July 20

We are having a lovely week in Moorea. Jonah is so psyched about the pool. He loves to swim in fresh water! He is taking lots of baths in Grandma and Grandpa's bathtub. Jonah is particularly fascinated by the toasting machine they have at breakfast and makes piles of toast. The Sheraton Lagoon Hotel is very lovely - rather expensive but lovely. We are eating tons and I think I have gained a couple of pounds. We are basically hanging out not doing a lot of physical activity. I freaked out by the third day and started doing a good hard swim in the lagoon. I don't think we will dive here as it is just too complicated with guests and Jonah. I really wanted to check it out despite the lukewarm reports.

Jordan and I had to go to Papeete via ferry yesterday to formally check out of Tahiti as there is no customs etc. on Moorea. They gave us a really hard time and told us we had to come back tomorrow. Jordan begged and told them we couldn't get a babysitter for tomorrow etc. They relented and actually worked late to get us checked out!

The ferry was amazingly fast but when we got back to Moorea we had to hitch as there was not a taxi or bus around. Moorea is a rather sleepy island. The local woman who picked us up just loved the US and embarrassed us by going on about how beautiful the US was and how wonderful the sound of English spoken by Americans. Yikes. It was kind of nice not being an ugly American for a bit and have someone just rave positively about being an American.

American culture is dominant here as it is everywhere. Most places have a love/hate thing with the US but the Polynesians have no such division - they love us. Young Polynesians wear a hot weather version of hip hop clothes and listen to a lot of US music but also weave the influences into their own music. The other huge music influence is Reggae - everywhere Reggae music is sold. Yesterday I saw a music store with a window full of Lucky Dube's latest release. I first assumed that their culture was being overrun but I now see that they just are taking elements that they like and incorporating them into their own culture. It's actually a healthy evolution.

Someone told me the favorite vacation spot for Polynesians is Los Angeles. Of course they take their kids to Disneyland, Legoland etc. etc. etc. Go figure.

I have a sore throat today and am terrified of getting the evil flu that has been going around. Jordan took Jonah to the pool alone this morning and is picking me up for lunch. I am doing laundry as I haven't done any in a week and the pile is huge.