This series of emails is from my 2003 trip to Rapa Nui. This one lasted approximately 6 weeks. It was really the first time I was on my own while there, so I gained a different perspective during this vacation. Again, these emails offer some insight into the people of Rapa Nui and daily life there.
Date: January 25, 2003 Rapa Nui - A Journey's End
hope all of you got everything you wished for this holiday season, and that the
new year is treating you well so far. As
for me, things have been pretty good.
enough with the small talk...I'm sure you're all wondering what this is all
about after reading the subject title of my message.
So let's get right to it. IT'S
OFFICIAL. I am going back to
of you on this mailing list may now be thinking, "huh?"
Of course, you wouldn't know what this is about because I only met you
after I came back from my last trip. So here's a short recap - I went to
who knew me before my half-year break from reality all noticed that I was
different when I came back. I think
the comment I heard the most was that I had "grown up."
I didn't know what that meant at the time...but now, after two years of
reflection, I think I understand. Which
brings me to the title of my message today.
My "Rapa Nui Journey" had begun with my first trip there.
It was my first international excursion, and I found and learned so many
new things. What I gained gave me
the desire to experience more. There
was a time in my life when I never would have dreamed of living anywhere other
not to say that this is my last trip there.
Certainly not. It's just the
end of this book. Any future trips
would be the beginning of another. (*wink,
of you lucky recipients of my original Rapa Nui e-mails have told me how much
you miss my stories, and when you did I always replied "so do I”…for I
truly do miss writing them. The
truth is, I have not felt like writing since I've been back in
can't promise that I'll be sending out any e-mails while I'm there, but there's
a good chance that something will probably leak out of my brain.
This trip is a relatively short one (only 6 weeks) compared to the last,
but you never know what will happen once I'm on location.
All of you are already on the mailing list, as is proven by this here
letter. A word of warning, however,
to all of the new people on this list - my e-mails tend to be long...but always
entertaining, so if anyone wants to be removed, let me know now.
Likewise, if you know anyone who wants to be on it, drop me a line.
(Honestly, I can't remember who all got my original e-mails!
How bad is that?...)
I bid you all a Happy February, because I will be spending the entirety of mine
in good 'ol
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hope all of you are having a great day so far!
I am sitting here in beautiful
No. Although I've been to Tahiti a few times now, it's always been en route to Rapa
Nui, and have never really had any interest in exploring the place...I
guess because I'm always only here for one day.
Experience tells me that on this Sunday that I must spend here, the best
thing to do is just relax. Besides,
nothing is open on Sunday in
all of that is going to change on this trip.
On the way back we have to spend 3 days here, and last night on the
flight I made a contact that seems sure to make those 3 days enjoyable.
Many of you might know him - J B (name omitted to
protect the innocent…).
is a very interesting guy. He's
Tahitian and therefore a French citizen, but went to high school in
he's moving back to
the woman that we're staying with - Tia Judy, as we call her (Tia means Aunt),
says that on the Saturday before we leave, we're going to take the ferry over to
Mo‘orea for the day...so that will be cool.
I hear Mo‘orea is absolutely beautiful.
about this trip has been blessed. It
was meant to be. This is the first
trip that I've ever IN MY LIFE been totally prepared for...to the point where I
was even 95% packed 2 weeks before departure.
All of the concerns about my jobs and financial situation were alleviated
before departure, and even my plan for the day I left
flight was good. I made my new
stay in the Tahiti Fa‘a‘a Airport Baggage Claim was short and sweet, as was our
ride to our night's lodging. The bed
I was offered there was so comfortable that I slept better than I do even in my
own bed...well, at least I did until the chickens started crowing.
But who could complain?
spent my first day of doing absolutely nothing in a long time here in
was great. What more can I say?
I offer this piece of advice to all of you - whatever it is, don't worry.
Everything will work itself out if you just let go of the stress
connected to it.
care all! ~Ulu
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hope all is well with all of you! As
for me, I'm sitting here happy as a clam in Rapa
We arrived this morning at about
, which is
for all of you that were with me during the previous adventure, let me touch on
the one subject I'm sure you're all wondering about - Christian.
He is a flight attendant for LanChile, and ever since I had planned this
trip there was no doubt in my mind that he would be working my flight.
