Sunday, January 30

Rarotonga's water - too much, too little, too late

It’s been longer than usual since I uploaded a new video but I’ve been busy working on an entry for an ADB (Asian Development Bank) Asia Pacific video competition with the help of a couple of friendsIt’s been an interesting experience – you learn a lot by talking things over with other people.
The competition is about water in the Asia-Pacific region.
Rarotonga’s really very lucky compared to many countries. We usually have enough water and the streams and springs are not polluted. Our main problems are wastage and lack of storage. Even in times of drought the rivers up in the mountains usually have water in them – it’s just harder to get it into the reticulation system. Climate change could make a difference however so it’s no good being complacent.
Many thanks go to Adrian Teotahi (Government Water Engineer) and Ulamila Wragg (Media, Gender and Climate Change). Ula basically organised everything with Adrian and all I had to do was tag along and video things.
And it was great getting off the beaten track when Adrian took us inland to the Takuvaine and Matavera intakes.
Most people, me included, just stick to the main road or back road in our daily travels but just a short way inland the hills, streams and forests are just so peaceful and beautiful. The roads are rugged though – 4 wheel drive a necessity although walking is a good option. Another necessity is insect repellent. Our Raro mountain mozzies are fearsome.
If you want to check out the ADB contest follow this link.

Monday, January 17

Orama performing at Te Maeva Nui 2010

Here’s a flash-back to Te Maeva Nui constitution celebrations last year.
As well as the island and village teams in the cultural dance competition, each night we had guest artists performing.
The Orama Dance Group put on a great display one night.
Orama is one of the biggest and best groups on Rarotonga.
The head of the culture ministry, Sonny Williams, and his wife Gina, a choreographer and former champion dancer, are in charge so Orama put on a top class show.
This video is of one of the men’s drum dances. It was action packed and exciting – those boys must be really fit!

Saturday, January 8

Around Rarotonga in 8 minutes

This video is longer than usual. The title says eight minutes but it’s actually a bit over eight and a half, however that’s still a fairly speedy trip around the rock!
The new year weather was wet and miserable for several days but Tuesday dawned fine and sunny so I got out the motorbike and drove the 30 or so kilometres around the main road in a clockwise direction.
I started at the junction of Pokoinu Road with the main road and headed along the sea wall to Panama, then Avatiu, Avarua, Tupapa, Matavera, Ngatangiia, Titikaveka, Papa’aroa, Aroa, Kavera, Arorangi, Nikao ending up at Pokoinu Road again.
With no stops (and sticking to the speed limit) it took 45 minutes (The bus takes 50 minutes). But nobody wants to watch three-quarters of an hour of road video however nice the scenery is so I speeded it up by 500%.
You can tell the state of the roads by all the jumping and juddering. Potholes are an ongoing source of complaint on Rarotonga. One of our growth industries. The authorities sometimes send road crews round to fill them in with dirt and gravel if there’s no tar on the island. Not surprisingly the holes don’t stay filled for long.
The music is a song from popular local singer Tara Kauva's new CD "Poe Manea". You can find out more about Tara on her website at

Saturday, January 1

The Aranui Experience – Picnic at Hanamenu

Happy New Year.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that 2011 will be peaceful and prosperous.
The weather on Raro around Christmas was good apart from a few showers but I can’t say the same for the New Year. We’ve had lots of heavy rain. There haven’t been as many campers on the beach as in previous years. The Nikao social centre area used to be full of families complete with tents, mattresses, barbecues and even TVs but this year people mostly seemed to come down for the day.
There’s a very large camp of SDA Pathfinders going on at the moment with over 900 campers from around the Pacific in a huge campsite at Papa’aroa school. The kids had fine weather for all their activities last week. The last couple of days have been wet but looking at the satellite photo for this area of the Pacific it looks as though sunny weather is on the way.
This video is another from the Marquesas trip on the Aranui 3, still on the island of Hiva Oa at a picnic in a very small settlement called Hanamenu.
I’ve almost finished one about Punanga Nui market but I’ve been busy slashing and burning recently – getting the garden into shape with weed-eater, chainsaw and hedge clippers as well as water-blasting the deck, so it’s all looking less like a jungle and more like a garden. The trick now will be to keep it that way but in a tropical island paradise things grow fast. Looks as though my New Year resolution is ready made!