This year’s writing competition was opened to all school students in the Cook Islands, years 1 to Year 13. The theme was love stories for Y7-13.
Students could write in Maori or English about love of God, fresh fish, a great song, creamy chocolate, or the way the waves come in at the lagoon … whatever they wished.
There were almost 630 entries, with an amazing number coming from the Pa Enua, particularly Pukapuka, Mauke and Atiu.
Judges of the Maori sections were Vae Papatua and Jane Taurarii. The English sections were judged by Rachel Smith and Jessica Le Bas. Competition prizes were kindly sponsored by CITC, Moana Gems and the Ministry of Education.
Today, we present the winning entries from years 9 to 13.
Congratulations, and meitaki maata to all those fine young writers who entered, and to the teachers and parents of participating students for their encouragement and support of good writing in the Cook Islands.
Kia manuia e kia toa
- Jessica Le Bas
Ministry of Education
First place English, Y9-10
Apii Enuamanu, Atiu
Whenever I go and feed the pigs with coconuts, I think of a special time when I went hunting with my Dad. It was amazing. My Dad told me when we were going and to prepare all of our stuff – the gun, the knife and a sack. I was excited. I couldn’t wait to go hunting.
‘Henry,’ Dad called out to me. ‘Wake up. It’s Saturday. Go and have some breakfast quickly, after that we’ll go, so be ready!’
The happiness inside of me was bubbling away, I couldn’t wait to go. I ran quickly into the kitchen and rushed through some breakfast. I was like the Flash racing around.
‘Have you finished your breakfast?’ Dad said.
‘Yes, I’m ready to go.’
We went on the bike to meet the others. Once we got there, we said our prayer, then went into the bush.
We hadn’t been there very long when I saw a big, wild and scary boar running furiously in front of us. Dad and I started running. Dad ran behind a tree and got the gun ready. He was getting ready to shoot the pig. He stood so incredibly quiet, I could feel my heart beating in my chest, and he started to take aim.
Suddenly, three loud, cracking shots rang out, but it was like just one sound because it happened so quickly.
The boar fell heavily to the ground. Dad had an excellent aim.
It was humungous. It seemed like it was seven feet tall and four metres wide!
As I stood looking at the boar lying dead on the ground, I was so amazed at how great a shot my Dad was.
I looked up at him with absolute awe and amazement. With the meat cut up from the pig, we went and shared it with as many people as we could, and there was still plenty of meat for us.
It was a great day; one I will never forget.
My Dad is a person who is kind and caring to everyone around him. I want to be just like him.
INANGARO E TE PURE
First place Maori, Y9-10
Papaaroa Adventist School, Rarotonga
An Aitutaki family had a pregnant mother who had complications and needed to be transferred to Rarotonga for further medical reviews and assistances. The husband asked for prayer warriors to seek God’s healing for both mother and baby. The following morning the family received great news that a medical team led by Dr Henry Tikaka would be coming to Aitutaki to help the mother to give birth. Both lives were saved that day. The pregnant woman was my Mum and I was that baby. I was named after the biblical Hannah, who cried her heart to the Lord to bless her with a child.
Kua roa o te po, e te noo ra tetai ngutuare tangata ma te taitaia o te ngakau ki roto i tetai pia i roto i te Are Maki i Aitutaki. Kua tae te rongo ki te kopu tangata e kua tupu tetai manamanata, e kua putuputu mai ratou ki te ngai okotai no te akapumaanaanga i te metua tane e tana anau tei rokoia e te manamanata. Kua akara te metua tane kia ratou e kua kite a ia e eaa tana ka rave.
