Who would go around the whole island twice in 1 day? â
With 2 different people,
who offered completely polar opposite perspectives. Totally worth it.
It's not like there's anything better one could do anyway than experiencing the island.
Despite taking pretty much the same roads around the island,
And despite having less than 20min rest time in-between the two rides around & through this massive island,
I found myself learning completely different things from two vastly different people.
1 is Poroa Arokapiti, local Mangaian,
He taught me lots of Mangaian history.
He was the 1st out of 7 Mangaians to have left Mangaia for NZ to do seasonal work in the 70s,
& that the Acacia trees are no good and cannot be burnt,
how there are more houses than people,
more religions than tourists,
erase of cannibalism,
He also didn't take any photos;
1 is John Uriaro from Atiu,
He regrets leaving NZ in '87.
He has a total rejection for the white men's religion
& that some places are cursed because people strayed from the ancestral ways,
& always eyeing out for fruits on the road, picking chilli & soursop,
driving around to spots for photos.
Both gave me totally different experiences of the same island on the same roads.
I was able to bring what I learnt with one to the time with the other.
1 offers insight into the history I didn't know, while the other gave the completely local connection with te whenua & whanau,
& an alternative outer island perspective on things here in Mangaia.
In 1 day,
I learnt more about this ðï¸ than 1 could in a week.
I hope more people come to Mangaia,
for they'll learn so much.
I hope I will keep the truth of the islandic life here warm & burning in my heart.
This is what living on earth is all about.
The connection one has with land with life itself is so clear, so real.
Though, in so saying, I know and remember that, not Everywhere is as idyllic as Mangaia.
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