HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Small yet perfectly formed – life in Rarotonga
How lucky are we to live here in Paradise? Consider the fact that the largest island in our country is only 32km in circumference and you can imagine that from the outside world’s perspective, the thought of living on one of the Cook Islands would start some heart palpitations in big city dwellers. Where would I get my latte in the mornings? Where can I pick up some perfect smelly cheese for my dinner party? What would these people have to talk about to each other – hasn’t it all been said?
Those of us in the know i.e. locals, are well aware that Raro has lattes a-go-go and enough smelly cheese – fresh or otherwise – to cater for the tastes of the most jaded gourmand and as for having nothing to say to each other? All anyone has to do to disprove that claim is to observe on a drive around the island. Everywhere, people are connecting in a much more significant sense than in a large city because living in a small community means that we must care, we must get on and we are always interested in our neighbours – ok, not always in a good way but it’s fun!
While many on the outside would envy us our island lifestyle, there is still that feeling that we are probably missing out on many of the ‘good things’ of life. They couldn’t be more wrong! Where else in the world could an internationally significant event have been held which allowed local people such access to world figures? Who else could have held an opening ceremony in which children, prams and babies played such an integral role in establishing the atmosphere and where the leaders were greeted with a degree of enthusiasm certainly unknown to them in their own countries – this was certainly evident on the faces and body language of Julia Gillard and Hillary Clinton and wonderfully, their joy was transmitted to the world.
English poet, author and writer of the first modern dictionary, Samuel Johnson is famously quoted as saying “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” . Well, London is indeed an incredible city with a fascinating life on offer but this could easily have been said about Rarotonga too! I hear a cynical eyebrow or two being raised but consider….
You love your sport? Apart from a few obvious exceptions like snowboarding, you are able to play, watch and be enslaved by most modern sports and several that are not available to the city dweller – I don’t fancy taking an oe vaka up the Thames!
Music or dance more your thing? From enthusiastic amateurs to dazzling professionals, this island is wiggling some part of its anatomy every night and giving voice to our hopes, dreams and prayers in a symphony of glorious noise.
We eat well, we play well, we enjoy life, we enjoy each other and all within the confines of this glorious, mountainous, blue and green jewel of the South Seas – are we not the luckiest people on earth?
And the best time of all? Chilling in the lagoon, chatting to your family and friends while being shadowed by the inflatable ice bucket! -Carmel Beattie

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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