Friday, May 6, 2011

Trans-Ocean Day in Raroia

We woke up bright and early this morning to go into the school and watch a play/or play with the kids...we still weren't sure. We were pleasantly surprised to find out they were having a kind of a field/sports day. Evidently, today was Trans Ocean day in France. All the countries owned by France, around the world, play Polynesian games (and keep score) and at the end of the day, they all jump online (if they have internet) and compare scores around the world. They were gracious enough to invite Jake to join one of the teams and we spent all morning watching Jake play Polynesian games with the local kids.

He had one advantage in that he already had 7 friends from yesterday. They were fighting over where he should sit/stand and they even gave up some of their snacks to him. Jake did pretty good for not having any point of reference for their games (and not speaking a lick of the language). It also made me stop and think about this trip and how it affects him. He is so young, he really has no memory of playing team games or standing in line or waiting for the "ready, set, go!" He had one incident where he was on the team that was supposed to be watching but when they said "go" (or whatever they say in French), he took off running with the biggest smile on his face right in the middle of the field where others had started their race. When I got him back to the side, he was so embarrassed and wanted to cry. He kept saying "I didn't know when to start...I didn't know when to start..." But after a little comforting and showing him half the other kids didn't know what they were doing either (running in the wrong direction), he was all set for the next game. They played tug of war, they had potato sack races... they even had some sort of race where they walked on coconuts where half a coconut was tied to a string that they had to hold while putting the string between their toes...oh whatever, I can't even describe it but it was hilarious (and Jake was actually pretty good at it). One thing I got out of it was even though he doesn't know how to play any of the games, he's at least coordinated!!! But it does reinforce that we need to make more efforts to join into these type of things, for his sake.

After all the fun and games, we ate a great lunch at Coreen's house (the journalist) and then headed back to the boat for a little rest.

As we were preparing our dinner of oyster meat (given to us by Yella and Fluer who got it from some locals), a fishing boat pulled up to Yella and gave him a huge skip jack tuna. Being the nice guy that he is, he brought it over to share. So tonight we had oyster egg rolls (I had a lot of cabbage and eggplant that needed cooking) and tuna sashimi.

Tomorrow, the plan is for Andy, Yella and Fluer to go diving in the pass. I'm staying back with Jake, partly because someone needs to but also because it's a drift dive and those just aren't my favorite. Truth be told, they make me nervous (and you don't ever have time to look at anything). So Andy is going to do the recon and come back and let me know if it's worth another year off my heart. We'll just wait here and swim with the sharks :).

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