In Niue: Day Ten
Thursday 7 July, 2016
Today marks a very important day for the Edukai team, as we officially handed over the Taumafa community kitchen to the Niue community, where we hosted a big potluck that evening.
It was another early morning for the team as we set off to Taoga Niue to prepare everything ready before the opening ceremony for the pot luck. We were picked up by Lavea (A Taoga Niue staff member) at around 4 am in the morning and helped him prepared the Umi pits, before we went off to pick up the pig for the pot luck feast. We witnessed a bit of wrestle mania, as Lavea tackled and two others took the pig down but this time it’s three boys against a pig.
The official opening ceremony of the Taumafa kitchen was soon underway at 7am with a traditional ribbon tied on the door being cut, followed by a blessing from the priest. After the ceremony everyone began preparing the food for the potluck that evening. I have been overwhelmed by how generous people are around here, especially the people and students who came by and dropped some of their local foods from their garden and also those who took their working day off just so that they can be there with us and help us out preparing food for the Potluck. All of the food was successfully placed in the umu pits at their intended time, freeing up our afternoon to set out tables and go back to the backpackers for a short nap.
The food was removed from the pits at 5pm and placed on the table, with the delicious, moist, yet crunchy pig taking pride of place. The event was opened by Moira, followed by a few remarks by Hele, on behalf of the Edukai team. After the speeches the EduKai team presented a Maori song to the guests. There were all sorts of different local foods offered on the table, showing a slight glimpse on the importance of food to the Niue culture. Dancing and other activities later took place, wrapping up our very long and eventful day.
After the feast the NZ high commissioner invited the team to have a drink at the Matavai Scenic resort, where he gave us his remarks on the project that the team has implemented. We were also fortunate that night to watch the spectacular fire dance performance by two Samoans. All of us were really tired that night so we went back to the back packers and went straight to bed.