Thursday, September 12, 2013

Invitation to the Races

Vaka races that is.

What the hecks a vaka?

A canoe with one arm.  Leg.  Rudder.  Thing-on-the-side-so-it-doesn't-tip-over.  I'm sure there's a term for it and you are welcome to google it and then get back to me.

This is a vaka.


This particular race was the entire school of Araura College.  During our visit to the school, we were invited to the wharf where the entire school would be attending.  Our teenage daughter was even invited to participate.




When we arrived at 9:00 in the morning, we weren't sure what to expect, but I know it wasn't this.  It was the ENTIRE school of 150 students, the teachers and the principals.



It was a day full of encouragement, rivalry, and camaraderie (sounds like an oxymoron, but I call it like I see it).  Each team was a color: red vs. green vs. blue vs. yellow.



Rooting for your team.


The prize?  Cake of course.  And juice.

Getting ready to launch.


One boat down.  Just off screen is a motorboat ready to help any student.  While it looks bad, everyone was fine.


One of the teachers celebrating with the students.

They took this competition very seriously (must have been good cake).  So serious that our daughter was not comfortable being in a canoe, not knowing what to do and possibly putting the boat at risk for losing.  In hindsight, though, I think she'd probably do it if offered again.  After all, how many times do you get that option?

This barge was trying to bring supplies in from outside the reef.  Everything had to be very
choreographed to make sure neither the racers nor the barge were in each others way.
For more information on adopting a school or the Vaka Races themselves go here (it's the Vaka Eiva site).

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