Return to Fatu Hiva

Pacific Bliss
Colin Price
Sun 18 Mar 2012 19:33
Return to Omoa, Fatu Hiva
We fell in love with Omoa, one of the two villages on Fatu Hiva last time we came, as a result we where keen to return. It also ment we could pick up Colins parents here off the Aranui (a supply ship to the marquesas from Tahiti, which also carries 150 paying passengers),  that way they will have seen a great many of the Marquesas Islands and in our minds at least two of the best. It's also the place I'll get to see my French friend 'Franscoise who moved here 20 yrs ago with her Marqueasn Husband.  Not a life decision for the weak hearted.  So when we where in the throws of gold button, padded shoulders and Thatcher, Francoise her husband and 1yr old daughter moved to a faraway island without electicity, toilets or beds and to make it a bit more final, not even enough money for the boat ride from the island.   
  Carvings made by our friend Alfonz  
Banana drying in the sun, a truely delicious speciality
We arrived at the beginning of half term so despite our children being schooled aboard each morning, the afternoons where spent on the quay sliding down the slimmy slipway, Cosmo took the arse out of 4 pairs of shorts!.The alternatively was to cycle across the bay where they could splashing around with the island children in the fresh water pools whilst colin and I where able to sit in the shade of the trees watching, reading and knitting, every one was free safe and very relaxed.  It became pretty obvious that these children are some of the nicest we've met.  The older children, who were totally caring, are back home from Hiva-Oa where they have to  go to school, there they live in a pension at the age of 11 and are responsible for all there washing etc.  So for the very first time the children where able to run free and we were able to go for walks and cycle rides with out our heavenly  appendiges.  Not only are we more free than we've been for the past 2 1/2 yrs we're also able to organise a weeks school for the children.  If we ever needed a 'pick you up ' this is it. 
  Amoa's pretty church complete with rainbow, we got to hear singing too which is totally arresting
We're also invited to the Mitita family Sunday BBQ on there plot of land by the river.    Alfonze, Francoise husband is one of 10 so even with only half the family  in attendance the wild pig caught earlier in the week doesn't go far especially as we're talking Marquesan appetites!  It's a real treat and a great insight into Marquasian life.  Having spoken with Franscoise we've been given the heads off that the other members of the family like to drink and with a large dose of female jealously eminating from one of the wives it's all rather good entertaining especially as the boys only stop singing and playing the ukaley to glug beer or gobble pork.  By 3pm the songs are getting a bit repetative and perhaps alittle off key. But as we lie in the shade under the roof of the copra shed it a wonderful moment to savour.
 supplies arriving to this faraway place 
School, its a bit of a rude awakening as it startes at 7.30 so we need to be on shore, breakfasted and ready for action by  7.   In the law of the 'Sods'  Sunday evening the swell started to grow which makes getting a shore difficult and the anchorage untenable by most folks reasoning, but with the opportunity to be released from parenting duty  for several hour over the next five day only if a tidel wave was forcasted  would we 'up anchor'.......  Luckily the kids feel the same way.   Colin, reluctantly, elected to stay at the school for the first day, luckily this was dismissed immediatley as, incredibly, both teaches studied English at University.
On the first day  Colin didn't return until 11 by which time I'd made great headways into cleaning the boat.  Colin mean while has got himself involved with power supplies and  the monitoring of  power  produced at the hydro-electric plant, start's dawning on me that both of us seem never to really relax if we've not teach the children then we're doing boat jobs and if we neglect the latter then we're getting involved with a small project or other with folk on the land.  This was never really possible until we got to Polynesia.  Boat jobs for the first year where alway too pressing, plus it so easy here to make friends.
Colins day out with power monitoring of the central generators, not sure most you will find this a very interesting photo but he did managed to meet up with friends and see a dangerous cliff being exploded with dynomite 
  Arnaud and Coco at the halfway point of the walk between the villages
  the hydro powered pelton wheel turbine in Omoa.  Soon to be duplicated in Hanavavae
On Friday we are honored with a royal visit from Gill and Peter so we need to get toilets grease and water line scrubed and all sparkling ready for inspection.  What started out to be some quick jobs just seemed top get more and more extreme.  But I did manage to squeeze in a 17klm walk in the pouring rain.  So bad was the mud that I had to walk barefooted,  But due to the fact I was with Francoise and being regaled story after story of life over the past 20yrs I barely noticed the discomfort.  Ohh have I got stories to tell of how the islands truely are!
Two sweaty old birds on a 17km hike from Omoa to Hanavavae, it has to be said Francoise is an incredible looking 50 yr old.
The week at school for the children and us was a complete triumph, so much so they really don't want to leave, I suspect we could put up with the swell for at least another month had it not been for the granny and papa arriving, which they're both totally over excited about.
 Zinnia in class CM2 and Cosmo in CP1
   Dance of the Oiseux (birds) with Z's other feathered friends
The children where split into the two classes so totally on there own.  Morning was hard study with a fruit break at 9am the teachers rule with a rod of iron so no chance to  messing about.  Morning lessons are followed by lunch, Allahullah one less meal to cook each day.  During the afternoon they both worked hard on their Marquesan dance skills.  Cosmo now able to do a very good impression of a male 'Hu Ha' Bird, and Zinnia is quite the most elegant of feathered foul complete with the Marquesian singing.  Enthusiasm for school was so positive, we're now hunting for more schools experiences for them, another couple of weeks in Polynesia should make great strides in there French language.
Friday morning and we watch Gill and Peter disembark from the wonderful Aranui.  Thankfully it's been a great success, and they are now set to travel the world on all the Aranui style supply vessels.
The children are just so made up come 11am on Friday Morning when G & P collect them from School.
 Granny walking back from school on the old main street