Melina Etches

Melina Etches

The unexpected arrival of a container-load of chicken, sausages and ice cream is like manna from heaven for Mangaia.

In South Korea last month, Diane McFadzien experienced some of the tightest, most unrelenting quarantine controls in the world. Now she is returning home to her family in Rarotonga with a tough message about the measures we need to protect herself.

Fine Tu’itupou Arnold was in Geneva at the start of the month for a Red Cross meeting. Now she has quarantined herself at home to protect her community.

Trevor Pitt returned home last week after attending the Disaster Risk Management and Resilience building conference in Hawaii with Prime Minister Henry Puna. Immediately after landing in Rarotonga, he self-quarantined.

Last flight out to the Pa Enua

Saturday March 21, 2020

Air Raro took off for its last flights to the Pa Enua late yesterday. Elderly mamas and papas with their grandchildren on their hips boarded their flights; working age adults tearfully watched them go.

Rarotonga’s schools close this afternoon for two weeks early school holidays – and students say it’s the right thing to do to combat Covid-19.

Team sports competitions on the island may have been cancelled, but gyms throughout the country continue their exercise regimes.

School unscathed by floodwaters

Friday March 20, 2020

Apii Nikao has experienced its worst flooding since the school opened.

It’s 6pm, still light but the day is drawing to a close. Gibeona Sunday School Hall in Matavera is a big space, but already it’s crowded with more than 80 people.

Most are familiar faces from Matavera, but there are others from further afield in Ngatangiia and Titikaveka.

The day the music died

Thursday March 19, 2020

First, the sound was cut on the national composing contest. Now, the National Dancer of the Year competition is swaying off into the sunset.

Te Mire ‘Ura was to have been held in May, but has now been postponed until October.

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