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Rarotonga

Cook Islands

sunny 80 °F

Rarotonga is the capital of the Cook Islands. Cook Islands is "an island country in free association with New Zealand." The relationship is confusing and sounds like that of a late teen with his parents, one not yet fully launched but encouraged to live on his own. The country is composed of 15 islands which total 90 square miles in area, spread over 2 million square miles of ocean. That isolation sounds extraordinarily difficult to us - imagine one hospital for the whole 2 million miles and having to fly or sail everywhere, but the folks take it in stride. They call Rarotonga the "mainland" (it's about 8 square miles) and hop on and off little planes, often in bare feet.

Gift stores are filled with motivational signs painted with adages like "The first to apologize is the bravest; the first to forget is the strongest; the first to forget is the happiest." The vegetation is lush and beautiful. The people are quite kind and quite quite large. (No pix because it seemed impolite to ask permission to photograph people just because they were obese.)

We took a wonderful plane ride across the island's green mountains and then went along the lagoons and reef and sea. Cook Islands is a fervently Christian country, the enduring result of missionary effort in the 19th century. The prominent denominations are Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Seventh Day Adventists.
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Love, H&B

Posted by HopeEakins 16:12 Archived in Cook Islands

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