Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sweden, here I come!

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go.... Well, one bag is sort of packed, but I am ready to go!

On October 4th I will be saying good bye to this island that has been my home for almost a year. Do I feel like I want to cry and stay forever? No, not at all! You see, it's a big difference between visiting these islands as a tourist, and living here permanent.

As a tourist you (should) stay in one of the luxury resorts like Four Seasons, St. Regis, Intercontinental, Hilton, Pearl Beach (top 4 on trip advisor for a reason!). You stay in an over water bungalow, snorkel right off your room with colorful fish, see the colorful fish through the glass floor in your room, go diving, shark feeding, lay on the beach or by the pool and so on. Usually the regular guest stay only for a few days before they hop to another island.

The reality is slightly different...  Have I ever mentioned it rains a lot in this country!?

My flight leaves Bora Bora at 12:55 to Papeete in Tahiti. That flight only takes 50 minutes, and on that rout I'm sure we will stop on another island to pick up more people. In Papeete we have an 8h layover... (Who booked this trip??) Maybe it gives us some time to see Tahiti!

We fly out of Tahiti at 22:00 to Los Angeles, where I have a 12h layover (Really?? Seriously, who booked my flight???) Anyone have any suggestions on what to do? I was thinking of finding a McDonald...!

From LA I fly to Paris where I have another layover (just a few hours to manage to get out to terminal 1 which is a bus ride) before I get to step on SAS and fly to Copenhagen, and then head for SWEDEN!  

It's going to be a long trip...

Cheers my friends!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coco Boy

This is my beautiful boy, Coco!

Coco Boy!

Went to visit Coco this weekend at his "new" place. And he's doing great!
He already made friends with the two labs and I think it won't 
be long until he is the pact leader!

He has definitely found his place there, still running back to the house to snooze
on the terrace though, and I could see that his more wilder instincts has kicked in. 

When we pulled up with the car he came running to the gate, didn't bark, and when he realized 
it was us he got so excited. Since the gate was closed, he run to the next gate
which was open, and jumped and kissed us!   

The sad part when we were about to leave and Coco immediately jumped in to the car, 
as he normally would do, looking so excited to ride in the car and looking
like he was ready to come with us. The girl had to put the leash on and hold him, and
when we pulled away he was crying and looking after the car....

The girl in the family told us he goes with the other dogs to the fruit field next door and
eat the fallen fruit. Mangos and bananas!  Yum! And usually she plays with him everyday 
after school. He also seems to take his new "job" seriously, watching over the property, and 
he is exploring new areas with the "supervision" of the two labs!

I have two more weekends to visit him, and I can't wait until next time!
Coco about 10 days

Coco about 6 months
Still loves crawling up in the lap!

Coco and his father
Cheers my friends!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Coco on the Beach

Here are some pictures of my Coco at the beach!
He loves it there, but he's a little bit of a chicken when it 
comes to the temperature of the water... And I thought I was bad!

Watching mom while she's swimming


Swimming with Daniel

Coco loves giving kisses

Charming all the people on the beach

When resting from swimming, digging holes are a fun activity   

Me and my Coco

Everything is so interesting

Cheers my friends!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bora Update

So the weekend was devoted to packing and cleaning the house as we turned in the keys on Sunday and moved back to the apartments by the hotel. This time we are staying in an apartment on the second floor, and it's much better than the one we had wen we arrived. I still have to hike all the steps (80 something if I remember correctly) and walk down the hill to get to the boat if I need to get in to "town". But it's okej. I can use some exercise!

We only have three more weeks here in Bora Bora, and I'm heading home to Sweden for a visit! I really hope I don't get sick this time! Too much to do and too many people to see!  

Today we ran in to Coco's new family and they said he's doing very good! At night they lock him up in a kind of dog pen (?) with plenty of space, and with our old bed cover which smells like us and are nice and fluffy to sleep on! During the day he runs down to our old house and the first day they had to go down and get him, but then they realized they only had to play with his squeaky toy and he would come running!

He's making friends with their two labradors, however, they think it's discriminating when they sit below the terrace while Coco run through the house on the the terrace and look down at them! The other two dogs are not allowed inside, but Coco does not understand that. He runs in as soon as the door is open (which is all day!) and sit in the kitchen or lay on the terrace, which has a great view by the way! He apparently went for the bedroom yesterday! Good boy!

It's also great to hear that the wife, which was hesitant to take him, is starting to really like him now too. She realized that he is not like the other dogs (after all, I did raise him with plenty of love, the "civilized" way)! This weekend we will go and visit him, and I can not wait! I'm so happy that he's doing well and that they like him, even though I miss having him around!

Cheers my friends!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Saying Good Bye

I just had the worst weekend ever!

Many things adding to the shittiest weekend ever, but one of the hardest things was when I had to leave Coco to his new "family". Before anyone says anything about "not getting a dog if you can't keep it", I just want to say one thing. Yes, I did want a dog, but I was not looking for one. One day Coco was laying on my terrace, 1 week old with a big wound that needed veterinary attention. Back home, all stitched up, the mother dog left him to attend the other 4 puppies she had. I was left to take care of this little puppy on my own, bottle feeding and everything that comes with a baby puppy. And I didn't mind.

