This week we received transfer calls. My companion is going to be my new STL and I'm going to be training!
So, in an effort to help my greenie, the theme of this email is:
All (and probably more than) you want to know about the Tahiti Papeete Mission:
Our perfume is found in the form of mosquito repellant.
We eat with members or investigators every night. Rice and french baguettes are present at every meal. The ma'a we put on top changes, sometimes shrimp and curry, sometimes potatoes and chicken, or my personal favorite, poisson cru and sashimi (raw fish).
There are dogs everywhere. Some are guard dogs, and if they start to advance the attack, calmy bend down and pretend to pick up a rock, they still bark ferociously but at least they stop running.
We wear flip flops and take our shoes off before entering into homes. When arriving, it's culturally expected to greet everyone present with the bise (cheek to cheek kisses). With men, the mission rule is a handshake, but not all men know that rule, so sometimes you might be forced to faire le bise with them before you have time to explain.
We can walk in the ocean just until knee level.
The roosters crow at dawn, and at 5 in the morning, 4 in the morning, midnight... basically all the time and it's funny because they build off one another, crying back and forth.
I love Tahitian companions because we always speak in French, they teach you to live like the people and also how to dance. They love jokes and telling stories and rarely is a smile given without a laugh of joy to accompany it.
Everyone is cousin, aunt, or uncle with everyone else. The women nurse in front of all. And little children run naked until age 4 and in their panties until about age 10.
Polynesian people believe in God and Jesus Christ, whatever the religion, which are many: Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Catholics, Protestants, and the Hallelujahs (Pentecosts).
And especially in Huahine:
The speed limit is 25-35 mph, watch out for scooters, cyclists and oncoming cars because sometimes the road is only big enough for 1.75 cars. Also, when driving at night, street lights are only found in the two central villages, so if you turn the headlights off, it's pitchblack. But man, can you see the stars.
We have washing machines and after hang dry our clothes.
July and August are winter months with strong, cold winds. Bring some socks, a blanket, and a sweater (pronouned sweata) in Tahitian.
We drink coconut water (best still in the coconut) and also citronade (homeade lemonade). Tap water is safe to drink.
The deceased are buried in the front yard.
The stores close at about 4 in the afternoon.
We can see the islands of Raiatea, Tahaa, and Bora Bora too if the sky is clear. The ocean is 3 minutes away from our house.
Basically, the Tahiti Papeete Mission is the best mission in the world!