So it was no surprise when we first saw him in the Duty Free shop at the
Tahiti Fa‘a‘a Airport. We saw him
through the glass window of the store, but his back was facing us.
I immediately became very nervous, and wanted to wait until we boarded
the plane to speak to him...but Ka‘imi insisted that I should go into the store
and tap him on the back. She
reasoned that it would be more of a surprise (and better for me) if go up to him
first rather than him coming up to me first.
So I went into the store, and was able to walk right past him without him
seeing me, but didn't get the chance to go up and tap him.
He was speaking with someone and as soon as their conversation was done
he left the store. I was somewhat
relieved...although my heart was still racing.
he was speaking with the guy, Ka‘imi had also snuck past him into the store.
Once he left I motioned to her that he was gone, so we started walking
out together, but right at the entrance we ran into another couple that we knew
as they were entering the store. The
four of us ended up conversing right there...and that's when Christian came in.
think that when Ka‘imi and I first passed through the security screening and
into the gate area, two other flight attendants saw me.
I wasn't sure, however, because it was quite a distance from the x-ray
machine to where they were sitting and I couldn't even clearly recognize who
they were, only that they were women. But
I did see them looking our way and speaking to each other while looking at us.
I also suspect that maybe they had seen me go into the store.
So when Christian went out, I think they told him that I was in
there...which is probably why he came back in.
came up to me and gave me the traditional kiss on the cheek, said hi, and
explained that he hadn't seen me earlier. My
mind couldn't really come up with a reasonable response to that, so I didn't
really say much. Then he said that
it was a real surprise (which was the whole point...).
was doing my best to play it cool...and I'm sure I would have succeeded if I
didn't decide at that moment to take a sip of my bottled water.
It's difficult to hold the bottle completely steady when your hands are
shaking... (But I don't think he saw
my mission had been accomplished. The
look on his face was worth the effort. He
really was surprised.
all talked a little bit more, then the couple continued into the store while
Christian, Ka‘imi and I went out into the gate area to sit.
We weren't speaking for long when the couple came back out, and Ka‘imi
continued to speak with Christian while I began speaking with them again.
I didn't speak much to him from then on.
did still take care of me, giving me extra of anything I wanted on the flight,
but we didn't really speak because the last half of the flight was his turn to
rest (all the flight attendants take turns sleeping because they work 12 hours
straight). As we were disembarking,
he asked me where he could get in touch with me.
I told him that I didn't know where I was staying yet and that I would
find out once I got outside, then explained how I ended up in that situation.
I then got into the line to get out of the plane...and that was it.
That is the entirety of our interaction with each other thus far.
That's not even the nutshell version...
he and Ka‘imi were speaking earlier, he asked her where we were staying.
She explained that she was staying with a friend but that she didn't know
where I was staying. He replied that
if I needed a place, I could stay with his mom or his aunt.
When she repeated this conversation to me, I felt two very opposite
feelings: First, I was glad that he
offered. I would have been really
offended if he didn't. Second, I
felt there was no way I was going to depend on him for anything ever again, and
that I would rather pay for a hotel room than to take up an offer from him.
I've come to realize in these past two years since my departure from
feeling became very clear to me today as I walked about town.
I remember walking all of these same streets before, but never really
feeling like I belonged - as if I was there only by someone's permission.
But today, it was completely different.
I knew that I had a right to be here...and everyone else knew it too.
I have somehow found that thing that I was lacking before:
although this is my third time here, and some of you are wondering why the heck
I keep coming back, just know that this trip is a completely new experience.
Everything about it from the very beginning has felt and been different.
And just the few hours that I've been here so far have been very
different from any day out of those six months that I spent here.
I've spoken more Spanish today than I probably did in that entire time,
and I seem to be so much better at it! Again,
that mysterious confidence seems to have taken over...
the last trip when people spoke to me in Spanish I would always get nervous and
concentrate hard to try and understand. It
was very stressful... This time I
don't care! I just listen, and if I
pick up something, great. If I
don't, I just smile and nod. If they
ask me a question but I don't understand what it was, I finally tell them that I
don't understand. Most of the time
they just laugh at me when that happens...but by no means does that make them
stop talking to me. If anything,
they talk to me more!
in all this first day has been very fulfilling.
