Our final proper weekend in Raro we finished off our souvenir shopping at the market, and had to do a couple of laps of the market before we were all satisfied we had what we wanted and needed! Sunday saw us finally go on a Lagoon cruise which we had been putting off to do in Aitutaki. While it was one of the most touristy things we did, it was really worth it. Amy thought it was too cold to go for a swim but Ali, Katia and I went snorkelling off the glass-bottomed boat once they had taken us over to the marine reserve. There were hundreds of fish, as they fed them with the carcass of a huge tuna (our lunch had been filleted off earlier). We also found it entertaining to swim under the glass bottom of the boat and have Amy take photos of us. After snorkelling we headed to a little motu (island) in the lagoon for lunch and a show. They showed us how to climb a coconut tree and husk a coconut before bringing me and another girl up to demonstrate how to tie a pareu (sarong). Then it was time for the guys version of the ties and Ali got brought up. Ali ended up with a pair of shorts tied and then got to perform a Haka with the guides-with plenty of them taking the piss out of him!
Then it was time for our last week at the hospital- it was typically quiet! Dawn signed me off and gave me some lovely comments, we had a little med student photo shoot at the hospital sign and then it was all over! Tuesday afternoon we went diving- 6 of us from the hostel, Ali, Kathryn, Ian (an Irish firefighter), Flo (a German who is travelling the world) and Asa (an American who had sailed to Raro from Tahiti). It was lovely to dive without having to do skills and Ian had brought his underwater camera so there are plenty of photos to put up of us under the water. We did two great dives on the reef- the first had a wreck of a boat the company had sunk in the 90s and on that dive we heard whales!
We had a great couple of evenings out in the final week- on Tuesday we went for a BBQ at the Shipwreck beach bar and on Thursday we went for a proper dinner at the Waterline restaurant as a big final night out for Ian who left on Thursday night, Ali who went on Friday and Kathryn, Asa, Flo and I leaving on the Sat.
Our last few days were wet, but it was also the first few days of the celebrations of independance. The parade through town on Friday was full of floats from lots of the outer islands and ministries. Thankfully we avoided being on the Ministry of Health float!
Thats all from Raro folks- next week California!
Love Jess x