Rapa Nui Day 4

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Experienced a haku today, the Rapa Nui ceremony of welcome. Similar to a powhiri, even had a small hangi, except we ate the hangi before I did my whaikorero. Started with a prayer from the local Catholic minister and then the Karekare performers came out and did a mean haka before digging up the hangi and sharing it with us. Robin White, as our elder, accepted the kai and ate first. After this it was our turn to reply. My whaikorero was a recital of my whakapapa to establish the geneological connection of Hotu Matua to Aotearoa through the Tainui waka. Luckily for me Matua Hohepa (Jose) helped me with my whaikorero ahead of time. Apparently here Hotu Matua, Hotu Nui and Hotu Roa were brothers, so had to be careful how I recited my whakapapa so differences weren't seen as incorrect or offensive. Robin's beautiful singing voice then welcomed everyone into the exhibition space with a powerful karanga. One of the local artists, Whaea Peruperu, created a powerful installation from the plastic rubbish washed up onto the beaches along the coast --- the current that runs down the Americas collects all the rubbish and washes it onto Rapa Nui. It's a constant source of grief for the locals who were very verbal at the opening about needing to find a solution, even pointed their finger to some of the rubbish that had New Zealand logos on it. Was an intense experience and emotionally draining, had to get away afterwards for a time out.