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Five minutes to go. Eti arrived. RAIN STOPPED!!! We’re going to wear the full regalia. J

18 / 09 / 12 - 06 : 47

Fifteen minutes to go. I’m still waiting for Eti. Lucky the airport is so close. The rain is still falling, not really heavy now but enough to soak everyone and make a mess of the planned outdoor activities. What a great shame. Still, it could change in a moment. It’s hard to predict from one moment to another here. We could have bright sunshine in ten minutes. Here’s hoping! The ten minute siren should be sounding soon. Of course no persons need to be told there’s a plane arriving but we have to give our dogs and pigs due notice. Bye for now. J

18 / 09 / 12 - 06 : 45

Thirty minutes to go. Still raining, though less hard. If we get a heavy shower passing over at 1400 the Royal plane may have to go round and make another approach. OK, I am wearing my fou (floral headdress). I’m just waiting for Eti and we’ll then walk down to the airport. Our traditional dresses have been specially commissioned by Dinah and Sina. They have the three Ahrenkiel fishes. Very creative design. Right, time to go, fingers crossed for no more rain. Otherwise we will leave the dresses behind and we’ll put them on when we come back to the office prior to go out and lining the street as the Couple pass our office on the way to the Queen’s Palm Tree.
Bye for now. Wish us luck! John.

18 / 09 / 12 - 06 : 42

OH DEAR – one hour to go and heavy rain falling!!!!!!!!!!!!

We won’t be able to wear our traditional costumes because the dye will run.

Fingers crossed that the rain will pass in a few minutes.


17 / 09 / 12 - 18 : 00

There has been a lot of activity today, making final preparations for the big day tomorrow. One of the activities was taking several truckloads of sand from the beach in front of our office. I don’t know where that went but no doubt was put to a good use.

I took a look at the little mini-maneabas set up for the handicrafts exhibitions. Very nice, and all quite different from one another. I don’t know whether each is an example (in miniature) of the building style of each island or whether the designs are just the individual builders’ preferences. Anyway, they are all very pretty.

Our ladies have been very busy washing the front of our office. If the Royal Couple are alert as they pass along our street they might catch a fleeting glimpse. More grass has been cut in the last few days that in normal months. Lots of painting too.

I’ve just seen the news coverage of the Royals’ visit to the Solomon Islands. The ‘canoe on a truck’ provided for their reception there will definitely be bettered by our hand-carried mini-maneaba. The media reported today that the Couple had arrived in the Solomon Islands but surely they arrived yesterday? I suppose the film clips didn’t get back to Australia and New Zealand in time for last night’s news so the TV stations ran with the news today.

We shall have to keep fingers crossed for dry weather tomorrow. There have been several heavy showers today. No doubt ‘the show will go on’ regardless of weather but it will be miserable if everyone has to line up in the pouring rain to greet the Couple. After all the preparations that have been made it would be disappointing if there is much rain.

There’s a lot of noise outside, which I must investigate…. Oh, a tractor and trailer are on the beach removing more sand – at 2200 hours! I hope they don’t spoil our nice beach. I suppose they’re taking sand from here because of the good access with the brick-paved driveway and the ramp we built.

OK, that’s all for today. Best regards, John

17 / 09 / 12 - 15 : 41

Bonjour G,

I guess the tension is mounting, and especially so for the PM and the Min. of Foreign Affairs! Indeed for the whole of the Foreign Affairs Ministry who have been engaged in preparations for weeks. I’m just thinking about what I should wear. I suppose a long-sleeved white shirt with tie and long trousers. I just checked my black leather shoes; they’ll be alright once I polish off the mildew.

The plane is here – no, not the Royal one, the regular one. It came early today. I guess it was a requirement that airspace be cleared well before arrival of the Royal jet. I can hear the plane taxiing down the runway so it’s just about to leave… ah yes, I can hear the warning siren now.

Something interesting I omitted this morning – Tuvalu Telecom shop has a sign up outside which says….. ‘Tuvalu Telecom’. Wow that’s a real innovation. I have often thought it would be good to have a sign there so that visitors know what building to go in to get their SIM cards for the local mobilephone system. With the ‘old’ Telecom building (that one), the ‘newish’ Telecom building, and the ‘newer Telecom building there was potential for confusion. All is clear now. Right opposite is a very large sign that says ‘Cigarettes – the Killer’ with a list of all the poisonous and carcinogenic ingredients. That sign has been in place for some months; I suppose it is permanent.

