Rarotonga- The Drought

The Drought

By: Lauren M. 

Today’s hike was breath taking! We climbed to the top of one of the peaks on the island, and, well…WOW. The view was incredible, just look at these pictures:

We sat atop the peak for about a half hour and joked about how we wished we could have a one room hut up there so when we woke up in the morning we would always see that amazing view. As we ventured down, we followed the stream and came to a waterfall. It is dry season here, so the waterfall was not actually falling, but at the water hole we met Water Dog! He followed us for about a mile until we reached the van that would take us to the rest of the team. We have an affinity for stray dogs and I do not think anyone is mad about it.

On the hike as well, Allen Padgett was able to collect a wealth of plant pictures that will benefit him in his research.

The snorkeling was an adventure as well. Adventurer Jason Scoggins snorkeled for the first time, which was fortunate because he was not feeling well for the better part of today. When we got to the beach we met Sun Dog. I think we are all starting to see a pattern here. The water is crystal clear and there were all different kinds off fish. We should be doing the same snorkel tomorrow!

I learned that while some of us were hiking, Adventurers Sabrina Alvarez, Jamie Rule, Kelsey Ribordy, and Talia Weiss meet a lovely lady who worked in the archives. This lady’s name is April, born in the month of April, and the four adventurers had an amazing conversation with her. As Kelsey reports, they learned useful life advice. It is these kind of connections that make this trip magical. 

If you liked April’s story, let me tell you about another! Andy and Jake went on quite the adventure today. When the two made it to the island, the taxi driver that took them to our home base gave them his number in case they ever wanted to meet up again. Today Andy and Jake spent the entire day with him, cutting open coconuts, making coconut oil, and eating fresh fish. They are going back tomorrow, possibly to partake in a pig roast. Ah what a day!

Our cultural engagement for the evening was a drum and dance lesson where was got to learn some cultural drum beats and dance moves. We competed to see who was the best dancer and then split up into groups and competed to see which group had the best rhythm. It was an amazing time and at the end the floor opened up so we could ask our native teachers about their time on the island.

Dinner was the next thing on the agenda and let me just say this…Taco Tuesday! Yum! And lurking in the refrigerator was two special treats for the birthday boy Andy! He turned twenty-one today and we celebrated by having chocolate and carrot cake. We sang, we laughed, and we indulged ourselves with cake. It was really nice for all of us to have the chance to spend today with him.

Tomorrow some of us are partaking in a Medicinal Herb Hike and others are heading to the library for more research related adventures. We are halfway through our week, but there will be many more opportunities for adventures I assure you. 

Meet the Family

Allen Padgett. Biological Field Intern. He is studying the plants and birds of the island and he will be taking photographs for identification purposes. He is also writing a physical/cultural feature/description of the organisms.

Jason Scoggins. Culture Field Guide Intern. He is studying the economy of the island with a focus on the large impact of tourism.

Sabrina Alvarez. Anthropology Intern. She is studying every day life on the island as well as how tradition and Māori culture plays into everyday activities.

Kelsey Ribordy. Anthropology/Cultural Intern. She is creating insight on Rarotonga Māori legends, language, and tradition. She is also documenting the experience and culture of the island in photography and video.