A Travellerspoint blog

Rarotonga – Blessed by God

sunny 28 °C

After a three-hour flight from Papeete, Tahiti, we arrived in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands – yet another tropical Paradise…
The fifteen Cook Islands are scattered over nearly two million square kilometres of the South Pacific. Rarotonga, with a population of thirteen thousand, is the largest island and seat of the government. It is only slightly bigger than our Canadian island and it’s truly amazing that ancient navigators were able find it after weeks, or even months, at sea. Although sighted by Fletcher Christian of HMS Bounty in 1789, no Europeans came ashore until a British missionary landed in 1823 and quickly ‘saved’ all the indigenous’ souls for Jesus…
Christianity, (in all its forms), has dominated island life since that time and absolutely nothing is open on Sundays apart from the churches. So, we went to church…
The service was almost entirely in the local Maori language and, for us, was somewhat overshadowed by the women’s beautifully woven and adorned hats…
However, the highlight was the amazing singing that echoed angelically through the whitewashed stone building…
While we thoroughly enjoyed the singing, we slipped out during a presentation by the youth group who explained in detail how God created the universe exactly six thousand years ago, and then warned in gruesome terms the ways in which evil-doers and non-believers like us would be tortured for eternity when the world ends in the very near future. With seemingly little time to spare we rented a car and headed out to explore the island…
It appears that there is a church on every corner in Rarotonga, And every church has a graveyard. However, many houses have family graveyards in their front gardens: seemingly a good way of ensuring that the kids don’t sell off the family estate to deep-pocketed tourists. Who would want to buy a holiday home with a dozen corpses under the hibiscus bushes?...
Rarotonga is the last remote Pacific island that we will visit on this trip, and it is every bit as beautiful as the French Polynesian islands a thousand miles to its east. The tropical flowers are fabulous…
…And the local fruits are just ripe for the picking. These are starfruits…
But these dragon fruits are some of our favourites…
We will bring you more tropical delights from Rarotonga - if only the forecasted rain holds off for a few more days!

Posted by Hawkson 05:17 Archived in Cook Islands

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The hats are fun. Nice contrast to the plain Sunday whites. Both these exotic fruits have been found on the table in restaurant Bliss. The colours of the sky, sea, and flowers all the same lovely palette.

What a journey you’ve had. All that beauty and history out there on those tiny dots in the vast ocean. Extraordinary.

by Tom

How, what a journey and thanks for sharing such a beautiful part of God's world. As a bible believing Christian it prompted me to find out who brought the Gospel to Rototonga and the Cook Islands just over 200 years ago. It seemed it was John Williams and others associated with the Lodon Missionary Society. Worth a read about the legacy he and his fellow missionaries left behind for present visitors to enjoy the faith and peace that trust inbGod brings.
Enjoy the rest of your trip.

by Christopher Riches

What an extraordinary trip you have enjoyed, and we've enjoyed along with you - especially since many of us will likely never have that opportunity.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and photos - it has been a dream.
I think you can rest easy that fire and brimstone will not be your final destination. :>;)

by Ginny

Dragon fruits are new to me. Glad you’re making the most of what remains of the short time left for the world, and sharing it with sinners like me! Many thanks!!

by Alison Fitzgerald

Beautiful! On the bucket list

by Ian

Visions of those last two photos sliced and served in spectacular fashion at Berry Point feast.

by R and B

People creating beauty in their everyday lives is universal. The lovely hats in church are each unique.

A different relationship to family who have passed on and a sense of permanency, burying family in your yard. So different from other cultures where the departed are buried elsewhere, usually a distance away.

by Sue Fitzwilson

a beautiful place to visit.

by Janet

I hope you have room for hats in your suitcases, one for Sheila and one for me, along with the pearls!

by Helen

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