Eti tells me there is a sign on the Vaiaku maneaba that reads ‘Welcome Home’. He reckons it should just read ‘Welcome’ but I think ‘Welcome Home’ is somehow appropriate. When QE2 is spoken of here she is referred to (as you well know) and Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Tuvalu and other realms. So if Tuvalu is ‘home’ for the Queen in that sense it must also be ‘home’ to Prince William.

I think the Queen’s title here is not quite right, she should be Queen Elizabeth the Second, she should simply be Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Tuvalu and other realms. Europeans had not discovered Tuvalu at time QE1 was on the throne. But then, the good lady is referred to as Queen Elizabeth the Second even when she is in Scotland, but really she is QE1 there, if have my schoolboy history correct.

There was a truck stopped on the road opposite the end of our driveway a few minutes ago. It seems they were replacing the globe in the street light. It seems as though a few chores that aren’t really related to the Royal visit have been ‘added’. Very good too!

Weather still good – bright sunshine, cotton wool clouds. Perfect. Must go and iron my shirt. Bye.

So, our Internet is down again – a very common problem nowadays. I guess I spend about 30 minutes every day pressing email ‘Send’ button to try to get messages moving. Very frustrating and getting worse, to the point where it is hindering our business (or rather it is extending the length of each working day). So I’m taking the opportunity to add a bit more to this message.

The Radio Station fence posts are beautifully and imaginatively decorated with ‘flowers’ made out of interwoven leaves. I’m frustrated not having a camera. Dinah went off to Halo’s place to try to download the images from her computer, which is full. Hopefully she’ll sort out the problem.

The mini-maneabas on the lawn in front of the Vaiaku maneaba appeared to be laid out randomly but I have just realized (after seeing the island name signs that have just been added) that they are laid out in their proper geographical design, as in the Tuvaluan flag. Clever idea that! The area has been cordoned off with just one entrance over which there is a sign “Tuvalu Village”. Very nice indeed. OK, let’s try the Internet again….

Best regards, John

17 / 09 / 12 - 15 : 00

15 / 09 / 12 - 18 : 00

It is going to be a great event on Tuesday. I’ve just returned from watching the final rehearsal. Even James C is excited – surprising for an American (but of course he is also a Tuvaluan now). I was also able to get more details of the programme from Pedro M whom I happened to see standing by the Queen’s palm tree as I cycled back to the office.

Let’s hope the weather is fine. This morning there was a huge rainstorm passing over the island, dumping tonnes of water. As so often happens here after rain, the sun came out and the rest of the day has been fine and clear. Let’s hope it’s like that on Tuesday.

There isn’t only a mini-maneaba there is also a micro-maneaba (my terminology). The mini one is truck mounted, and will be the vehicle for the tour of the village. The micromaneaba will be hand-carried. Both are nicely made and nicely painted and will no doubt be highly decorated on the day. Their design captures the spirit of the traditional maneabas but cleverly modified to suit the special purposes. Of course their distinguishing feature is their pandanus-thatched roofs.
Assuming the plane lands heading north (the predominant direction, as you know) it will taxi back from the northern end, pass the terminal and the Vaiaku Maneaba, turn 180 degrees, and come to a halt about opposite the TANGO and TuFHA offices. The minmaneapa will then approach, carried by about twenty young men selected for their strength and uniform height.

That maneapa is only just big enough for the Royal Couple to sit on but the side bearers (timber beams) are extended well fore and aft to give
space for the many bearers. The bearers will lower the maneaba at the foot of the aircraft stairs.
When the Royal Couple have boarded they will be carried slowly up the runway and onto the airport apron. The route will be lined with children from Fetuvalu High School in uniform. They will be singing and waving. On arrival at the apron the maneaba will be set down in front of two flagpoles, with the Tuvalu flag flying on one and the Royal Standard on the other.
A Police honour guard will be facing the couple. I watched the honour guard as they marched from the Police Station to the Airport. I have to say they have really put effort into their marching and drill, as it was all very precise. Perhaps not quite as good as the Household Cavalry but considering the men are regular policemen, not soldiers, I reckon they deserve full marks. I notice that their rifles have shiny bayonets that I have not
seen before. Either they been supplied new ones or they’ve spent a lot of time polishing.

The honour guard will do the usual presenting of arms and then the Anthem of the Queen of Tuvalu will be sung (i.e. God Save the Queen) led by pupils of Nauti Primary School.
They sang it this morning; they even knew the words of the second verse. I remember learning that verse sixty years ago but I have no recollection of the words now. After that anthem the children and everyone nearby sang the Tuvalu National Anthem.

Next the Royal Couple will (presumably) be met by the Governor General and his wife and the Prime Minister and his wife. They didn’t take part in the rehearsal so I’m not sure about that. I can say though that the PM is really thrilled about the forthcoming event; I happened to see Willy talking to the Police Commissioner so I stopped for a chat. Shortly after I saw Seinati and had a word with her too. Lots of smiles, as always.

