The Experience

“We first encountered Polynesia through the Gambier Islands.

As we discovered the village of Rikitea, a Mangarevien seemed to complain:

‘It’s truly a shame that you came now!’

Puzzled, we check in with each other, worried we might have committed a faux pas.

‘There are no fruits at the moment’ he pursues.

If that’s all it is, we’re good.

‘The guavas are done, we don’t yet have mangos nor lychees and there are barely any grapefruits left…’

We were at ease, but since we had planned on being here for a few months, we were curious to find out when we might find these fruits.

‘So, when is the fruit season then?’ we asked him.

– Oh, sadly, it’s over.

– Yes, but when will the season start again?

– Hum, it’ll be back, we have to wait…

– …”

Gambier Islands, French Polynesia, 2011

Who Tells the Story

Belle-Isle is a European citizen in his late thirties who has been navigating the world with his wife. With their sailboat, they have access to islands otherwise isolated and are happy to meet many people. Check out their blog and book

What do you Think?

From Polynesians and Time by Maco Tevane, President of Tahitian Academy:

"Our ancestors in love would meet up not at 2pm on the dot, or 6 for that matter, but rather, and for starters, when the bud of the tiare becomes a flower, ‘Ia 'ûmatatea te tiare, first stage of blossom, and the other hand, when the sea level starts to lower… I te pahera'a miti.

Happy times… right? A time when tardiness could be due to a flower’s bud hesitant to bloom, as opposed to a dysfunctional alarm clock that never went off because we forgot to set it. I trust you’ll understand better a Polynesian’s relativity in the face of time, s/he who places a true and fragrant tiare exactly where others wear Seiko’s latest digital precision.”