On one of the first Saturdays of our stay in Ra'ivavae, Elias and I went on a bike ride and stumbled on ruruoa in the village of Anatonu.
|Touche! works for tag|
Good fun for a traveling family, you might think.
|Waiting for the bus|
Well, that first Saturday, Elias wanted nothing to do with it.
We were riding our bikes along the road, then suddenly we were in the middle of a crowd, with lots of kids staring at us - mostly staring at him. Elias didn't share a language with them, and it made him nervous to suddenly be the object of so much attention. He couldn't get away fast enough.
Cut to - now, three weeks later.
the other kids' names, and he still doesn't share a language with them. But he knows enough French to play tag and to thumb wrestle. We can go hours without knowing exactly where Elias is - he's just somewhere in Rairua, the village we're anchored at, having a play.
|In the middle of it|
We weren't sure how it would go when we first put the boys into school, but we've been very impressed by their willingness to throw themselves into a situation where they can't speak to anyone, aren't sure of most peoples' names, and generally have no idea what's going on. There are kids to play with - it must be said, some of the friendliest kids we've seen anywhere - and that's good enough for our boys.
|The little kids' nap room at school|
They weren't in school long enough to get anything "concrete" out of it, like learning French.
But of course that's beside the point.
Alisa has been baking banana cake at a semi-industrial scale as we try to at least make a gesture towards reciprocating.
I'll end by referencing the picture on the right.
Elias might not have been in school long enough to learn French.
But what did he learn in school in Polynesia?
How to make armpit farts!
How could you not love that...