24 Jun Rotoava, Fakarava, Illes Tuamotu – Saturday, 23 June Sunday, 24 June 2001
They eat dogs in the Tuamotus, at least in Rotoava, Fakarava. We were told that they eat dogs, but we thought that meant in years long past. No, they eat dogs at the Miss Fakrava Festival. So much for cultural differences. We didn’t experience the dog eating, but our Swedish friends on The Wonder Years did, first hand. The story goes like this: Ole and Karin with their sons, Ole Jr. and Nils had gone searching for a house they had seen with a pig in the front yard in order to take a picture of the pig. The pig wasn’t there, but they noticed that there was something freshly butchered in the back yard. They went to check it out and discovered that two dogs had been butchered for the feast at the Miss Fakarava contest that evening. They didn’t eat any meat at the feast that night.
It took four hours to transit the lagoon at Fakrava from the South Pass. The village of Rotoava is located here, near the North Pass and we anchored with several other sailboats close to shore. I stayed on board in order to have a little quiet time while Don, Rob and Donna all went ashore. Don went to the church to get permission to record the church service the next morning and Rob and Donna went in search of fresh veggies. We were completely out. When they all returned I was told that there was a dance practice in preparation for the local version of the Heiva Festival that would take place next week and we had been invited to watch. Of coarse we went; the young girls were beautiful and the older women danced beautifully. We met Michelle from New Zealand, who teaches English to the people in training for a new hotel that was under construction. She had been living in Rotoava three years and told us how much she enjoyed the people there. She told us about the various dancers; one