Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Monday, May 5

Today we woke up at 7:30 and were all eating breakfast by 8:30. After breakfast, we all got on the busses to go see the moais all over the island.
We went first to the site where the moais were made. As we walked through the trails looking at the finished and partially finished stone heads all around us and taking a million and one pictures, the guide gave us some history on the place.
Rapa Nui had different tribes on it, and each tribe made the stone heads as a way to honor their ancestors. 80 people worked 24 hours a day (40 for 12 hours and the other 40 the other 12 hours) for 9 months to carve a single moai.
Then, they placed them in lines on the coast of the island, always looking inward because there were no enemies that came from outside because the island is so remote. The only enemies were the other tribes, as way proved when a bloody war crippled the island and left all of the moais knocked down (to make their ancestors “kiss the ground” was the most insulting thing one tribe could do to another). Now the moais have been restored and the majority is back standing up, although they have been damaged. We then drove a little more down the island to a row of 15 moais, which is the longest and most famous row on the island.
We took pictures there before the busses took us to another spot on the island. It just looked like a round rock in the middle of a circle of other rocks, but apparently it is a fallen meteor that is said to have special properties. It is called “the bellybutton of the world”, so naturally all us girls had to take a picture showing our belly buttons with the rock.
Then we went to the beach. It is the only sandy beach on the whole island, but it was absolutely gorgeous.
They prepared an asado for us at the beach, and we ate purple sweet potatoes and grilled chicken out of banana leaves instead of plates. Then we looked at the moais overlooking the beach, and finally put on our bathing suits and went for a swim.
The water felt amazing, and we all stayed in for a really long time laughing and talking and enjoying the paradise we were currently in. The girls even had another failed attempt at a topless back-facing-the-camera picture that once again was embarrassing and hilarious and not at all cute like we wanted it to be. Then, as we were getting out, it started to rain really hard, and so we ran to the busses and they took us back to the hotel. We all showered and relaxed some more before dinner. After dinner, we stayed around talking for a little while, but it had been a huge day and I was tired, so I went to bed pretty early.

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