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Susan and Heinere

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S: Famille Ah-Sha: Tahiti 25 Juin - 25 Juillet 2010

BC: Pour Notre Tres Chere Famille Avec Tout Notre Amour Heinere, Susan, Elijah, Hannah, Caleb, & Jesse 25 Juin - 25 Juillet , 2010

1: Ah-Sha Family | Famille Ah-Sha | 2010 | 2010

2: Thursday, June 24, 2010 Today our vacation began! After loading the car with six people and 10 pieces of luggage, plus carry-on's, we left the Las Vegas valley and headed to Los Angeles. | The drive was five hours of crowded spaces and anticipation for what was to come over the next 30 days! We stayed one night in the hotel waiting and wondering about all of the exciting adventures that awaited us in Tahiti!

3: Check out those smiles as we waited in the Los Angeles airport and on the airplane. | Then finally, after 8 1/2 hours . . .

4: Bienvenue a Tahiti

6: UMMM YUM YUM

7: Bon Appetite

8: We enjoyed the black sand beaches in Arue, Venus Pointe in Mahina, and in Papara, where we didn't swim but watched the surfers! The black sand was so hot when we walked on it but it was so soft. The black sand beaches were our favorite! Every beach had a place to rinse off all of the sand. The water was always so cold after spending the day in warm ocean water and on the sand in the hot sun. Out of the 30 days we were in Tahiti, we went swimming at the beach at least 13 of those days! | We stayed at Tatie Clarita's house (Grandma Ah-Sha's cousin). She doesn't live there anymore so it was just our family. | We spent several days at the different beaches while on the island of Tahiti. We went to white sand beaches in Paea and Punaauia. There was a lot of coral at these beaches so it was fun to snorkel and look at all of the fish. Elijah, Hannah, and Caleb all enjoyed snorkeling from the beginning. But it took Jesse a few days at the beach before he trusted it and then he loved it!

9: Each Sunday we went to church with Grandma, Tatie Maureen, and Tonton Tamatoa. Elijah, Hannah, and Caleb all went to their own classes each Sunday and did their best with understanding everything that was being said. Mom went with Jesse every week and did her best to translate the lessons for him. | We ate a lot of great food in Tahiti. Every morning consisted of Milo to drink and baguette to eat. Some of the mornings we also had firi firi, pain chocolate, eggs, fruit, yogurt, cheese, pua'a roti, wontons and spring rolls. | For other meals we had a variety including chow mein, poisson cru, ma'a tinito, crepes, cous cous, poulet caramel, punu pua'atoro, and always fresh, delicious baguette (that cost only 53 francs!) We also had BBQ a few times with chicken, sausages, beef and shrimp kabobs and grilled vegetables. | During Sacrament Meeting we sang some of the hymns in French and some of them in Tahitian. All of the classes we attended were in French except for Dad in High Priest Group where it was all in Tahitian. That was even challenging for him. I guess it was a good learning experience for all of us!

10: A la Plage

12: Huahine

16: m o t u

18: July 1-8, 2010 Today we flew from Tahiti to the island of Huahine. Our family went along with TeArai, Miritea, Temaohi, Kiivai, Maureen, and Tamatoa. We stayed with Miritea's grandmother, Mama Tinitua in the town of Tefarerii. All of us "lived" on the enclosed front porch for the 8 days that we were there. It was large enough for all of us to sleep, plus 3 more when Miritea's parents and niece came a few days later. The home was very simple with the back yard being the ocean! We are so grateful that we were able to stay there and enjoy life in Huahine. It is very laid back and beautiful, and much more "tropical" than the island of Tahiti. Most of the days we were there, we went across the lagoon to Motu Morimaora. We all rode on a small fishing boat, driven by Jonny, that had a few holes but got the job done. | Mom swam across the lagoon 3 different times instead of taking the boat. One time she went by herself, once with Maureen, and once with Maureen and Miritea. The last time we left the motu, we had to take the boat around the whole lagoon to a drop off spot closer to the house. There were 16 people on this small boat and we went very slowly but it was such a beautiful, peaceful ride.

