My daughter minored in Photography while attending Grand Canyon University. One of her assignments was a field trip to……wait for it……Tahiti. And lo and behold, she invited me to tag along. To this day I don’t know if it was because she enjoyed my company or because Mommy would be bringing her wallet – but I didn’t ask and jumped at the opportunity. The real reason I wanted to go was because of the burning question in my mind – does the water flushed clockwise or counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
After a very long 9-hour flight, we were greeted at Moorea, Tahiti with fresh floral leis, a guitar, ukulele, & drum quartet, and extremely humid weather. I guess there’s a reason the terrain is so green – it’s called rain – and rain can fall at any given moment. It truly is a beautiful island, noted for its high volcanic peaks, banyan trees & palm trees, exotic flowers, down to its white beaches & low coral rings…and black pearls. Nobody leaves Tahiti without purchasing a black pearl – to be specific - a black pearl pendant, a black pearl ring, and black pearl earrings.
We stayed at the Moorea Village close to the soft white beaches with a beautiful view of the clear blue/green water. In the Tahitian style, our room was a stand-alone hut called a garden bungalow, which had a grass-thatched roof, a front porch, and our own hot water heater attached outside. The water heater contained about 5 gallons of water, meaning my daughter and I had to alternate shower days if we wanted hot water. They welcomed us with a Tahitian “tamaaraa” (feast) with food cooked in the traditional “himaa” – a pit filled with heated volcanic stones. I was a little worried at my vegetarian daughter’s reaction to the pig with a rotisserie stick stuck through its butt and out its nose roasting over hot coals. But the Tahitian dancers wearing coconut bras diverted her attention – she even got on stage and swung her hips with them at some point after dinner. I must warn you, however, stay clear of something called breadfruit if it is ever offered to you – our little hut did not have enough water in the toilet to take care of what I went through after eating that.
We toured the island, visiting the Museum of Tahiti, the Gauguin Museum, and passing by the really expensive hotels – thatched huts sitting on stilts out in the water. We cruised the lagoon and went on a picnic on another island. But there are two highlights of the trip we will never forget. My daughter went snorkeling with stingrays (This was a very brave thing for her to do because of her fear of sharks. When we used to go to Lake Powell in the summer, she would always ask, “Are there any sharks in here?”) and we both were able to swim with a dolphin and pet him (her?). We both can cross that off our bucket list.
The air flight back to the states seemed longer than our flight to Tahiti for the simple reason my daughter had a fever and chills all the way home. I was concerned she had picked up a tropical disease called Dengue Fever that I had just read about in a novel I was reading (coincidence – not sure – but I had never heard about it before – and my daughter had all the symptoms of that disease). Luckily she did not have Dengue.
Our travel to Tahiti was exciting and an adventure I will never forget. By the way, the toilet flushes clockwise.