Te one i Iva Iva, Tahuata.
IA MEITA’I ‘OE
[pronunciation: eeya mayee-TAH-ee oh-ay]
I arrived last night in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, and checked into my favorite pension (bed and breakfast) in town, Pension Fare Suisse. A quiet little oasis on the edge of downtown, within easy walking distance of everything a working visitor could need.
Tahiti’s gotten a lot of rain lately and it was pouring when we landed last night, to the chagrin of many an eager honey-mooner. It’s not all bad, though: it’s the middle of summer here and the rain helps to break some of the heat and humidity.
Paid a visit to the Haut Commissariat of French Polynesia this morning to dutifully apply for my temporary residency card, or Carte de Sejour (a requirement if you’re an American staying longer than 3 months). Best to take full advantage of waking up spontaneously at 7 am, alert and still on East Coast time! I’m sure it won’t last.
That said, I have a feeling I may be doing a lot of early rising this year. Perhaps I can cultivate it as a new good habit? Most Marquesans thrive on early mornings, unless they’ve been out late on a fishing trip the night before. Guess we’ll have to see just how “Marquesan” I become, in the coming months!
Back to my morning adventures: everyone at the Haut Commissariat and other administrative offices was super friendly, which made it a lot easier to deal with having to scamper around town assembling another slew of documents, copies, photos, more copies, etc. for my application (evidently, Boston’s French Consulate was supposed to have sent these materials on ahead of me…but hadn’t. Sigh). In the end it was infinitely less painful than I was expecting, though, given some of my previous experiences in the government offices of Tahiti and elsewhere. Hope that’s a good omen!
I have decided to use Marquesan Now as a conduit for sharing updates on my year of doctoral fieldwork. I hope any followers will humor the occasional post on this topic! Much of what I share will come direct from the Marquesas, internet connections permitting, and will most certainly fall into the “living vicariously” category. I promise. 🙂