I'm staying with Ramon & Josie Edmunds, and I feel as if I've struck
the gold mine of good luck with this trip. Aside
from the facts that they both speak English, they both have strong connections
Susana (a new friend) and I took an hour to take a five-minute walk to the beach
today because friends who had just heard we were in town kept stopping to
welcome us. The other people that I
was hoping to surprise were surprised and happy to see me, and one of the first
people I ran into was Flaco. I did
an entire e-mail about him on the last trip.
I've always liked him, and I think he was happy to see me too.
He spoke to me all in Spanish, and I think that's the first real
conversation we've ever had all in Spanish and without Christian around.
He even mentioned that my Spanish was better...
might even be possible to still get into one of the dance groups that will
perform during Tapati. Oh, wait...I
think I might be missing practice right now...
everything's great! I'm happy.
care all, and I'll be talking to you all again soon!
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Sunday, February 2,
es la vida
I sit here at
after just arriving
home from the disco, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to share
with all of you a little bit about what life is like here in
sun rises between
, so nothing really gets started here until much
later than in any cosmopolitan area. The
sun doesn't set until about
during the summer (which is right now), so you can wake up at
in the afternoon and still have an entire day ahead
of you. Consequently, the night life
also gets started much later. Dinner
isn't until at least
then people usually go out to one of the local bars afterwards to wait until
it's late enough to go dancing. We
were just hanging around in our rooms at about
tonight because it was still too early to go to the disco.
In fact, people were still arriving when we left the disco just before
Outside of the disco you see a rare mix of taxis, personal vehicles, and
horses. In fact, they still have corral-like
stations here for you to tie your horse to while you're inside dancing.
really...I'm not joking.
people here, although they look mean at first glance, are extremely nice once
you start speaking with them. I was
walking down the street the other day when someone just decided to join me.
We started talking, and I ended up making a new friend.
On my first day here a truck load of people just stopped on the road to
talk to me.
know what you're all thinking. It's
because I'm pretty...well, that might have a little bit to do with why they
stopped me on the road...but really, they would take time out to speak with
people of the same gender also if they were to meet them in a social setting.
I think a lot of people stop to talk to me because they notice my tattoos.
Everyone here thinks the band down my leg is ultra-cool.
people here are also very used to tourists, and are more than willing to get to
know one when they see one...especially the younger tourists.
(Yes, you know what I mean!) Most
people know a little bit of English, but even if they don't they will continue
to speak with you. You can tell them
that you don't understand until you're blue in the face, but that doesn't mean
they're going to stop talking any time soon.
people also talk over each other, meaning that you could be speaking with
someone on one side of you and right in mid-sentence the person on the other
side of you will start a conversation. I
sometimes wonder how in the world they ever find out anything.
one of the consequences of living on a small island is that everyone always
knows everyone else's business. Who's
cheating on who and with whom, who's really the father of that baby, who belongs
to which family, etc. Nothing
remains a secret over here. That's
why when I decided to make this trip a surprise, I didn't tell ANYONE.
Most of the people here just can't keep a secret...
of the streets are still dirt, although a few more have been paved since the
last time I was here. Most of the
houses look poor, like shacks with rooms...and many of them are...but that's
just the way it is, and the people that live in them don't seem to mind at all.
Carpeted floors are rare just because the ground is always dirty and so
it's easier to just not have carpet. Going
to bed with dirty feet is simply a way of life.
funny, because at home in
water showers are also something that you won't find in every home here.
They didn't have hot water at all on the island until fairly recently
(around the same time as cars), so most of the people are used to cold showers.
Once hot water became available, most families didn't rush out to get it
just because they felt they didn't need it, so even though it's been available
to the current generation, most of them still take cold showers.
Hot water is still not available through the plumbing.
Everyone who has hot water has a gas heater that needs to be lighted
before the shower. At times that can
be very inconvenient...especially if your heater is outside.
I come here I always make sure to stay in a place that has hot water.
and smoking are common activities among 99.9% of the population.
Work is only done when one needs money for something specific.
For the most part, people just enjoy themselves all the time.
Surf, fish, dive, sing, dance, play music, paint, carve, draw...they just
do whatever they want. What that has
created is a small pool of extremely skilled craftsmen and artists.
It sometimes amazes me to see how incredibly talented so many of these
people truly are.
one here is afraid to dance. That's
one thing I've never liked about
people who grow up here know how to speak
majority of the men here have long hair and beards.
