From July 14th to 21st, we were back in Tahiti.
Thanks to Annie, the mother-in-law of Danièle, a former colleague of Lauriane, we had an accommodation close to the city centre and even had a car a tour disposal.
During this week, we took advantage of the opportunity to go shopping. Among other things, monoi and Tahiti pearls of course. Thanks to Marie-Hélène, Annie’s friend who worked for Robert Wan (the pearl emperor), we got (really) good deals!
We visited the Robert Wan pearl museum (free entry and visit). We learnt how the pearls are grafted (even though we already saw that while visiting pearl farms), very expensive jewellery, but most of all the biggest Tahitian cultured pearl in existence: 26 mm diameter and a weight of 8.6 grams (according to the museum official website) OR 22.5 mm diameter and a weight of 16.1 grams (according to the sign in the museum), no idea which data is right; its nickname is the ‘Robert Wan’.
We went to the Heiva i Tahiti, an annual polynesian dance and singing contest. We attended the July 17th event, the laureates night during which the winners of all categories performed their show. We saw Amandine and Nicolas, who we met in Rangiroa. It was very impressive to see all these dancers on stage. We were lucky because it started raining only 5 minutes before the show ended. Unfortunately, taking pictures was forbidden.
On July 18th, Jérémy got tattooed again, this time by Etua Rai. He got his New Zealand tattoo finished. It cost 15000 XPF (around 125€). And Lauriane finally had an epiphany and got tattooed too (5000 XPF, around 42€). We are very glad with our tattooes, Etua is very nice, he works fast and very well. If you want to get a tattoo in Tahiti, we definitely recommend him (he is located in Mahina).
Then, the afternoon, we went to the marae Arahurahu Paea with Marie-Hélène and a friend of hers to attend the show ‘Te aroha Mamaia’ by the Toakura company (2000 XPF or around 17€). It was very different from the Heiva. The company presented its view of the mamaia history and cult. The story takes places in Tahiti in the 19th century when the mamaia, these polytheistic cult and traditional art guardians, resisting the new order demanded by the Protestant missionaries and persecuted, were forced to go into exile at the end of valleys where is located the marae Arahurahu. Tarafati denied his origins, his tribe, his father, to follow the new religion, the Christianity. Then, on an unexpected day, he went to this valley with his wife to meet his father Temoe. There, a tragedy takes place. We were not bored for one minute, the dance was fascinating and the costumes were amazing. Again, pictures were forbidden.
On July 19th, we went to Damien’s (a childhood acquaintance of Lauriane) for a barbecue. It was very nice, we had a great meal and laughed a lot.
Today, we are packing our bags and will spend the evening with Eline et Julian, before they drop us off at the airport so we can take our flight to Easter Island, at 1:50 am!
Sorry about the lack of pictures!