It’s not ALL work…


Although Global Volunteers work a full week, we have weekends and evenings to enjoy our surroundings.  To be tax deductible, however none of the fee we paid can be used for off duty activities, and the organization can’t make leisure arrangements or recommendations.

This is not a problem if you are lucky enough to have someone like Robyn in your group.   A “returning” Cook Island volunteer, Robyn was a fantastic resource.  During her stay last year, she discovered Air Rarotoga’s day trip to Aitutaki.  P1040027

It didn’t take much for her to convince THIS group that would be a grand way to spend a Saturday.

Back: Willy, Robyn, Larry Front: Dave, Sally and Niki at the Avarua airport, waiting to meet Paul, our guide.

Back: Willy, Robyn, Larry
Front: Dave, Sally and Niki
at the Avarua airport, waiting to meet Paul, our guide.

We got a great view of Aitutaki and the surrounding motus from the plane.

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Paul took us on a quick tour of the island, which allowed us to feast our eyes on some very luxurious accommodations!

The pool at the Pacific Resort

The pool at the Pacific Resort

The rest of the day was spent snorkeling and visiting various motus.

Our vessel -- and did you notice that beautiful white sand?

Our vessel

While we were sailing, the crew entertained us with songs and stories.
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Our captain and his helper.  It wasn't even "take your kid to work"  day

THEY don’t need an official “take your son to work”day.   Our captain with his helper.

Last Christmas, Willy’s wife Niki bought him an underwater camera. I’d say he put it to good use, wouldn’t you?

George, the giant trevally.  The leg on the left gives you an idea of George's size and how close he came to us.

George, the giant trevally.  The leg on the left gives you an idea of George’s size and how close he came to us.

Another photo by Willy--the giant clam

Another photo by Willy–the giant clam

I didn’t see “Survivor: Cook Islands” when it aired in 2006, but once I got home, I watched the video. I wasn’t interested in tribal councils or challenges. Nope. I just wanted to enjoy all the spectacular background photography. Die-hard fans might recognize some of the sights. The show’s opening shots were very much like our view from the plane.

What is left of the Survivor campsite

What is left of the Survivor campsite

Big deal--Ozzie captured a bird.  Even I could have caught THIS guy.

Big deal–Ozzie captured a bird. Even I could have caught THIS guy.

We were starting to get hungry from all the snorkeling and touring. Fortunately, unlike the “survivors” we didn’t have to catch our food.

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Lucky for this guy, we had better options.  

Lunch was part of our package, and what a lunch it was!
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Robyn clued us in to a special feature of the tour…getting our passports stamped at “One Foot Island”, so called because it is shaped like a giant foot. Its real name is Akaiami Motu. Paul taught the CORRECT pronunciation:  “eye-k-yummy”.
P1040178
It was SO worth the $2!

My passport

My passport

Time to head back.  Another great day, with wonderful friends, in a beautiful corner of the Pacific Ocean.

These hotel "rooms" are over the water.

These bungalows extend over the water, and for a mere $1,20o per night, it could be all yours.

A perfect memory for a snowy New Jersey day!

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