If you were to see someone who looked like that in
majority of the women here are beautiful. Their
native attire for cultural activities consists of a skirt that has always been
worn well below the waist, just like we wear low rise jeans now...so they have
always worn belly-bearing outfits, but they were doing it here long before it
became the fashion. They are not
ashamed of anything here. And, of
course, all the women can dance!
don't really see a whole lot of overweight people here, just because most still
live a very physical lifestyle. And
there is no fast food, so whatever they do eat tends to be a little bit
healthier than what we're used to. Whatever
fat they have usually comes from the excessive drinking.
are two new restaurant/bars here. One
is Aloha, and it's been open for over a year
now. It's incredibly successful...it
is the only place that is still crowded every single night.
The second is
Te Moana, which has only
been open for a few weeks. You can
find at both places gourmet-like food - a blend of American type dishes with a
two restaurants have changed the night life around here in that now people have
a place to go to before they go to Toroko
(the disco). You can pretty much run
into everyone at either of these places. Josie
calls it "Alohando" - Aloha, and "ando" is the equivalent of
"-ing" in English. I'm
sure a term for Te Moana is pending...
guess that's about it. Some things
maybe are not up to our standards in the big city, but here it all balances out
perfectly. This is the way of life
here, and it totally works for them. So,
appreciate what you have, and try to make the best of it.
Find your own balance, because once you do, things get really fun.
care all! ~Ulu
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think I've told you all by now that I'm dancing in the Tapati festival...at
least I hope I did. Ka‘imi and I
only had 5 days to prepare for it, so the past week was pretty busy for us.
Here's the whole story.
is the annual festival here in which young women compete to become Queen for a
year. Various competitions are held
during the festival, which is 15 days long this year.
The participants compete for a certain (queen) candidate, and earn points
depending on how well they do in their respective competitions.
At the end of the festival all the points are added up, and whichever
candidate's team earned the most points wins the crown.
various competitions include dancing, canoe paddling, swimming, reed mat making,
cooking, carving, singing, playing the accordion, as well as many more.
Two of the biggest competitions, however, are the Haka
Pei, in which a man slides down a hill on 2 trunks of a banana tree tied
together (it's very dangerous), and the Tau‘a,
a marathon in which the competitors must paddle across a lake, then run around
it carrying two bundles of bananas on his back, then paddle across the lake
participated in the dancing portion last night (Sunday).
The dance is judged based on the costumes, togetherness of the dancers,
how much the dancers sing to the music, and how many dancers there are.
It's nothing like the Merrie Monarch,
if that's what you're thinking.
arrived here on Monday. On Tuesday
night Ka‘imi went to the dance practices for each of the respective candidates,
of which there are only two this year. According
to her report, the first group was hesitant to let anyone else join because it
was too close to performance time and because they already had a lot of dancers.
She didn't feel welcome...so she went to the other group.
She was greeted well there and was told right away that they would
welcome any new dancers.
next two days were all about work. The
biggest reason why a person doesn't participate is because of how much work goes
into making the costumes. We had to
make ours from scratch, and we didn't have much time to do it.
We worked for 6 hours on Wednesday and 8 hours on Thursday just to make
our skirts. They don't have the
luxury of lauhala or ti
leaves here, so we had to make our skirts out of banana tree trunks.
try to expalin this as best I can, but you really can't grasp it until you've
seen it in person. Ka‘imi had to do
the same thing last year when she was here, and tried to explain the process to
me, but I didn't get it until I had to do it myself.
you get an entire trunk of a banana tree. You
strip off the first few layers of the bark until you get to the cleaner, nicer
layers. Then you take one of those
layers and dig out the fleshy part of the inside with a spoon.
You keep scraping all of that excess away until all that's left is the
very thin outer layer of that piece. Then
you strip that lengthwise into small pieces that now resemble raffia.
You attach those onto a piece of rope and violá!
That's your skirt.
sounds so simple, but man is it hard work! You
have to clean about 12 of those to make your skirt...more if you're bigger.
Thank God I'm not that big! I
thought my fingers were going to fall off! They
were all swollen for about a day after...I've still got a cut on one of my
fingers where the spoon was constantly rubbing against my knuckle.
the first day I seriously considered not dancing, just because it was such hard
work. But it was also one of those
things where I had already done this much and it was so much of an
accomplishment that there was no way I could stop now.
