A Curtsy To The King
16 October 2012 | Ile Uvea - Wallis 13 20.163'S 176 11.179'W
It's a bit of a story how we came to meet the King of Wallis yesterday.
Our friend Babette, who gave Brad and I a ride the other day is related to the current Wallisian royal family through her husband. Yesterday there was a gathering at the royal palace with representatives from about 20 Pacific Islands who will be taking part in the 2013 mini jeux (olympics) here on Wallis.
We joined Babette along with Frank and Dorte from 'Elan' to watch the very traditional ceremony which took place on the lawn in front of the palace. There were presentations of leis, kava, prayers, introductions and a lot of dead pigs that I believe were gifts from each country. Not a comforting site but when in Rome ..... After the ceremony was complete, Babette said we must come and meet the king. Yikes, we are in no way dressed for such an occasion and I am half comatose from the heat.
Well call me the court jester. When it's my turn, I step up, do my sort of curtsey and shake hands with the wrong guy! He points to the fellow to his right ... voila, the king. Take two! They don't speak, just give you the once over with a very straight face. The mistaken king did give me a big smile after I got things straight. He had so much hair growing out of his ears that I hope I didn't stare.
Next we were whisked off to the luncheon and sat amongst the various delegations from the islands. There must have been about 80 of us at one very long table with more food than you can imagine. All the royalty in attendance sat in the adjacent thatched roof fale. We met and chatted with people from, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu and Palu. Tomorrow evening we'll join all of them again at another event where there will be traditional dancing by each of the countries. What to wear?
I'm posting photos as I can when we go to town. Yesterday I encountered a few problems so there will be more added to the Niuatoputapu album and lots more for Wallis.