Rarotonga- Kia Orana

Kia Orana

By: Lauren M. 

Our native friend Pa led the medicinal herb hike this morning. He was an eccentric man that was full of life! At age 77, he is still built to last 150 years. He told the hikers stories about his life and he filled the group with laughter. One of the stories was about how he has climbed every peak on the mountain. Another was about how Hilary Clinton came to visit him to do a nature hike and at the end she gave him $200, which he still has in his fanny pack today.

While some adventurers were hiking, others were off preparing a pig with a local named Apii. They rubbed sand on the pig, and then they put it in boiling water, all to get the pig’s hair off. Any remaining hair was shaved off with small razors. Once all the hair was removed, Apii cut the pig open and removed all the insides. The pig was then hung by a rope and washed, and prepped to be put in the oven. An added bonus of this adventure was that adventurer Melissa Geisel helped Apii and his family identify some rocks that they had had in their family for many generations!

The rest of the adventure family was back out in Avarua to explore and do more research. We leave in a few days and we have to buckle down and get work done. But I am not going to lie; it is difficult when the ocean and the sun are calling you to relax on the beach.

At this point we have all settled in and look forward to our family dinners out on the patio while the sunsets. Tonight we had burgers! Augie and I were lucky enough to snag the two Juicy Lucy burgers.

The night ended the way it normally does. Our daily meetings to talk about what we accomplished and next steps, followed by playing pool in the game room or cards in the living room. There is also a theater connected to the game room, and some of us hung out in there to watch a movie.

Tomorrow it is back to Avarua for us because tomorrow will be the last day we can do extensive research. Everything is closed this Friday because it is Ariki Day on the Island! Ariki Day is a celebration of the Cook Islands where all the Paramount Chiefs of the Island come together to celebrate their fellow brothers and sisters. There is a ceremony, dancing, music, and food!

After Avarua we are going on a Cultural Tour of the Island! Everyone is excited to go, hoping this adventure will open up new avenues for our research! 

Meet the Family

Melissa Geisel. Geology Field Team Intern. She is studying the geology of Rarotonga, how the Island formed, what processes have altered the Island, and what is present today.