The rain is falling on the thatch above my head, but I don't mind. I'm in lust with Tahiti.
After twenty four hours of travel, I arrived in Fa'a Airport. It's possible I was the smelliest person around. Stefan fron Sweden took mercy on my mountain of bags and agreed to shuck the cab and take a shot at Papeete public transportation. Two fifty pound bags and three flights of stairs are quite an endeavor alone, so I was very much thankful for him. Finally, I arrived at the Sofitel and was immediately served a delicious drink that was cold and infused with an unknown herb. This drink was accompanied by a chilled towel. Great first impression. I was able to check in early at which point I practically dove into the shower. I went in search of Juliette Phillippe, President of Rotary Moorea. Juliette immediately gave me a lesson on the Tahitian pearl, and presented me with a beautiful oyster shell as a welcome gift. She and I made plans to meet at 11:30, for what, I could not quite understand.
Juliette's heavy French accent makes her unintelligible to me at times, but the beauty of French and English merged together is a treat. We walked outside into a blast of hot air and drove to a local sushi place for lunch. Paul Sloan from LA met us and seems quite happy with his change in residence. Eating sushi off a conveyer belt within earshot of the ocean makes the world feel just right. Paul is Secretary of Rotary, and will soon become the President. His club is beginning the first matching grant project on a nearby island that lacks access to clean water. Guess what, they need help over the course of the next few years. I volunteered!! Hopefully something will come of that chat. Business soon turned into coffee and dessert downtown. Imagine a trifle. Layer 1 - fruit and liquor. Layer 2 - bananas and vanilla ice cream. Layer 3 - Whipped cream and cinnamon cocoa puffs with biscotti. I'm not ashamed to say I ate the entire blessed thing by myself - washed down with a sugar laden espresso. The large ice cream wonder was intended for three, but I'm inclined to say that my day dates saw joy wash over me with that first bite and conspired to suddenly lose their appetite. God bless em. We meet again at 8 for dinner, so I'll try to keep it in check this time.
Imagine a spin bike. Now set that bike in the ocean enough to let the handlebars stick out. Right past the waves directly in front of me is the "gym." Post ice cream incident I decided to get a little spin in. My legs churning created a huge amount of splashing. "Don't sharks get attracted by splashing noises at dusk during feeding time?" That spin class lasted about three minutes.