The days celebrations with all 57 floats was so good we really wanted to join all the happy Islanders for the evening fun. We decided to start by going to the Islander Hotel to the outdoor Hula Bar right on the waters edge where the drinks, all of them are only $3.50 a glass, amazing bargain prices has loads of people turning up.
Erle went to buy the drinks and I looked about for a table we could sit at. All of them were nearly full, but I found one with just 4 young Islander girls at, all about 20 - 25 year olds, and asked if they would mind us sharing the end of their table and I said we wouldn't bother them. They were all for us joining them and after just a few moments we were all like old friends laughing and chatting and having a good time.
After a while another lovely young lady joined the group wearing a most beautiful Ei ( head dress like a crown made of flowers and leaves, and long leafy scarf that we have seen a few Islanders wear. After she had been introduced to us oldies she immediately took off her Ei and placed on Erle's head and said welcome to Rarotonga. He wasn't too sure about this and I took his photo.
Then she took off her long leafy scarf, there is a fancey name for this but I couldn't catch it they spoke it too quickly. She placed around my neck and said welcome to Rarotonga to me and gave me a kiss. Erle took off his Ei and placed it on my head said it was better suited there and took my photo all decked out beside a couple of the girls.I felt really honoured and admired it all greatly before returning the Ei which was very special all made of Gardenias that smelled deliciously. But I decided to keep the leafy scarf which I sort of assumed to be made from a vine of some sort.
I was wrong!
After another drink together we said goodbye to the girls and headed off to Trader Jacks an iconic local restaurant and bar. As we walked eeryone was so nice to me smiling and saying Kia Orana the local greeting which I said back to them hsppily. When we got to Trader Jacks everyone seemed to be looking at me and I was made very welcome and showed to one of the best waterfront tables by a, nice waitress.
While we drank our glass of wine every waitress in the place came to our table asking where I had got the leafy scarf from as it was so unusual for white tourist lady to be wearing one, they said it was very rare and how lucky I was. Then one of them told me it was made from many little fine branches of a special tree all woven together and what an especially nice leafy one this was.
Apparently the tree does not even grow on this Island it must of been brought in from one of the outer Islands, probably by the young lady who gave it to me. Very special. The leaves all smelled beautifully of a sweet coconuty aroma, I liked the perfume.
Later we enjoyed our lovely gourmet Pizza with great big prawns all around it, then headed home taking the leafy scarf with me. When back to the resort I hung it up on a hook beside the bed and admired it some more, wishing I could of showed it off more.
The housemaids arrived to do our room next day and nearly fell over at the sight of it and wanted to know the story again. One of them told me she had been given one at a wedding, they had been ordered and brought in from the only island they grow on to give to the honoured guests. I really felt bad about taking it home with me so casually, but she did seem to want me to have it and I did love it.
God Bless her.
I kept it hanging in our room the rest of our stay and it acted like a room refresher making it smell all lovely and coconuty.