Thursday, April 28

Rarotonga papa’a dancer of the year

Every year the Cook Islands Ministry of Cultural Development holds a Dancer of the Year competition. One of the sections is for expats and visitors (papa'a) as shown in this video.
The competition for papa’a and golden oldies usually takes place in a local watering hole – this year it was Hidie’s Bar in Cook’s Corner. That’s no doubt because expats, tourists and golden oldies are a sociable bunch and like to indulge in a glass or two of jungle juice as they cheer those talented enough to enter the contest. The more serious, less social events (Junior, Intermediate and Senior DOTYs) take place at the national auditorium which is dry.
Hidie’s was packed and the audience was happy and good natured – it was a fun occasion.
Only three people entered the papa’a section (two female, one male) but they were awesome! They had all obviously put in a huge amount of practice and it showed.
As Cook Islands News said, “Greg Young from the Esther Honey Foundation animal clinic … blew the socks off the the ecstatic audience to win the male papa'a dancer of the year title.
Tracey O’Brien and local based Japanese national Nana Hirata were equally stunning on stage.”
Greg is now the papa’a dancer of the year. Tracey won the female DOTY title.
(Next video will show the golden oldies – watch this spot for a whole lot of fun!)

Monday, April 25

Rarotonga Catholics celebrate Easter

Easter is the most important feast in the Catholic Church and commemorates the crucifixion (on Good Friday) and resurrection (on Easter Sunday) of Jesus.
Every Good Friday morning the Catholic community on Rarotonga remembers the final hours of Jesus with prayers and hymns at the Stations of the Cross.
Fourteen stations, each marked by a small white cross, were set out between the courthouse in Avarua and St Joseph’s Cathedral. At each cross the congregation of about 250 people stopped to sing and pray while a young male member of the community acted out the events from the trial to the crucifixion.
This most impressive re-enactment gives Catholics the opportunity to think about their religion and beliefs.

Monday, April 18

Rarotonga’s 29th Tinman Triathlon

Rarotonga’s Tinman triathlon was started by a small group of enthusiasts in 1982 as a baby brother version of the Hawaii Ironman (1200m swim, 31km round the island cycle and 10km run).
Back then it used to be held on ANZAC Day, a public holiday in the Cook Islands.
The venue was the sailing club on Muri beach, nice place for a swim but it’s rather more crowded nowadays.
Since the international triathlon became the big one for Rarotonga, the date of the Tinman has varied so people can use it as part of their build-up.
I think the fellow lying on the ground in the video was the winner in 1984. He was a doctor at the hospital and set a very fast time then collapsed after the run (he recovered Ok though).
The Cook Islands Triathlon Association has records from all the international triathlons but it wasn’t formed until 1994 so I don’t know if it’s got details of the early Tinmans (Tinmen?).
The weather on Saturday was good for the athletes although a bit damp for spectators. We had rain in the morning and the afternoon was cloudy with rain towards the end of the race. That would have kept the runner cool.
Twenty individuals and eleven teams made up the field and there must have been a lot of jockeying for position during the race because Vanessa Palmer (4th) was first out of the water followed by Kelly Pick (2nd) one second later. They were a long way ahead of the next bunch which included eventual winner Roland Neururer with Geoff Stoddart (3rd) further back again.
All our triathletes can now get ready for the big one on 7 May. And according to CITA it really will be big with the second largest ever number of entrants.

Friday, April 15

A long way from Rarotonga

Tunisia is a long way from Rarotonga but that's where I've been recently and that's why it's been over a month since my last video.
Here is a short film of some of the highlights - more details to follow.