little too packed and we worried that she wasn't going to make the weight limit.  She made it by the skin of teeth and one of Joey's extra bags...
Here is the terminal desk and what flights are flying in and leaving the airport back to Papeete.
But before we let Meredith go, we quickly took her to a little market where we bought all sorts of homemade goods.
Meredith getting hugs all around from the Palmer's.
Myna and Robert came to the airport to send off Meredith and Joey.
Joey and Meredith taking off to Papeete where they will catch their connecting flight back to the US.   We were so sad to see them both go.
However, not to worry.  We will see them in two weeks since we are going home for a visit.  I can't help but say that I am a little excited.  When we return to Tahiti, my sister, Courtney, and her family will be joining us for two weeks.  This trip just keeps getting better!
More on Takaroa in the next post!