Tag Archives: valerie

The master piece!

Polynesian Sand Art

My beautiful and very talented friend, Valerie, created a sand art masterpiece for us.  She is a self-taught artist well-known all-over French Polynesia.  She sells and sends her art to the States, Canada, France and Tahiti.  It will be very difficult to showcase her creations as you just can’t appreciate the intricacy without seeing it in person.  But I will endeavor to try for you.

Valerie uses local, natural sand and soil for all of her work.  First, she considers her customer and creates a story for them.  This story is then conveyed using Polynesian symbols and designs.  The second step starts with outlining the story on graph paper.  The third step is artfully and carefully gluing the particles of sand and soil into place.  Yep, you read that right.  She applies hundreds of thousands of particles of sand and soil individually to create her sand art.

Breaking down the artwork by sections…

The Fairytale of My Life

The 1 represents Matt.  He is the man, solid.  He gave and continues to give force and protection to his wife, Christine.  The 2 represents, Christine.  She passed from life to death and from death to life.  Matt (3) and Christine, as the wind comes from the North (4), travel across the ocean (5).  With their love and passion (6)., they take care of each other and their home (7).  Generously (8) giving.  Christine, you are a beautiful woman (9) and Matt is your hero (20).  Like the bird, you always take flight (11) to other islands and countries.

Starting at lower right corner.

  1. Arm/Leg “Puha tahi” (bend with two matching ends) = Matt. Force, solid, protection
  2. Marquesan Cross “Peka ‘enana” (above arm, square) = Christine. Transformation, cycle of eternity, from life to death and death to life.
  3. Man “Vahana” = Matt. The husband.  Woman = Christine. The wife.  (stacked man with woman above)
  4. Cohort of the Tiu God “Pi’I ia o Tiu” (design looks like X’s with dots on top). Wind from the North.  Those that go beyond the sea
  5. Sea “Tai” (waves over arch). To Travel.
  6. Love “Hinena’o” (looks like checkerboard under the waves). Love passionately. My lovely wide.
  7. Woven material “’A ‘aka ha’a” (zig zag with lines under love). Made with Pandanus Odoratissimus leaves.  Woven together for life.  Home, family, take care of each other.
  8. Arm (armpit) “Ka’ake” (bottom center, below bird and shooting up to the left of the arm/leg #1) force of generosity, gift of love, cherishment.
  9. Woman’s belly “hope vehnine” (two images, left of Marquesan cross). Femininity, beauty.
  10. Manta Ray “Haha’ua” (center). Men’s protector animal and wisdom.
Sand Art Story

Sand Art Story

Continuing the Journey

You are always read to listen and understand others (12).  The ancestor’s spirit protects you (13) and also the good luck spirit gives you power (14).   You’ve got courage to brave (15) the ocean even when it’s raining, windy, and stormy.

  1. Bird “Manu” (bottom. Semi-circle) Taking flight, soul’s journey
  2. Ear “Pua’ika” (left of bird, looks like surfer’s “s”) always ready to listen, understanding
  3. Sacred Divinity “Etua po’o’u” (below bird and ear). A protector or ancestor’s spirit.
  4. Glinting / Gleaming look “Mata Hoata” (type of tiki. To the left of Sacred Divinity) Good luck spirit which gives power. Awaken to the world.
  5. Ornament for the calf “Poe vae” (Two stripes from Sacred Divinity to flower. Hourglass design) Represents courage and bravery.
Sand Art Story

Sand Art Story

The Guiding Star

The compass (16) is your star who guides you across the ocean.  Success (18) in all your life, trip, and love.  As the turtle (17), you always return to the sea (19).  For our continued journey to see and meet other worlds and new friends.

Compass and Turtle

Compass and Turtle

I zoomed in on a small portion of the photo with the hopes that you can see the sand particles.  There are dozens of colors of sand in this small corner alone.

This is a photo of the sand art as a work in progress…she has drawn it out and is working on adhering the sand.

Work in progress

Work in progress

And the final masterpiece of sand art….

The master piece!

The master piece!

Me and Valerie, the artist extraordinaire!

Valerie and I with my Sand Art

Valerie and I with my Sand Art

It takes Valerie between 3-4 weeks to complete one sand art creation.  She inspires me and leaves me speechless with her talent!

Events from this blog post occurred during the end of March.  Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.

Taravai anchorage on a calm day

Polynesian Beauty

The Polynesian beauty can be found everywhere.  In the smile of a local, in the fresh scent of the tiere bloom, in the sparkle of a pearl, and in the setting of the sun.  It just seems to abound from every nook and cranny in this country.

Over the last two years we have accumulated several “imperfect pearls.”  Birthdays, trade, thank you gifts, etc…  An imperfect pearl can be one that is not particularly colorful or full of luster.  Or maybe it is marked or odd shaped.  Either way, there are loads of them around.  Technically, they cannot be sold.

One day I decided to see if I could put together a unique design using small pearls from my little collection.  I was super pleased to find 28 pearls of the same size.  I approached a local jeweler and asked her to drill them, and create a stunning necklace.  In the states this would most likely cost well over $2k, but here it cost me about $90.  I am super happy with this striking, one-of-a-kind necklace.