What little I had finished would be for nothing.
So I persisted! We somehow
managed to finish our skirts in just 2 days.
Everyone was really impressed with us.
Most people take at least 2 weeks to finish theirs just because you can't
be doing that kind of work for that long...
were also very fortunate to have help with the rest of our costumes.
Someone made the bra part for us, and another person made our belts and
crowns. All that was left for us to
do was make the little pom poms that decorated the belt and crown.
So we finished our entire costumes in
only 3 days. I think that might be
some kind of record.
the beginning I was extremely worried that I wouldn't be able to learn the dance
in time. At our first practice I
felt completely lost, and no one seemed to want to help us.
All they said was to just follow the person in front of me.
The director of the group, when we first approached her to ask if I could
dance, said that I could but had a worried look on her face.
But as soon as she found out that I was from
no one really helped us that first day, the advice they gave us turned out to be
the best thing we could do. I just
followed the people around me...and I blended right in!
(It's a good thing I have a lot of experience in following...I do that a
lot in my hula class at home! oops!)
On the second day some other dancers met with us and did go over the
motions with us. We only went
through it once, but just that little bit was a tremendous help!
I began to feel much more confident after that...and I started to have
fun with it.
the end, so many people were nervous that they messed up during the performance.
Dancers that were usually pretty good in practice completely forgot what
they were supposed to be doing on stage, but the best thing about
didn't get any pictures yet of me in my costume because my camera sucks(!), but
Ka‘imi took some on hers. We're
going to dance again on Friday, so hopefully I'll be able to get a picture to
share with you of that one.
am exhausted and have spent most of the day at home today.
There is a big wedding feast that the entire island is invited to
tonight, so I need to start getting ready to go out now.
The wedding is for the lead singer of Matato‘a,
so there's a good chance they are going to perform.
Matato‘a, in case I haven't mentioned it before, is a local music group -
and they're awesome! Whenever they
perform, the whole island comes to see it (if it's free...).
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sure you've all received my other letter by now about the updates I've finally
managed to make to my website, but let me take this opportunity once again to
apologize for not keeping up with my messages.
that I've finally got a bit of time and energy, I'd like to write about one of
the things that is so special about
is becoming apparent to me, especially on this trip, how truly that name applies
to this place. In the short 3 weeks
that I've been here I've met people from all over the world - people that I
would never meet if they came as tourists to
for a small place, the people who live here are so very international.
I am still surprised that there are these new gourmet-type restaurants
popping up here and there, but I guess I shouldn't be considering the wide range
of tourists that travel here every year. I
overheard someone telling a friend that there are 7000 tourists here for Tapati
this year. I can't even imagine that
there is room enough for 7000 people at one time, yet as we walked down the main
street yesterday while participating in the Tapati parade,
it was very apparent that there were a lot more people around here than I had
ever noticed before.
I still can't get over the fact that, as many tourists as there are, this is
still a place where your feet are always dirty just from walking on the unpaved
sidewalks and only half of the hotels here offer hot water showers.
told me a while ago that there are actually more people of
who lives here has international connections, yet when you're here the place
seems so small and remote. I guess
that's one of the things that makes
is something very special about it. Josie
also told me that one scholar had actually coined a phrase (which she can't
remember) that described what he believed to be a condition that
difficult to understand this concept unless you've actually felt it.
For some people, like me,
is an archaeological site here where there is a very round rock with 4 smaller
rocks surrounding it that you can sit on. The
large rock in the middle is called Te Pito Kura,
and it is said to be the center of the earth.
If you sit on one of the surrounding rocks and put your hands on this
stone, you can feel the energy surging through it.
It is always warm, no matter how cold the outside temperature might be.
Perhaps this truly is the center of the earth, and it has chosen these
few people to always come back to it when they can.
I am now one of those people. I
must come back again. I've got that
my new German friend, says that he still keeps in contact with all the people
he's ever met since his first trip here 5 years ago.
Many of them have become good friends, and I'm sure that the same will
happen for me. I've made some
quality friends so far on this trip, so I'd have to say that my mission has been
accomplished. That was one of the
things I wanted to achieve this time around.