I started to look up what was needed to take him with me the day we were leaving and things looked good. Rabies shot, micro ship and veterinary check up, but no quarantine! Then I looked up on the airline website to check the costs and it didn't seem to bad. They only showed the cost from Tahiti to LA, but even if it would be double the cost, it should be manageable. Things were looking good!

Then we contacted the airline directly and we received a full list of things necessary for the transport back to Europe. And the information we got was outrageous. Many things were manageable but everything had a fee. When we added everything up (everything included in just the trip itself, no prior vet bills included) the cost came up to $1500 dollars, which we do not have an extra $1500 just laying around.

So we had to rethink. Our landlord/neighbor said they could take him when we left, which I think is the (next) best solution. He would stay on the same property as he has known since he was born, and he knows the family and the dogs as well. It's a rough island and there are many street dogs, but where he grew up is all nature and fields where he can play (it's almost like a doggy park!)  

Then yesterday was finally the day I had to hand him over. I was so sad and I miss him so much. We said our good byes and the leach was handed over. As I walked off he looked at me, wondering what was going on, and he tried to run after me.  I went back and gave him a last hug and kiss before we had to leave.

This is not what I had hoped for when I first saw him, and I miss him so incredible much. He's such a great dog, so loving, and to me, the best dog ever! He's on my mind all the time, wondering how he's doing so far, and my tears are falling. I know he will be fine, and I will be able to see him many more times, but the thought that he will run to our house and we are not there makes med so sad. As well as many other things. I know he's "just" a dog and don't think the same as humans, but the bond between us is so strong.

Coco and I in Vaitape
I had 6 great months with Coco, and it's an experience I will never forget, and I will never forget him.

Cheers my friends,


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Raiatea trip

Coco and I was at Maupiti Express (the boat) promptly 30 min prior to
sailing off, which was a good thing as we had to figure out where to
buy the tickets for both of us before handing over the luggage and get
on board.
Dogs are only allowed on the top, which suite me fine as I rather 
breath fresh air, but the stairs up are kind of steep. But with a push 
in the butt from the captain himself, Coco made it up! As we sailed 
away Coco thought it was very exciting with the wind in his face.

Coco behaved like he was borne on a boat, and had quickly charmed most 
of the people on the top. He was even photographed by one girl! When we 
came out of the pass and the sea was a little bit more wavy he crawled 
up next to me on the seat and laid down on me!  
Bora Bora as we left

Coco on the boat
In Raiatea, they really do have roads with lines on them, and also a few
roundabouts! We arrived in Uturoa, the main town on the island, which
is the administrative center for the Leeward Islands. Busy, busy!
Still very small, but at least nice. No dirt parking lot here! We talk
about cobble stone and "real" restaurants (ok, a Chinese restaurant!) , 
a few shops and the nicest
grocery store I have seen in 1 year! I'm telling you, live in Bora
Bora and suddenly small things become very exciting!
The house my friends are renting has a big, fenced in yard so Coco
felt right at home. Plenty of crabs to play with and making sure the
neighbors knew there was a new sheriff in town, and Coco kept busy.

Raiatea "Town" with cobble stone!
First day, when I arrived, Elodie had her Tahitian dance class. 
Elodie, 3 years old, was a little bit more interested in the big mirrors 
on the wall during the "shake the hips" exercise, 
but seemed to enjoy the arm exercise better!
Elodie mastering the Tahitian dance!

The following day after the kids had been dropped off at school, 
me and Isabelle decided to climb Tapioi. It's a whopping 294 meters (964 feet!)! 
Took us less than an hour to get up, and what a great view from the top! 
You could see Tahaa which is another island sharing the lagoon with Raiatea and also 
Bora Bora in the distance! We took a long nice break up on the top to enjoy the view. 
Ready to hike Tapioi

I made it to the top!

View from the top. Tahaa is across from Raiatea and way in a distance you can see Bora
On Friday our men came from Bora (Daniel and Olivier)! We all 
(with the exception of Coco) greeted them at the boat. 
Back at the house the evening included dinner and relaxation!
On Saturday we were up early (as usual), got breakfast and then 
we headed out to Taputapustea Marae, which is ancient religious site which 
is believed to be the religious center of Eastern Polynesia for about 1000 years ago. 
Sacrifices were made, mostly animals  as pigs, but now and then 
even a human was offered!   
Taputapustea Marae

They even sacrificed humans here!
Saturday afternoon Daniel and I decided to head in to town to check it out, 
but as we arrived we realized everything was closed! 
We had lunch at a snack place across from the water, managed to 
find 1 souvenir shop open before we entered the GROCERY STORE! 
Everything looked so fresh! 
We headed back to the house, played a very fun board game, 
had dinner and then a round of ping pong, on a slight curved table! 
Ping Pong on a different level!
A lot of cooking and eating, and Sunday evening it was time to 
head back to Bora Bora. Coco, again, behaved as a star on the trip back. 
This time it was dark and when we turned in through the pass to Bora, 
the rain came and the three of us was taking cover in the front of the boat 
(remember, we still had to be upstairs/outside!) I think all of us had a good 
vacation, but it's always nice to get home and crawl back down in your own bed! 

Cheers my friends!