A Travellerspoint blog

Cook Islands

At Sea

Between Cook Islands and Tonga

sunny 80 °F

It’s a good thing we like sea days! We are beginning a three day journey from the Cook Islands to Neiafu, part of the Vava’u Group of the country of Tonga. It’s a long way from everywhere.

We occupied ourselves today with things like a knife skills demonstration, a wonderful presentation by Saroo Brierley, author of A Long Way Home, the story in the film Lion, and of course Team Trivia.

We marvel at how amazingly connected we are in this remote part of the wide ocean. E.g., our ship’s newspaper, the USA Times, an 8.5 x 14 page that purports to contain the world’s news (a miracle, given that it has 1½ pages of sports and ½ page of business), had a front page article today quoting Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin’s comments on the storm in the northeast. E.g.2, after son Bruce forwarded a notice from Walgreens that a blood pressure drug Hope takes had been recalled for containing a contaminant, the wonderful Dr. Antonio Fernandez (Hartford Hospital) sent an opinion about getting a replacement in Auckland. So we may be in the midst of wide waters, but we feel very close to you all.
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Love, H&B

Posted by HopeEakins 16:44 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

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 Comments (0)

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