Thursday, May 22, 2008


RiriFatu is the name of the fisherman we met yesterday. Today we returned to visit him and I gave him my grinding wheel from my disc grinder and a spare blade I had. In return he called his wife over and we walked across the sand spit among the palm trees and the crabs scuttling into their holes to the other side of the lagoon where he had a small outrigger pulled up on the beach. He picked up a net and he and his wife climbed into the outrigger. While a cousin held one end of it on the beach,
they circled a small house on stilts with the net and slowly and silently closed the gap on the fish that were hiding in the shade. Then an older woman came out with a bucket and sharp knife and they proceeded to pull fish out of the net and cut them up on the spot. I was offered one raw that had been gutted and sliced on the outside in a crisscross pattern. Why not? It was the freshest sashimi you could imagine! They watched me as I ate bits of it. We joked and the older lady said to dip
it in the ocean. The salt improved the taste. After a while it was pretty good actually. I consumed a whole small fish.
Back at their house, he presented Linda with a necklace made from mother of pearl and dropped two fresh young coconuts from a tree for us to drink. He gave us a pile of the smaller fish to take home and marinate (make poisson cru) and one of the larger ones for dinner. He removed the dangerous barb from the tail for me!! We plan to filet it and fry it in butter momentarily!
These are very kind people and although they are becoming accustomed to the 'tourists' that come through on the yachts...they are still welcoming and shades of the older Polynesian hospitality remains. Truly another day in paradise!

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