Taylor's fortune cookie at LAX. You know Panda Express has to be planting all of those fortunes in airports.
We spent the first week of our trip on Tahiti. My parents rented a home in Teahupoo (said "Tcho-po"), a small village at the "end of the road." There is only one main road in Tahiti, a two-lane road that goes nearly all the way around the island, but it dead-ends at Teahupoo (the eastern tip of Tahiti is not protected by reef and is not inhabited - it's all wild jungle!). Teahupoo is also home to the Billabong Pro Surfing Competition, as Teahupoo is home of one of the best surfing waves in the world. We were lucky enough to be in Teahupoo right as the competition was kicking off.
What I loved about Tahiti is that it is not touristy at all - the main city, Papeete, is busy but more like a small port city. There aren't any big fancy resort hotels and no big-name fancy restaurants. For a week we felt like Tahitians as we ate their food in their homes, went for long morning walks along the coast, went on daily hikes in the jungle, and slept under mosquito netting. Robby was an incredible tour guide.
Opening ceremonies for the Billabong Pro Surfing Competition on the Teahupoo wave. This area was a 5-minute walk from our house. You can see the wave crashing on the reef in the background. That grandstand is where many of the cameras are stationed.
The river by our house in Teahupoo. You walk by this every time you go out to the Teahupoo wave.
Waiting for lunch on the beach!
Robby kept busy fetching coconuts.
Anna with our first Tahitian lunch - turns out we would be eating this every day for the rest of the trip. French baguette filled with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato and french fries. I feel I should mention that Tahitians serve fry sauce! Our order ended up closing down the lunch shack.
Tahiti has the best juices.
Hanging out in the front lawn of Uncle Robby's first mission apartment/home. Unreal.
Hanging out with the family that housed Robby and his companion in his first area. Lots of dogs mean lots of dog poop, which means for two hours we were watching every step that Sam made.
Robby and Anna - 8 days after their wedding!
On Sunday, the Bishop and Relief Society President's families (good friends of Robby's) came to our home and made us a Tahitian feast. This is tapioca, taro, and some other vegetable at the top that I don't remember.
My favorite Tahitian dish! Poisson cru - raw tuna in coconut milk and lime juice with fresh cucumbers and tomato. Delicious!
Eating dinner on our front porch. Taylor is holding his favorite Tahitian dish: Pineapple juice (ananas).
By far, my favorite part of Tahiti was the people. They were all so friendly and loving - they say hello and goodbye with a kiss on each cheek. Of the six nights we spent in Tahiti, five of those were spent eating with the members - three times in their homes, twice at our place. It was incredible to visit their tiny, sometimes windowless homes right on the ocean - tiny, immaculate and spotless, with pictures of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and the Temple everywhere you look.
When we showed up to sacrament meeting on Sunday a half-hour early, at least half of the ward was already there, waiting in the chapel. Their examples really made me think about several things I can do to show greater commitment in the gospel. The church really is their life there (as it should be for anyone, anywhere, really). I was nearly scared to death when they asked me to be the ward organist/pianist for Sacrament meeting.
Billabong Pro Opening Ceremonies
Bless you, Ergo carrier. We would not have survived this trip without you.
|Sam loved the water! We loved his Gilligan look.|
These two made it possible! We love you, Mom and Dad!