19: The motu was a place to just relax. On the Lagoon side of the Motu the water was calm and clear and the color of sapphires. It was beautiful!! The ocean side was also calm a little way out until it got to the reef where there were small waves. There was a lot of coral on this side and the water was very shallow. It was great for snorkeling. Tonton TeAria did a lot of spear fishing also. One of the days when we were leaving the Motu, 2 small octopus swam right under the boat. Another time on the ocean side there was a "sleeping" shark swimming through the coral. | In Huahine we watched a group of locals make several loaves of coconut bread; we went on a circle island tour where we saw Marae (ancient dwelling site), amazing landscapes and scenery, and a small river full of eels. We bought a can of fish and a young local girl went into the river and basically hand fed the eel! We also celebrated Dad's 40th birthday with four large pans of brownies (made by Maureen and Miritea) with one large candle in each. And we sang "Happy Birthday" in French, English, & Tahitian! Dad has an aunt who lives in Huahine. Her name is AnneMarie Colombani and she is Grandpa Ah-Sha's sister. She is very kind and we were so happy to meet her. Dad hadn't seen her for over 20 years.

22: Huahine

30: papio

32: We spent a day in Tahiti down town looking around and shopping for souvenirs. We went to the local market where you could find anything and everything. There was freshly caught fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables, bakery items, jewelry, jelly, lotion, trinkets, clothing, woodcarvings, fresh flowers, artwork and more! We also went to the park. It wasn't there the last time we were in Tahiti. It is right by the marina in downtown Papeete. There are 2 playground areas, pavilions with tables, a lot of grass and a nice, wide walking path for strolling along the ocean front. | On Sunday, July 11,2010 we saw something we will never see again. There was a total solar eclipse! French Polynesia was the best place in the whole world to view the eclipse and we were there! Tahiti wasn't the very best island to view it but it was still amazing. We each had a pair of special glasses that allowed us to look directly at the sun. It started around 8 o'clock in the morning and lasted about two hours. It was amazing to watch as the sun passed behind the moon. It didn't get dark but it looked like a cloudy day when the sun was directly behind the moon. A once in a lifetime experience!

33: We went to the Paul Gaugin Museum and enjoyed looking at his artwork and learning a little bit about his life in French Polynesia. Most of the month of June and July are a Heiva in Tahiti. There are many cultural events and other celebrations. Every night while we were in Tahiti we got to enjoy listening to the sounds of the carnival. We could hear the very loud music and the shouting and laughter of the people there. One night we actually went to the carnival and enjoyed the rides and activities. | We went to the Heiva Rima'i where artists from all over French Polynesia displayed and sold their artwork. We also went to the Heiva Tu'aro Ma'ohi at the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands. We saw coconut tree climbing, stone lifting, javelin throwing, and copra preparing. There was also a dance performance by a Marquesan group.

34: heiva au musee

36: vaiumete | We were trying to get to a natural stone water slide that Maureen had told us about. The hike started on a nice wide path and gradually narrowed. Eventually we felt like we were making our own path and decided to turn around. Even though we didn't make it to the water slide, it was still a nice hike and we enjoyed the cool water as we crossed through the river several times.

37: SURF | A | PAPENOO | Remi Brown and his two oldest sons met us at a beach in Papenoo to teach us how to surt and body board. None of us made it to the surfing but had a great time on the body boards and playing in the waves!

38: Marae Arahurahu

42: Grandma & Grandpa Burns spent the last five days with us in Tahiti. It was their first time there so we wanted to show them as much as we could! | The first full day they were in Tahiti, we went around the island to show them some of the different sites. | We stopped at the Marae Arahurahu, Grotte Mata Va'a, Teahupoo (the end of the road on Tahiti Iti), Plateau de Taravau, the blow hole, and Le Belvedere. | Other things we did while they were in Tahiti: dinner at the Roulotte; Venus Pointe Beach; a big dinner with family and friends; Heiva I Tahiti (singing & dancing); went to downtown Papeete, the temple grounds and cemetery.

44: Teahupoo | Plateau de Taravao

45: Le Belvedere

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