Since arriving to the Cook Islands, I have been blown away by the beauty of the land and surrounding ocean, the friendliness of the locals, and the differing culture. The crystal clear water and the dense vegetation of both islands we have been on seize to amaze me. They are sites I have only seen in movies or on social media. No filters needed on the pictures I am coming home with because nothing can enhance the raw beauty of these islands. Also, the local people here are more than welcoming, and it is refreshing to see people so connected to their culture. Their passion is quite prevalent here; it makes our stay really surreal. Being at the 50th anniversary of independence celebration (Te Maeva Nui), I was taken aback by the power behind the drums from music and the traditional clothing worn during the dances.
It is only day three of this amazing trip, which blows my mind because we have already done so much. I am looking forward to the rest of the time here. Rarotonga was amazing, but I know the duration of our time spent on Aitutaki will be filled with research and will be just as adventure filled.