When the 767 touched down in Rarotonga, it was obvious we were in the tropics. There’s palm trees everywhere. The vegetation is lush. And I started sweating buckets. I’m a one man salination machine. The humidity averages 80%, so I’m going to have lovely soft skin when I get back. Phoebe can touch it for free, but everyone else has to pay $2.00.
Getting through customs was no problem. You must limit your stay to 30 days. I guess they’ve had trouble with paradise addicts.
The van and James from Global volunteers was there to pick us up. We were off to the Kiikii Motel where we had half an hour to settle in. I immediately had a cat wash, changesdT-shirts and put on shorts and sandals.
The Cook Islands was evangelized by the London Missionary Society in the early part of the 1800s. It became a society whose social norms would be admired by Republicans. In their literature, GV (Global Volunteers) stresses conservative attire. During orientation we found out it wasn’t quite that stringent. So, I should have brought more T-shirts and shorts. I’ll be washing out T-shirts every day.
At orientation I met the group: a criminal justice worker from Colorado, a family with three girls who are travelling around the world, a retired couple from Minnesota, a retired couple from North Dakota, and a business owner from New York City. Only myself and the retired couple from Minnesota will be staying three weeks.
During the orientation I showed great restraint. I asked only one question. I didn’t try to teach anything to anyone. I figure they should get to know the fake me first.
The Kiikii was built in the late 1960s with several upgrades in the 70s. There hasn’t been a lot of work since. It feels like a struggling summer bible camp. This is my room.
It has the big advantage of not having a room mate. The other big advantage is the view from my front door.