FRENCH POLYNESIA

Papetoai, Opunohu Bay, Island of Moorea
Vase planted by Rachel Homer, Carol Raydon, Richard, Raauri Maano and Cher Foerster on December 15th, 2017

After consultation with local friends Carol, Richard, Raauri and perusing the
map of locations needing peace vases, I determined that the best place for the vase
would be the in the waters of Opunohu Bay, near the village of Papetoei. Richard, a Tahitian and also descendent of one of the original mutineers of the HMS Bounty,
informed me that the Tahitians (historically) buried their deceased members on their
(extended family) land so he thought that putting the peace vase into the bay was
more in keeping with local cultural traditions. Besides being a descendent of a
mutineer, Richard also descends from families of Bora Bora, Moorea, the Austral
Islands, and the Tuamotu Atolls. He still has family in Papetoai, which is located on
the western shore of the head of Opunohu Bay, so the connections to our chosen
location are quite strong. I can easily imagine the deep waters circulating past the
peace vase are surely the same waters lapping the shores bordering the village of
Papetoai. The culture of the Tahitians ties the land and the sea together: the sea is
not seen as a barrier but as a passage.
Moorea has two promenient bays: Cook’s Bay and another, deeper bay to the west,
Opunohu Bay. After allowing two days for the cement to set, the day arrived to plant
the vase. That morning a rainbow was observed from where I was staying on semi
retreat on Cook’s Bay. The rainbow was seen on the shoulder of Mount Rotui on the
west from Cook’s Bay and it appeared to originate from Opunohu Bay, the
destination for the vase.

We then launched a small motor boat into which Richard, our boatman, Carol and I
set out to identify the exact location for the vase, which we then placed into the
water. After placing the vase, we proceeded to the village of Papetoi, where we
landed and took a short walk ashore. We walked past the small, eight sided church
of the village and the Office of the Mayor of Papetoai. The church is the oldest
Christian church in French Polynesia. After our walk and with our task completed,
we returned home in the motor boat.