Our Polynesian Family in Bora Bora; French Polynesia Part 12

Our Polynesian Family in Bora Bora; French Polynesia Part 12

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Heivas , Ward Families, and Adventure

Destination: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Date: August 2013

Activity: Church activities, Heivas and More!


So fun with these six at the dock of Viatape
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013

This “adventure” started off innocently enough.  We took our dinghy into town, about a ten minute ride, to see the local church congregations Heiva.  A Heiva is a Polynesian festival with singing and dancing.  We arrived early so we could have dinner, do a little grocery shopping, and be there for the festivities.  We had heard many of the members of other islands were going to be there and since we had made friends with some of the members we were excited to support them in their performances.


The dock at Viatape
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013



Stopping at the local grocery store, Chin Lee, to pick up groceries. Make sure to take your own shopping bags because they charge a fee for those!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013


Stopping to get a bite to eat at the food trucks that gather near the port of Viatape
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013

Our first set back came when we were confused about the venue of the event.  Once we found out where it really was being held we started a twenty-five minute walk on the two lane island rim highway.  We got about a mile and a half into the walk when a local saw our little band of hikers and felt pity on us.  The man came running out of his house and pushed us into his four person hatch back and drove us the mile we had left down the road to the event.  At this moment riding without seat belts became the safer alternative than us walking on the side of a now very dark island highway.


Clay Clay is ready for an adventure!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013


Bailey with mini-Bailey aka “Bella” at the port ready for the fun to begin
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013

carve001052 carve001058 carve001052We were so grateful for our ride and offered to pay the man money but he refused profusely in French and sent us on our way.  We were grateful to have made it to the Heiva and have the kids stop complaining about the unexpected hike we had just been on.

The event was great.  Like most Heivas it starts with some singing, a narrator explaining the performances, and lots and lots of dancing.  The island band on the side plays all kinds of homemade instruments and it was very entertaining for the kids.  They loved watching the local primary children preform their Polynesian dances and loved being welcomed with leis when we walked in the door that evening.


Our special friend Gaelle whom we seemed to run into everyday while on the island
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013


Gaelle getting ready for the Heiva
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013

We didn’t want to make the same mistake and have to walk back to the dock so this time when we saw a taxi emptying his load of passengers we told him to come back in an hour and a half and no matter what we would be ready to go.  Trent got the mans name and a good look at him so we could identify him as our driver when we needed him.  We had to laugh when we saw that he parked his taxi at the event and went into the festivities and participated in many of the singing and band performances during the evening.  When it was time to go an hour and a half later we giggled seeing our taxi driver, Jerry, up and in full song in the middle of the auditorium.  Though we may have been ready to go we now had to wait for Jerry’s performance to end!


Leah’s little friend from church was one of the dancers in the Heiva. We loved watching them dance!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013


Leah and Gaelle. She really loved our kids so we loved her!
Bora Bora French Polynesia August 2013


The leaders of the local congregations in the Tahiti area
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013

The next morning we were excited to get over to the next part of the two day church event and headed over to Motu Tapa for the rest of the two day ward activity.  The plan of the two wards here in Bora Bora is to increase their membership and have a third ward created.  Wards are how we distinguish congregations in our church and the members here were ready for a third ward to be created.  They just lacked the numbers for this by a fraction so they were all willing to share the gospel with their friends at this two-day activity.


There were many games to be played at the second day of the festivities on the motu Tap’u The kids loved the banana carrying relay! Especially that mom participated too!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013


The girls get a little love from Gaelle!
Bora Bora French Polynesia August 2013

Having the activity at Motu Tap’u was a great way to get people out to an island for a free meal and activities but make it difficult for them to leave once their bellies were full.  The problem is getting five hundred very large Polynesians and all the food out there was quite the logistical undertaking.  The ferries started at 7:30 in the morning and by the time our family arrived at 11:00 the ferries were still going.


The kids were excited to get to the Heiva the second day!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013

During our time at the activity we had fun playing sporting activities, watch coconuts be shredded for its meat in timed contests, banana races, wheel barrel races, tug-o-wars and volleyball matches.  Though we don’t speak Tahitian, or French we were still included in all of the events and made to feel like a part of the ward family here in Bora Bora.


The shredding of the coconut was the most amazing thing to my kids. They couldn’t believe they could learn how to break a coconut just like a local!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013


Between potato sack races to wheel barrel ones my kids got into it all!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013


We were excited when our team actually won the tug-o-war!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013

Our best friend we made here in Bora Bora is a girl named Gaelle.  We met her on our second day on the island and she seemed to pop up everywhere.  She was so excited to learn we were members of her church and quickly informed us she is getting ready to leave for her 18-month mission to New Zealand.  She was a great asset to us because of her limited English skills and her love for all of our children.  At one point Gaelle even threw Colton in to the pool at the local marina because she felt so comfortable with our family.


Meeting the Tahiti Mission President was pretty fun for our crew!
Bora Bora French Polynesia August 2013


This was a fun day for all of us!
Bora Bora, French Polynesia August 2013


Lexi was proved to be very strong with this bundle of bananas!
Bora Bora French Polynesia August 2013

 We loved getting to know the ward family in Bora Bora.  It is good to know that no matter where we are in the world we have family there waiting for us.  We may not speak the same language but the church is the same and the people are all our brothers and sisters in the gospel.


Safe and Happy Travels!!