Fenua

Opening events with pomp and ceremony are part of the role you play as the President of French Polynesia.

You arrive as the President: the Country’s major VIP. You and your entourage are welcomed. The traditional greetings continue as you are escorted along the route to the stage, where you will say a few words. No one wants long speeches.

A bit like the shock of the unknown in a ghost train, serious women in bright clothing spring out in front of you. They chant and sing. A man throws baby powder into the air.


It’s all too much. You try to suppress your amusement. Your shoulders start to shake. You give up and burst into laughter, singing along with the women.

You recompose yourself in time to cut the tape of tiare flowers.

This is a happy occasion and everyone is relaxed.

The event from the 3rd to 6th May in the Place To’ata, Papeete, Tahiti is the:

Salon made in Fenua

Fenua means land. There are over 90 stalls set up with people selling locally made French Polynesian products.

Coconut products from Tikehau in the Tuamotus

There’s a 4 day programme of Music, dance, comedy and song all performed on the small stage.

Dance and drumming.
The cow on route to the stage. Mascot for Tip Top ice cream.

With glorious weather, the event is popular keeping the traders busy.

The temporary stalls took a week to erect by strong Tahitian men.

This time next week, the venue will be ready to host a different event.

Prolific

WordPress weekly photo-challenge

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/prolific/


The Instructions

“This week show us your interpretation of prolific


Pearls, pearls, pearls.

They call them “Black Pearls” because they are produced by the black-lip pearl oyster but they come in different colours.

Papeete is the small capital city of French Polynesia. It is on the main island of Tahiti. Everywhere you look, there are shops selling black pearls. Many of them are outlets for the Pearl farmers from different islands or atolls in French Polynesia.

So many shops sell pearl jewellery .

Some displays are better than others

Easter /Spring theme

This shop’s a bit cluttered.

Market traders sell low quality pearls.

The pearls are graded for quality.

The Tuamotus are said to produce the best quality pearls. The oysters thrive in the pristine waters of the remote atolls. However, the farmers of the society islands claim that they are the ones that culture the finest pearls.

Some pearls cost a fortune.

Phew, just for one pearl.

This necklace costs well over $3000 despite the mouldy display model.

I could buy a new dinghy and outboard motor for that price.

As I wandered around the Pearl shops yesterday, I came across two lovely ladies working upstairs in the market. They sell the cheaper quality pearls and their display is crammed in amongst the cleaning stuff. But for all that, they were marvellous fun to chat with. I didn’t buy any pearls but they insisted on photographing me wearing an enormous pearl necklace.

Fun to chat to these ladies.

Machine used to make the holes through the Pearls

There are other types of pearls. Keshi pearls are small non-nucleated pearls typically formed as by-products of pearl cultivation. I love them.

Keisha pearls

Other jewellery is made from the pearly oyster shells. These fetch good prices as well.

Incidentally the Robert Wan Pearl Museum is the world’s only museum dedicated to pearls. It is located here in Papeete.

Wheelies.

Noise, dust and polluting fumes are the result of the constant traffic jams along the promenade road in Papeete, Tahiti. It’s a recognised problem which has no solution.

On special occasions such as sports events, the police block off the road to motorised vehicles allowing recreational use to the public.

Road closed by the police, even to the Roulotte trucks.

Sunday was a pollution free day for families to enjoy. People of all ages arrived with their bicycles, trikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerskates…

The road sloping down through the underpass was most popular with the teenagers but small children and grandparents tested it out too.

The latest craze.

It’s good to see people having fun and showing courteous respect to one another to avoid injuries.

What a pity the road can’t be closed every Sunday.

Smile


The Instructions

For this week’s photo challenge, point your camera at something or someone that puts a smile on our face (or just a smiling face)


All around Tahiti are large posters of smiling faces. What does it all mean?

Turns out that in March 2011 an artist photographer named JR decided on the Insideout project. It involved global participation. People share a portrait and make a statement.

In Tahiti the statement was smile for peace.

The photos appeared a couple of years ago around Tahiti. It’s good to look up and see a smiling face: smiling is contagious.

Favourite Place.


The Instructions

Weekly photo-challenge. This week, share an image of your happy place, a secret spot you love, or a faraway location you return to again and again.


I like to take my hourly walking exercise through the Papeete Pā’ōfa’i Gardens most evenings. I walk from around 5pm when the temperature is cooler. Many people enjoy leisure time here too.

The beautiful park offers so many activities in a relatively small area.

These are my photos from last evening.

A favourite place for dog walks

Somewhere to sit down and relax.
Or work out with your friends.
Or cycle around
Play beach football
Children busy in one of the the play area.
Ukulele players
Outrigger canoes are launched from the beach in the gardens.
There are six cats living in the gardens. They are fed every night without fail by a lovely retired couple.
In the stadium at the end of the gardens events take place. Last night I heard the French singer Louane doing her sound check before her public performance.

There are beautiful trees and flowers.

Sunset over the water.

This is one of my favourite places to be.

Going bananas.


I thought it might be a bit of fun to pop along to the banana and breadfruit festival at the Tahiti cultural centre. It was well advertised.


I remember with affection attending my local village fete. Arch rival allotment gardeners fought for the biggest marrow title, accusing each other of cheating. Not to mention the dramas over the cake and floral competitions.

Moving forward. On arrival at the banana and breadfruit festival, I noted that there was a paramedic on duty. She was surrounded by all the medical equipment including a defibrillator. Crikey this could mean war.

Paramedic ready for action. And erm a sleeping dog. Sniffer dog may be?

I looked around and spotted lots of bananas.

Different types of bananas.
Different types of bananas. Again.

And breadfruit.

Different types of breadfruit.

And a chef.

Not sure they were cooking anything actually.

There were a few people watching a film about breadfruit being cut down from a branch.

I received some small bags of something. I was told it was pineapple. What relevance is that?

Pineapple somethings.

My French isn’t great. I think I missed something.

“I’d rather be….”

Posted in response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge. “I’d rather be…”


The Instructions.

If given the choice, what would you rather be doing, right now?


My husband would rather be out cycling. Not fixing a puncture.

Typical to get a puncture just as you think you’ve spotted a dry weather window for the two hour cycle.

With a dreadful weather forecast for thunderstorms and rain, the odds are against him.

Thunderstorm warning.
Success. A dry cycle there and back.

I would rather be washing out my husbands cycle kit in the sunshine, than worrying that he’s still out there.

I can hear a distant rumble. I convince myself that it’s a container ship being loaded up on the dock close by. I know that’s not true, as the port authority staff are still on strike.

I hate lightening and would rather hide away inside the boat doing my yoga.

Such is life in paradise.