Fun first couple of days, landed here April 7th. We are on a small Island called Tahuata and a village named Hapatoni. The population of the whole island is about 700 and this village we anchored in front of has about 150 people.
We spent Sunday exploring the small village and laying under a common area with the villagers. The locals were very interested in trading for fishing tackle, makeup and even a lighter for all the fruit we could ever want as well as some bone carvings and local artisan crafts. We spend a few hours with Celia (tattoo guy standing with us) and Jil (fisherman on the dock) who both helped us understand how this tribe/village makes it living on Artisan crafts and relates to the French Government. The locals are also hunters and provide their own meat by hunting pigs and goats. (One gun in the village). Another interesting story….
The forests are just so lush and full of fruit. The waters are full of the most colorful fish,go pro pics are coming soon!One snorkel and I saw as many types of fish as I saw in almost two years in Mexico. I will talk about that in later posts.
So many interesting facts here on history it’s hard to describe but the history is thick all the way back to Captain Cook, the Spanish landings and 1590 and the locals killing 30 French explorers in the 1800s. Super fun.
Note! There is not one piece of trash or garbage anywhere in town! Not one bad smell or dilapidated structure. So different than Mexico. The locals are proud, happy and super generous.
Easter Mass last Saturday night was a real treat for us. This Tahuata event starts out in the gardens, where a dozen local Marquesan families mill around, all dressed in white. Many come up and interacted with us. Candles are given out, children are playing, singing (in Marquesan) and casually welcoming all guests. A bonfire ceremony is held and the Catholic Priest leads a prayer (in French)
The women led us into the church chanting and singing in their local language consisting of mainly vowels. We sat intermixed in the wooden pews and enjoyed the mass, agreed it was a very long mass.
The Catholic churches are beautiful as well and seem to be the social center of every village.