We’ve heard through the grapevine that it’s getting warmer back in the states. Right before I left to join Drew it was a constant 60 to 70 degrees during the day but at night it was still dropping down into the low 50’s. Stepping off the plane in Tahiti was like getting hit by a brick wall of heat. It was almost 80 degrees and only 4:30 in the morning. Man….is it HOT over here!!!! Thank heavens I did not waste money on too many backup supplies of my makeup because at this rate I don’t forsee myself wearing much, if hardly any at all! Tissues to wipe my forehead have replaced my mascara and concealer so it’s too bad for Drew he has to love me and think I look good regardless : )
This past Thursday Drew and I decided to go people watch a little bit and headed to happy hour at the only microbrewery in French Poly called Les 3 Brasseurs, located on the waterfront in Papeete. On the way we stopped off to phone Youri, our friend from Ua Pou who helped us fix the boat last year. He had emailed and said he was going to be in Papeete so we thought it was worth a shot to call and see if he wanted to catch up over a few beers. Now…I know that there are courteous people all over the world. But for whatever reason it seems that there is multitude of them in French Polynesia and we must have befriended the cream of the crop.
Youri was estatic to hear from us and said he’d meet us at the brewery right away. He had no more than sat down when he asked what we were doing for dinner. We shrugged and said we had planned to just head to the roulottes and pick something up there after happy hour was over. He said his wife was in the car and that we should “come back to their house and eat with them.” So we slammed our beers and off we went. Lydiane, Youri’s wife, is the sister of Fara and Paru, our good buddies we met last year. Kindness seems to be a staple that runs through the veins of every single person in this family because Lydiane was just as nice and sweet as her brothers, father, mother, and children.
Over a delicious dinner of chow mein, lemon chicken, curry chicken, won ton soup, and pepper steak, we learned that Youri makes these trips to Papeete to train fire fighters here. He pretty much island jumps around the south pacific and teaches young men how to become fire fighters. Aside from that, he also owns the two fishing boats we spent time on in Ua Pou last fall and his main goal or dream is to own a ferry that carries people to and from the islands. Lydiane is in Papeete going to school to become a teacher, one of the few jobs she says is available to women on the islands. She has been living in an apartment in Papeete for several years now while she attends school and her parents take care of her and Youri’s two children back in Ua Pou.
Dinner was phenomenal. The bill from this dinner had not even been payed before they were asking if we wanted to stop off at the best pizza restaurant in town to grab a pie to take back to the boat with us. Despite being so full we could barely move, Drew probably contemplated the thought but I quickly shot it down! Drew + Pizza=true love
So we made plans to tour the island on Saturday. Times got mixed up so Drew and I were sitting on the boat at seven a.m. thinking we were supposed to be ready for them to pick us up. Needless to say we were way off because they didn’t show up until almost eleven. Who cares though right? You’re on island time! We took off in their truck having no idea where we were going or what we were going to see. First stop…the only doughnut shop in French Poly. I thought I was going to have to wrestle Lydiane to pay for the doughnuts, as they had picked up the tab for dinner Thursday night.
Afterwards we spent a couple of hours breezing down the road. We stopped at a natural grotto, a few fruit stands, and the home of their good friend, Youan. His house is right in front of the location for the Billabong pro surfing competition that will begin in May. A couple hundred yards out is the wave, Teahupoo, where the competition takes place.
A mere hour later we were dining on poisson cru, baguettes, and getting to know some new friends. Youan owns a fishing store in downtown Papeete and is also the manager for one of the Tahitian soccer teams. He houses several of the players that he manages. Because of how far he lives from Papeete and because of traffic, Youan leaves his home at 3 in the morning to be able to make it to work by 6:30 or 7! Everyday…. ugh, I could not imagine…
One Heineken after after another, Drew and I couldn’t help but feel like we had known these people for years. Youan said we are more than welcome to come stay at his home during the surfing competition if we would like. I wanna say he is housing one of the pro surfer’s but we never caught a name. It’s unlikely we’ll need to crash there seeing as how our boat will be anchored right outside his back door! But it will be nice to have a place to hang out and good people to pass the time!
So for now Drew and I are busy preparing the boat to move it around to the other side of the island. Grocery list in hand, we plan to stock up the boat because it’s not as easy to get food and supplies over there. We hope to move the boat either later this afternoon or sometime tomorrow. The generator is getting all tuned up and as soon as that’s done, we’ll say bye bye to downtown Papeete!
Dad-HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! I love you so much : )