Kua tu a ia ki runga e kua akamata i te tuatua. “Te rauka nei i aku i te akameitaki i a kotou katoatoa e to maua kopu tangata, no tei manako kotou i te aere mai kia matuapuru mai kia matou i roto i teia tuatau taitaia. Kua akakite mai te taote o konei e kua tuatua ana raua ko te taote Enere i Rarotonga no te akanooanga e ka akapeea, me ka akarereia toku akaperepere ki Rarotonga, me ko ratou te ka rere mai ki konei no te vaianga i a ia.” Kua akara tamou ua mai te au mata katoatoa ki runga i a ia, ma te akarongo meitaki i tana ka tuatua mai kia ratou. Kua tuatua akaou a ia ma te reo kiia e te mamae, “Kua akakite mai te taote ki aku e kua pou ta ratou ravenga no te akaanauanga ia June, kare i papu i a ia me ka ora a ia e ta maua pepe. Tera ua e te kopu tangata me ka tika ia kotou, me oki atu kotou ki to kotou au ngutuare, e pure mai kotou no taku akaperepere e ta maua pepe. Kia tika i to tatou Metua Atua kia akara aroa mai i a raua e kia akaora i a raua.”
Kua tu maria mai te au taeake ki runga e kua aere mai no te araveianga i toku Papa, toku tuakana a Jacqui, e toku Mama Ruau Jackie i mua ake ratou ka oki atu ei ki te kainga. Kua oki katoa atu toku Mama Ruau e toku tuakana ki to matou ngutuare, no te mea te noo ua mai ra toku ai tungane ki te kainga ko ratou anake ua. Toe ua mai i reira ko toku Papa ei akapumaana ma te akamaroiroi i toku Mama. Kua akaruke toku Papa i toku Mama kia akangaroi, e kia rapu i tetai moe nana, kia maroiroi a ia no te apaianga mai i aku ki roto i teia nei ao. I reira kua aere atu a ia ki va’o ma te akara ki runga i te au etu e manganui e purapura ra ki roto i te mareva, e kua pure akatenga a ia ki te Atua kia akatupu i tetai timeio no te akaoraanga i tana vaine e ta raua pepe.
Kia oti tana pure kua oki atu a ia ki ko i toku Mama e kua mou i tona rima ki rotopu i tona, e kua pure akaou. I a ia e pure ra kua tae mai te taote no akakite mai i te nuti ou, ko ia oki, ka rere mai te Taote Enere e tona pupu tangata no Rarotonga mai no te vai akaanauanga i toku Mama. Ka rapu ratou kia tae viviki mai ratou ki Aitutaki no te raveanga i te reira. Kua mataora tikai toku Papa e kua akameitaki a ia i te Atua ma te tuatua ki toku Mama e, “Kare e roa ia atu na e taku akaperepere. Akakoromaki, akamaroiroi!”
E 15 miniti i pati i te ora 7 i te popongi, i te ra itu no Tiurai, mataiti 2004, kua anauia mai au ki roto i teia nei ao, e kua topaia toku ingoa e ko Hannah Te-mana-Atua. E ingoa puapinga teia ki toku nga metua e ki toku ngutuare tangata, no te mea a Hannah e vaine pure a ia i roto i te Bibilia, e kua kiteia e ratou Te-mana-Atua te anauia anga mai au ki te ao nei.
E maata tikai toku inangaro i toku Mama no tei akakoromaki a ia i te mamae rikarika kia rauka i aku te ora. E maata katoa toku inangaro i toku papa no te mea kua riro a ia ei tumutoa pure no Iesu i te patianga, ma te irinaki, ki roto i tana aratakianga. Kua riro te inangaro o toku nga metua i a raua rai, e to raua inangaro i aku i te akakite mai ki aku e, e tamaiti inangaroia au e raua. I runga rava atu i te reira, e aka inangaro toku i toku Metua Atua no tei akarongo mai i te pure a te au tangata tei pure mai no maua e toku Mama, i tupu ei tetai timeio umere i roto i toku oraanga, i te kiteanga au e e tamaine ariki au na Iesu.
Teariki Aumai Teiotu
First prize English, Y11-13
Apii Enuamanu, Atiu
She had the snarkiest remarks and an artistic mind, but then I deemed all her skills useless just as I have always deemed her hopeless. Her favorite hobby was drawing, an activity I thought boring. Even at the smallest things –she was a lively child.
She was caring, independent and an astounding clown. Tourists loved her – another trait of hers that bore my hatred for her in public.
