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Date: 10 Jul 2013 07:43:23
Title: Etnocentrism

We are still anchored in Manihi and expect do be so over the weekend...
Today I took the kayak and paddled off to the village, as I was paddling along the modern concrete houses the word Etnocentrism came to my mind.
I think the meaning of the word is that I value what I see from my own cultur and expectations.
Coming to Tuamutos there is an expectation that people live like in old Gaugin paintings, huts made from palm leafs, they should move around in outriggers and everybody should smile at us and work with coconuts. Maybe fishing some too.
So I bring these values and if I cannot rethink my inner expectations the whole journey is going to be a disappointment.
Actually even pilotbooks and Lonely planet will give us values like genuine, real, what you look for etc. Thus meaning there you will find what you expect.
The strange part about travelling is that you will always travel with yourselfe so in a sense you can never escape the biggest world of all, your own. If you travel as a family you bring along all relations, 16 of them in our case. Exponent of four. That can keep you busy all day. Especially a five year old that talks from when he wakes up til he falls asleep.So here we sail around in the world, changing back drop and expectations. When dolphins show up at our bow we feel priviledged, as if the god of Neptune showed us that we are special. The kids even ask, -how come they came to us? Do they like us? They are truly etnocentristic.
So today as I was fighting my way back to the boat, 14 knots wind on the nose and water splashing over the kayak, I decided to TRY to be more openminded. Why would I expect people here to stay put with open fires and huts of coral and palm leafs when we have a fridge on board, electric light at night, musik in our speakers and fresh water on tap? The world is changing fast, maybe not for the better, but who is going to give up comfort first?
People here are still curious at us, a young man stopped his outboard just next to my kayak to find out where we where from and how we liked it here. Everybody that passes waves and give us big smiles. How generous to share this atholl with strangers!
And if my picture os the Pacific is not right, well then I should be happy to be surprised!
Shouldn't I?

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