Polynesian Pearl Necklace

Polynesian Pearl Necklace

Sunrise and Sunsets

We are usually blessed with either a gorgeous sunrise or sunset.  We try to stop what we are doing to enjoy these magnificent opportunities. Sometimes we sleep through the sunrise, but most times we get lucky.

This is a sunrise over Aukena.  We captured it from the Rikitea main village anchorage.

Sunset behind Aukena

Sunset behind Aukena

Matt has such a good eye when it comes to photos.  He captured the same sunrise from the bow with our sail bag and solar panels.

Sunrise over Aukena

Sunrise over Aukena

At anchor in Puaumau, we have an unobstructed view of the sunset.  One night we captured a big storm cloud on the horizon just as the sun was setting.

Storm cloud on the horizon

Storm cloud on the horizon

The full moon rose to its glory of the motu of Puaumu.

Moonrise over Puaumu

Moonrise over Puaumu

Puaumu is a gorgeous anchorage that many cruisers don’t visit (for whatever reason).  However, it is one of our favorite anchorages with crystal clear turquoise waters, great snorkeling, fun exploring, and privacy.

INSERT 2 COLLAG OF PUAUMU

We had a break in the rain on a particular stormy day.  It was the “calm after the storm.”  Which created this beautiful Polynesian scenery  with calm seas and fluffy clouds.  

Polynesian Beauty: Taravai Anchorage

Polynesian Beauty: Taravai Anchorage

Lots of pretty tide pools around low tide that reflect the puffy clouds and showcase the young sea life.

Beautiful friends, new and old.

Me, Ruby, Eve

Me, Ruby, Eve

Our beautiful Polynesian friend Valerie, her new puppy PoPo and Roxy.  Roxy wanted in because Valerie was showering Popo with love.

Events from this blog post occurred during the last few weeks of February 2021.  Our blog posts run 8-10 weeks behind our adventures.

Polynesian Beauty

Christine's Birthday

Kiritina’s 53rd Birthday

Christine in Mangarevan is “Kiritina” isn’t that pretty?  Whoop, Whoop, Whoop!  We celebrate my birthday on Taravai with locals and cruisers!  We have celebrated Matt’s last two birthdays on Taravai and I was super excited to be here to finally celebrate mine too!  Matt started out my day by taking a photo of the sunrise and leaving me a digital card on the iPad.

Lots of good friends and fun times!  Photo Top: Eve on “Auntie”, Alan and I.  Middle: Daniela “Yelo” and Valerie, Herve, Ariki, Valerie and me. Bottom: Eve “Auntie” Herve and Daniela “Yelo” and me and Eve.

Great friends!

Great friends!

A Feast for All

It was a feast of feasts!  Herve grilled up chicken, fish, and pork ribs.  Guests brought a vegetable lasagna, cous cous, rice, cole slaw, deviled eggs (egg boats), salad, veggies, and more!

Such tasty foods

Such tasty foods

We all over are because we wanted to try all the dishes – but man-o-man we had to waddle away from the table!

Matt & I, Valerie & Alana, Daniela & Valerie

Matt & I, Valerie & Alana, Daniela & Valerie

Lots of drinking….

And of course, Jell-O Shots (they were red which turned everyone’s tongues red)

Beautiful Gifts

Beautiful and generous friends gave me gifts.  Anki and Seavert from “Major Tom” gave me a beautiful shell bracelet, Eve from “Auntie” gave me a gorgeous petrified mammoth bracelet, Daniela and Rolf from “Yelo” gave me birthday chocolate, and Michelle and Rene gave me a few stunning pearls. I am truly blessed for such generous and kind friends!

Lots of Games and Sport

We played a lot of volleyball games. Taravai rules:  any body part works; serve any way as long as it gets over the net; when the ball hits the net, it starts your three touch over; and score said in French.  Always a blast!

Volleyball Competition

Volleyball Competition

And lots of pitonk or bacchi ball.  The winner, tosses the small white ball is tossed into the field, grass, or sand.  Two teams try to get their stainless-steel balls close to the white ball.  You can hit the other team’s balls out of the way, you can hit and move the white ball and you can toss your ball however it works for you.  The team with the closest ball(s) gets a point(s).

Pitonk (Bacchi Ball) at its finest

Pitonk (Bacchi Ball) at its finest

Look at the concentration on all the faces.  Hard to be serious when there has been a wee bit of alcohol consumption.

Pitonk (Bacchi Ball) at its finest

Pitonk (Bacchi Ball) at its finest

Super Sweets

We must not forget about the sweets.  Eve made me a tasty chocolate cake and I brought strawberry cupcakes and dolce de leche ice cream to top off our day!

Birthday cake, cupcakes and icecream

Birthday cake, cupcakes and ice cream

It was a truly beautiful and heart-warming day.  Our friends sang Happy Birthday in 4 languages!  Rene brought out his uke and provided amazing Tahitian music throughout the day.

It drizzled during the party.  However, Valerie said that it was God’s way of blessing me.  And a beautiful rainbow to celebrate the day:

Rainbow across Mangareva

Rainbow across Mangareva

This day made me feel truly blessed to be alive and in French Polynesia surrounded by such love.  A great way to start my 53rd year in this world!

When I finally got back to town where we had 2G internet access I was overwhelmed by all the birthday wishes on my facebook page – thank you so much for the love!

Events from this blog post occurred around January 16, 2021.  Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.