Party 'til the Flowers Turn Red
17 January 2019
Herve and Valorie live in the village on Taravai. The village has only 6 inhabitants and the bay around the corner, Pepito, has only 2. This island was once inhabited by 500 people. But that was before the Catholic missionaries came.
We visited Herve and Valorie and their dog, Taravai, when we hiked over the mountain from our anchorage. They treated us like valued guests, giving us cold water and bananas as we sat under their Hibiscus tree. Herve explained that the flowers bloom yellow in the morning and turn red in the evening, then drop off. He said his grandfather used to build boats out of the Hibiscus wood as it is very strong and light. Valorie explained that they have a picnic every Sunday and we should join them. We readily agreed.
We loaded up Houdinky, our dinghy, with a rice dish to pass, beverages, and our Kubbe, lawn game. It was a 2 mile dinghy ride through shallow reefs to the village. I had to stand up and run slowly the entire time to avoid the prop-killing rocks. Four other yachts were anchored right in front of the village. Word is out about the Sunday fetes at H and V's.
Three local pangas (25 foot open boats with 150 hp outboards) also showed up. Two of them were headed to a remote island for a picnic. Seeing the crowd at H and V's, they just decided to join us. Valorie welcomes all. Tables became piled high with food and the open fire grill was loaded up. Ten cruisers and about twenty locals made for quite a crowd.
We played volleyball, Kubbe and Pedonc, a French version of Bocce ball. Kids ran around and swam, dogs begged for food and lively conversation never ceased. Later in the afternoon, guitars and ukuleles came out. Spoons and other percussion instruments joined in. We were treated to an hour of Polynesian songs. They even played, “My Island Home,” the only island song I know.
After a game of Pedonc, Lisa and I looked up an saw the Hibiscus flowers were a dull red. With the sun low, it would be even more difficult to navigate the reefs back to Uproar. We said our goodbyes and thanks and loaded up Houdinky. Slow going got us back to Uproar as the red Hibiscuss blossoms were floating on the sea. Thanks Herve and Valorie for sharing. We will be back for another Sunday in Taravai Village.