Back then, when there was a new student in school she would somehow manage to befriend the child. Sometimes I would overhear her telling her new friend, ‘That’s my sister,’ to which I would turn around furiously and reply, ‘I’m not your sister! Go back to your class!’
I cannot recall the countless instances where I had said that accidentally.
It started slowly like the common cold. She didn’t complain but she must’ve been hurting. It went from lying sick in bed, to coughing blood.
Mum took her to the hospital and they prescribed her different types of medications.
They said if she wasn’t well after a week they would have to transfer her to the main island as our hospital is very small and cannot accommodate such a dangerous illness.
After a week she was still the same and there were barely any signs of her getting better, so they transferred her to the main island, Rarotonga, with my mum.
For the first time in my miserable existence I was concerned about my sister. Would I get to see her again? Is she alright? When will she get better?
These thoughts were at the top of my head each day I lived on Atiu while she was away, and I found myself sitting beside the telephone at home waiting for my mum’s call.
Impatient as I was, I knew no-one was ever calling our home-line since we hardly ever used it and that only added to my depression.
That night I wrote a letter of confession, and in my mind I hoped that in some magical way she would hear my thoughts as I wrote them down onto a piece of paper.
I’m sorry I wasn’t the best sister. I know I was a horrible person and I have no excuses for that. I’m sorry for all the heartless things I said to you. I’m sorry for neglecting you as my sister. I’m sorry for the painful memories. I know I mistreated you and treated you badly but I know that my intentions were only retaliation to the things I thought were important, but now I realise that they are unimportant. I realise now that I was extremely childish to think so and that there is nothing as alive as a gift given to us by nature.
I’m sorry for everything. I know I was a very terrible person but here is my apology, please know that I am truly sincere with it.
Please get better. Forgive me. I love you.
Now she is better. Things are very different between us, as you can imagine. I have worked hard at regaining her love, and to resolve and dissipate the pain and suffering that I caused.
Time heals all wounds.
TAKU HINANGARO I TOKU IPUKAREA KO MANIHIKI
First prize, Y11-13
Apii Ruamanu, Tauhunu, Manihiki
My love is for my homeland Manihiki. You raise me to this world and you are my heart and I am grateful to be called a Manihikian. God has filled your land and sea with bountiful of food and riches. It brought you riches with the pearl farming. You are my loved island, and like the pearl’s beauty.
Ko Manihiki taku ipukarea te ngahi i kapua ia mai ei au i teia ao. Ko koe te riro ei Pukuhatu noku i roto i te au ra o toku oraanga. Taku pukuatu, taku hinangaro ki a koe taku henua Manihiki. Te ngai i tupu mai ei au e pera i riro mai ei au ei tamaine tiratiratu i teia tuatau. Tena te kete fai kai a toku ui tupuna i moemoea ana ei akonokono naku e na toku hiti tangata i roto i te au poupou tuatau. Ko Te Puka te kaparata kai muna a te hiti tangata Manihiki e pera tetai motu roa, korereka ko Porea. Kua akaki’ia teia au kaparata kai e te metua Atua i te rangi ki te au fai kai me meitaki o te henua. Teia te au fai kai e fangai ia ana ki te henua tangata i runga i a Manihiki nei e pera te au kopu tangata Manihiki tei purara ki te tera au henua keke. Ko te paua, te korori, kavou, koura, manu, ava, pava, tihitihi, kakai, e te uto, te au fai kai puapinga teia o toku ipukarea, taku fakataraanga, taku hinangaro. Humaria e te ora na te Atua i oronga mai. No reira a Manihiki humaria i riro mai ei pukuatu hinangaroia noku e na toku hiti tangata.
E fakatara ana au me uruia mai au e tamaine Manihiki me kore e tamaine no
Manihiki mai. E reka ana au i te noho ki runga i toku Ipukarea, no te mea ko teia ua te ngahi i matau ia e au mei toku tupuanga mai. I runga i toku ipukarea e mataora ana i te akarongorongo e me kave ia te rongo o toku ipukarea ki te ao nei.
Ko koe taku Manihiki taku henua hinangaro, mei te poe parau rai toou Humaria. Kia hua kia tata kia maharahara i to taua tanga.