Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 12 April – 22 April 1916

Venus in Tahiti: 12 April – 22 April 1916

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 07, 2013

(Previous installment)

Takaroa, Wed. Apr. 12, 1916.

The boats left taking all of the conference visitors to their respective islands & the Takaroa people filled their boats them with cocoanuts, sacks of flour & six pigs each. The whole town population gathered at the wharf where a short meeting was held, consisting of a Prayer for their safety an address of welcome by the governor & two songs. After the natives were through with their long & loud parting farewells and weeping on one another’s neck those small boats sailed out of the pass.

Takaroa. Apr 13, 1916.

To-day all of the people on the island have gone into the interior to clean the brush from a piece of land to pay for a large pig that was given to the visiting people. At 3: pm we held Relief Society meeting with a few sisters who had returned to the village early enough.

Takaroa. Apr 14, 1916.

To-day they are all at work carrying stones to make a stone wall for Hwi’s [?] land to pay for another pig. Pressed [sic] Rossiter and I went twice to see a sick child that had a hard lump on its neck and was not able to return to its own land Hikura. Also to see a new born baby, & the little child of Taha that had the croup. Spent the afternoon studying.

Takaroa Apr. 15, ’16.

Mended all morning. The Saints sent us three large loaves of bread, two cans of jam, one of milk and a bag of sugar. In the evening when sister & I were out walking the governors wife called us in and gave us each a fan made of bright colored thread stretched on a wooden frame.

Takaroa Sun. Apr. 16 ’16.

Attended the usual Sunday meetings. We were all invited to have dinner with Anio the Chinese storekeeper after Sunday School, which was served under the bowery in front of the Gove[r]nors house, to us & the leading men of the island. It is the custom among the islanders to feast all of the people to celebrate the completion of a new house. The Chinaman had just finished building a new store, and instead of feasting all of the people, he gave tickets for the moving picture show.

Mar Apr 17, 1916.

Studied the book of Mormon all day long. Towards evening I went over to see Kopatie, an old native man who had a gathering on his eye. Pres. Rossiter had been over earlier in the day to poultice it for him, and he had asked for me to come over because he had two large pearl shells to give me. He also wanted me to give him a picture of myself. He had one pasted on a pearl shell sitting on the table, that he had cut from the mission paper, but he said he wanted a better one than that. After supper we took a walkout in the moonlight & called to see Makinos wife and new baby. Just before we left she put a pretty pink shell hei on my head.

Takaroa, Apr. 18, 1916.

It is seldom that I ever get to be alone, so today I have locked myself up in the amusement hall, in order to be alone long enough to collect my thoughts to write a few letters. The hall is just behind the church and all along one side of it is the graveyard with its graves surrounded by little white fences & white headstones, shining in the blazing sun. Over one grave is a small house built by a man whose wife died some time ago, for months & months after her death he stayed in it night and day mourning over her grave, only going to the house long enough to get something to eat. At the rear of the hall is the town washing pool, where a number of native women are pounding away at their clothes with a wooden club on the rocks. For a minute I forgot myself a[nd] began to hum a tune, and in just a minute they stopped their washing & stuck their heads in the window, but I told them I wanted to be alone to write my letters, so they soon went back to their work again.

Takaroa, Wed. Apr 19, 1916.

I went with Pres. Rossiter to see the little child from Hikueru who had remained in Takaroa on account of its illness. While we were there Kuraigno the mother gave me six pearls. Later I called to see Daha, Tukua,Vaio & two Catholic families. Spent the remainder of the day studying and mending.

Takaroa, Thurs. Apr 20, 1916.

Studied most of the day. Held Relief Society at 3: pm.

Fri. Apr. 21, 1916.

Spent the day studying and sewing. The Relief Society Sisters brought us a box of food containing 2 cans corned beef,1ofapricots,1ofpeaches, 2 tomatoes, 3 of butter, 10 of milk, 10 of jam, 2 deviled ham,1 salmon, 1sardines and 10 pounds of sugar. I went down to the Gove[r]nors to get some stamps & he gave me six two cents stamps and would not take any money for them. After supper Pres Rossiter & I went over to see Kopati & found that his eye was almost better. When we returned to the house Toreki was waiting for us to come & see his little blind girl Matapo. She had a terrible fever and lay in sort of a restless stupor. We gave her some quinine pills & a dose of castor oil and told them we would come back in the morning. Later the Elders were called in to administer to her.

Sat. Apr 22, 1916.

Went with Pres. Rossiter five times to see Matapo, the little blind girl & also the little child from Hikueru. I also spent several hours teaching Ruita several embroidery designs. Along towards three o’clock in the morning we were awakened by Toriki who had come to ask us to come see his little girl, because she was having a hard time to get her breath. We dressed and by the time we got over there she was perspiring freely and had fallen asleep. She had apparently taken a change for the better. She was lying on the floor in an air tight room with an oil lamp burning and the air was so stiffling that we could scarsely breath[e] in there. Every time we went there we propped up the sheet of tin over the window to let in a little air, and every time we went there again they had closed everything up air tight. Finally we knocked the tin off intirely so as to be sure to have fresh air in the room.

(To be continued)


1 Comment »

  1. Goodness. Sounds like a near-fatal case of carbon monoxide poisoning.

    That was an amusing case of trying-to-be-alone, almost like a mother with young children. It seems that in some cases the price of solitude is eternal vigilance. (Or something like that.)

    Comment by Amy T — July 7, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

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