Christian may even come to visit Ka‘imi and I in
so very glad I came here again, and I know that whatever sacrifices I had to
make to get here were totally worth it. I've
gone through up’s and down’s since I've been here, but it's all in the
interest of growth, and I've somehow managed to come through it all.
There's still some loose ends to tie up, and who knows what else will
happen in my 3 remaining weeks, but I feel certain that my heart will be whole,
although sad, when I leave.
it for me now. I've partied too much
and now need some serious sleep. Being
alive in the navel of the earth can really take a lot out of you!
care all! ~Ulu
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me again...finally writing to all of you after what seems to me like ages.
I've been away from my computer and from e-mail for a while now, simply
because I've been enjoying myself too much!
And what have I been up to that's been so much fun, you ask?
never ceases to amaze me how the most interesting things can happen in the
smallest of places. I've lived all
my life in
what else could possibly happen to me now?
I stalled enough yet?
then. Here it is:
I met somebody.
those of you who know me well - DON'T FREAK OUT.
I'm much smarter now than I was the last time I made that statement.
I'm still definitely returning to
is not a
know what some of you are thinking - NO, he's not gay.
Shame on you. And he's not a
dirty old man either. Nasty minds!
also a lot of fun, and in many ways he's the kind of man I've always wanted to
be with. He's intuitive, courageous,
smart and funny. He's an excellent
chef, so I eat well every evening, and believe it or not he loves Karaoke as
much as I do. I spend a lot of time
laughing with him simply because, for a Chilean, he sure does know a lot about
American movies and music! He
doesn't drink (score!), he's may just be a little bit smarter than I am (which
is saying a lot!), and the best thing about him is that I can truly trust him.
I always feel happy and at peace when I'm with him.
that's why I haven't written lately. I've
been spending all of my time with him. I'm
trying so hard not to pass my entire vacation with him, because my biggest
mistake last time was that I spent so much time with Christian that I never
really made any friends of my own. But
somehow I seem to end up at his place at some point every day...oh well.
Cest la vie!
worry. We're not making any kinds of
plans together or anything like that. We
are simply enjoying whatever time we have together, and once I leave we'll still
be very good friends. Whatever may
happen in the future will happen, but neither of us will worry about it or try
in any way to manipulate it based on whatever kind of feelings we may have from
one moment to the next. Does that
I sound like a grown-up. When did
that's what's going on. I'm happy.
There are times when I have to step back and look at the situation and
wonder how in the world I got here, but then I step back in and just enjoy it
for what it is. Everyone deserves
some peace, and this is my turn.
take care everyone and enjoy your life, because when you do, good things always
come your way.
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I am again back in Tahiti, en route back to
never like having to stay in Tahiti.
It's hot and expensive and there's nothing to do if you don't have some
means of transportation. But maybe
I'm being a bit unfair...so I've decided to describe the place from my point of
view. You all can form your own
went marathon shopping yesterday. We
caught Le Truck (like the bus) at around
in the morning and started our
shopping spree at about 10:30.
We arrived in Papeete
9:00, but had to exchange money and eat breakfast first.
Tahitian time is apparently the same as Hawaiian time, except that
government offices also subscribe to the lateness factor.
The exchange office was supposed to open at
but the person working there didn't arrive until
spent the equivalent of $12 for a croissant, a glass of orange juice and a very
small club sandwich for breakfast. I
spent another $12 for lunch - a cheeseburger, fries and a small coke.
The remainder was spent on souvenirs and gifts.
In the end I arrived back home with only $30 left out of the $100 that I
had exchanged. I hope that will be
enough for food for the rest of my stay! I
guess taking the ferry to Mo‘orea is out (another $18 to $22).
We're also supposed to go dancing tonight, and the cover charge is $10.
you're coming from
costs only 2000 pesos to get into the disco in
spent about 6 hours at the beach today. The
day was beautiful and just as hot as ever, but for some reason being hot at the
beach is a lot better than being hot in the house.
When I had had enough sun I just parked myself in the shade and continued
with my book. There was enough of a
breeze today to make that a great way to pass the time.
The ocean is warm too...it was so easy to get into the water!
But once you're in the water you wish that it was just a tad bit cooler.
And I'll have to admit that this is probably the only place I've ever
been where taking a cold shower actually feels good.
