Today will go down in our memories as one our most special days. We started off with a visit to church. Sili (our talking chief host) met us at the beach and explained to the Marine Patrol who were waiting on the beach for us that we were here under his invitation. We then headed to church where we were seated in the front rows. While weary of the potential for lightening bolts to come thru the windows, we enjoyed the singing, and were treated to some English readings for our benefit. The singing was amazing by this choir that had just celebrated their 90th anniversary the week before. Dressed all in white, they made up about half the people visiting the church that day and boy could they sing.
After that we were walked to an open sided house to meet the chiefs. We were seated at tables around the perimeter with the 5 chiefs and served a meal with the chiefs. First dish was the Mahi Mahi we had caught and gave to the village and we were thanked for our gift. We were given WAY too much food, but after eating our soup we wrapped up the food in the tin foil it was served on for later. We were then excused while the chiefs had their meeting.
We walked around a bit then visited with a "palangie" Polynesian for "come from away" originally from Virginia, but moved here when she was in 8th grade. She is is married to a lower chief here, but is moving to a different village in a few weeks where he is being installed as the high chief. She was incredibly friendly, is the principal of the private school, and quite the historian. She told us lots of details of the tsunami last year and then took us on a tour of the east side of the island. We learned just how special it was that we were invited to eat with the chiefs and had a truly amazing day.
We will certainly remember this day forever.