Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some Enchanted Week!

At Roratonga airport, Bam and local kids are mesmerized by the airfield and its planes. 
Right upon arrival, a local man plays a ukulele - welcoming passengers to the island. It was surreal, like something out of the musical South Pacific. Minus the military and racism.
In Roratonga, we stayed at the highly recommended right-on-the-lagoon beach bungalows of Little Polynesian Resort! Check out the infinity pool -
 Bungalow Bam!
In between beach and breakers is a perfect lagoon filled with a tropical marine wonderland. And with the surf 200 metres out, there is no worry about crashing waves bumbling up your exit from the sea!
Sunset at Little Poly
We were immediately put at ease after meeting Little Poly's trans-marvelous receptionist/host Billie.
Here with our fabulous neighbors in the bungalow next door, Birgid and Mike
I haven't mentioned how chill and civil everyone is - clipping their lawns daily, speaking perfect English - in addition to their native tongues. We met this chatty lady at the island Saturday market. She was an absolute riot, and makes arts and crafts with a group of local mothers.
There are two buses that circle the island. Their destinations? "Clock-wise" and "Anti-Clockwise". We dined one night at about 8 o'clock, clock-geographically speaking.

I made the local news!! "On the Street' I was asked about the proposed increase in the inexplicably high airport departure tax. How much does that Ukulele man cost??
 Since everyone else was motoring freely about, we got our licenses, too. Bam's transferred over since he's already got a cycle license. 
But I had to take a very official test, weaving through cones outside the police station.
Easy Rider
$20 later, is this not the ULTIMATE SOUVENIR? I already used it to rent a car in New Zealand!
While at the Police Station doing my test, Bam made friends with the police woman, Nane. She showed us the inside of the station, including the jail cell! And then she invited us out to dinner. As we feared those anti-gay laws on the Cook Islands books (7 years in prison! Not cute!) the initial thought was: entrapment!

Turns out Nane, a police officer, had never even heard of those laws. She loves the gays and took us up to a restaurant in the hills with her "church group" which got me thinking, conversion! But it was nothing of the sort. It was just a wonderful gesture of friendship. Made me remember pre-conceived judgments suck. Often law enforcement, and church people, are just plain cool.

Rebellion against a perceived enemy must be measured or, in an unfortunate paradox, we mirror the very bully we rebelled against. It occurs to me that the cautionary lyrics to another song from South Pacific, can apply in reactionary ways:

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught

Man, I love travel. It is the ultimate teacher.

We had the most amazing dinner and evening with Nane and church friends who wouldn't let us pay for a thing. They had a ton of kids around - it was the end of a Sunday School camp. We had so much fun with these beautiful kids.
Nane and the kids
And the kids had fun with us!


Eddie in OKC said...

You only get more attractive! XO

Jesse Archer said...

thanks Eddie. It's all smoke and mirrors!

Eddie in OKC said...

well then ... I'll have what you're smoking!

Tony said...

What an unbelievably gorgeous spot; people AND scenery.