(I'm allergic to cold!)
funniest thing is that we ran into Sam Choy at the hotel where we went to the
beach. He was sitting at the pool
when we arrived, but we just walked right past him since we don't know him
personally. As we were leaving at
the end of the day Ka‘imi decided to introduce herself, so we talked with him
for a few minutes and even got a picture. Apparently
he had been staying there for a month already but he and his family were leaving
on a cruise tomorrow. It truly is a
french fries taste the same here as they do in
had Taro ice cream today. It was
really good. Someone should try to
make that in
best thing about both
have personally come to the conclusion that there are only a few choice items
that it is better to buy in
about all I can say about it. It's
not so bad, but I'm definitely looking forward to going home.
I'm sure I'd feel much differently about
signing off now so I can get ready for our big night out on the town.
I hope this goes well also! Take
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Orana once again from
trip has come and gone so quickly as I find myself writing to all of you once
remember being here for just one day on our way to Rapa
and that one day seemed like torture! We
stayed in the house all day...and I can't remember the last time I was so
completely bored and uncomfortable. The
heat was unbearable, and TV in French is not nearly as entertaining as TV in
English is. I remember the day
dragging by as my mind focused only on one thing - getting to Rapa
Ka‘imi and I even arrived at the airport much too early to check in
simply because we were both so excited to get there.
spent that entire flight watching movies, trying my best to avoid thinking about
the fact that I was leaving. I tried
to avoid thinking about how everything seemed to have ended so abruptly - how
one minute I was having a great time talking with people that I care about, and
how the next minute I was sitting all alone on a plane going somewhere that I
really didn't want to go to, certain that I wouldn't be seeing all of these
people again for a very long time. I
tried to avoid thinking about how much I was going to miss everyone and
a 5 hour flight, and 2 movies only takes up about 4 hours, so I spent the last
hour talking story with Christian, since he was working that night.
We hadn't really hung out at all during my entire trip, and we especially
hadn't talked since I found my new boyfriend, so it was nice to be able to just
hang with him for a while. Of
course, he completely avoided asking me anything about my boyfriend, and instead
we made small talk for over an hour, but still, it was nice to be able to just
sit and chat with him as friends. We've
shared too much together to be only acquaintances, so we feel comfortable
talking to each other about deeper subjects, and that makes a good foundation
for an actual friendship. I think
our friendship will continue in the future, and I feel good knowing that.
for my boyfriend (since I'm sure you're all a bit curious)...I still call him my
boyfriend even though technically that's not what he is.
We are both free to see whomever we choose...but I think the key factor
here is that neither of us really wants to see anyone else.
I already miss him immensely, and I want nothing more than to go straight
back there to be with him, but there are things that I need to do in my life
first, like getting a life. Then I
can go back on my own terms. Once
that part of my life is in order, then we can work out the rest.
you truly never know what life is going to send your way.
Two weeks from now we could both meet other people who are more perfect
for us than I am for him or he is for me. It's
entirely possible that he and I were together only for a little while just so
that we could experience what that kind of relationship was like.
It's entirely possible that when we finally see each other again there
will be no attraction what-so-ever. No
one knows what the future holds, and anything is possible.
So we are both going to go ahead with our lives and see what progresses.
That's all anyone can do, right?
had learned so much after my last trip that it took me nearly 2 years to sort it
all out and truly realize the value of it all.
I know that I've gained so much more as a result of this trip as well.
There are a lot of lessons that I'm already aware of, and I'm sure there
are a few more that I'll discover in time. But
the one thing that I never expected to find, and am still amazed that I did, is
Peace. I not only felt moments of
Peace, I felt days and weeks of Peace. I
felt for the first time what it was like to be truly happy - to not have
anything to complain, worry or be sad about; to not have any insecurity
what-so-ever. I felt what it was
like to care about someone 150% and to know in every fiber of your being that
they care about you just as much. It's
an amazing feeling to experience, and the best part about it is that it never
leaves you. This feeling will stay
with me forever. This is something
that most people never get in their entire lives...and I was lucky enough to
find it now.
even though I really don't want to be here in
I'm still looking forward to being back in
of you will be receiving this message until Sunday at the earliest, because I
have no way of connecting to the internet here in
again to all of you for sharing this journey with me.
Take care all, and I'll see you again soon!
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