So after meeting the GG and PM the Couple will meet island community elders who will be lined up at the side of the apron leading to the VIP Lounge. I think they’ll pass briefly through the Lounge and into the Maneaba. There will be one welcoming speech – I guess by the GG, and one reply – certainly by Prince William. Then they will sit and be entertained by very brief fatele’s. Now all of this, from plane halting to fatele finishing
is scheduled to occupy twenty minutes! Then the Couple board the mini-maneaba on the back of the truck.

They then drive to Nauti Primary School. I’m not sure whether that will be along the runway road or the main road; presumably the latter because it is more interesting. The roads around the village are worth seeing. You would be impressed. Everybody has been tidying up in front of their houses, cleaning, painting, planting flowers etc.

After a brief view of Nauti Primary and the University campus opposite they will drive down our road (Fogafale Rd), passing our office (I’ll be waving) and they will disembark from the minimaneaba at the hotel to inspect the Queen’s palm tree. They’ll then walk through to the front of hotel, and up onto the balcony overlooking the lagoon.

Canoe races will start immediately, while the Couple enjoy a cool coconut juice drink from nuts freshly picked from the Queen’s tree.
After their drinks the Couple will walk across to the grassy area in front of Vaiaku Maneaba. There they will see a couple (man and woman) from each of the Tuvalu islands making traditional handicraft items. Each couple will be sitting under individual little structures quite similar to the mini-maneaba already described. After the Couple have spent a little time examining the handicrafts their arrival ceremony will end and they
will be driven to the Defence Force Complex for a rest.

In the evening they’ll be taken to Tausoa Lima for a formal dinner. I think there will be some fatele afterwards. I can’t remember what Pedro told me about that – whether it would be at Tausoa Lima or back at the Vaiaku Maneaba. So that’s how the day will end.

The next morning there will be a fairly brief farewell ceremony at Vaiaku Maneaba, then onto the plane. I suppose they will again be carried in the mini-maneaba.

It is a little disappointing that their visit will be so short. I think the community would have liked longer. It would have been appropriate to visit Princess Margaret Hospital but there isn’t time, and of course the original structure has long gone and been replaced by one built by Japan Aid.
So that’s it. Quite a bit packed into their twenty hours. It will be a memorable day, not only for the Couple but equally for all us.
Perhaps the Governor General will call for “Three cheers for Her Majesty the Queen of Tuvalu”. I hope so.
Best regards, John

14 / 09 / 12 - 13 : 08

The exact program of events is not being made public (or at least not yet). However, from what I learnt from Halo, it goes like this:
The aircraft will stop on the runway (i.e. it wonʼt taxi onto the apron) at 1000hrs. The Royal Couple will descend the stairs and step into a “personal mini-maneaba” (traditional thatched house) that has been constructed by PWD. This is going to take the place of the canoe that the Queen used. Thatʼs rather a clever twist on the traditional form of welcome. Full marks to whoever thought that one up.

The mini-maneaba will be lifted by a team of strong young men - apparently a great many, not only so as to share the honour around but also because the structure is very heavy. The Couple will be carried from the plane to the Vaiaku Maneaba; the couple will disembark (or rather ʻdismountʼ) from their mini-maneaba and enter the main maneaba. Then speeches of welcome and all the usual brouhaha.

Then six of the islands (one misses out, for unknown reasons) will put on brief fateleʼs. They are limited to five minutes each! I cannot imagine a five minute fatele. As you know, a single song/dance/drum bashing usually takes longer than five minutes.

Then the couple will go to the Government Offices (I suppose in their mini-maneaba). I donʼt know whatʼs planned there, but perhaps signing of the Visitors Book. QE2 and Prince Philʼs signatures are in there of course. Prime Minsiter Bikenibeu Paeniu showed it to me years ago.

Next they will go to Vaiaki Lagi Hotel, but not inside. They are going to visit the palm tree that Williamʼs mother planted thirty years ago. I have passed that tree thousands of times without knowing its history. It is said that they are going to be served a drinking nut each from that tree. Eti told me that it has been tidied up, so I have just been to the hotel to have a look. Right enough, it has had a coral stone wall put around the base, as has the lime tree right next to it. Do you know the trees I mean? They are right outside the hotel kitchen door.

Then the Couple are going to EKT. I donʼt know why; perhaps to visit the main church. Presumably they will go by car, otherwise the team of bearers is going to be worn out! Then theyʼll continue on up the road to Nauti Primary School and then Princess Margaret Hospital (the new building retained the old name, as you know).

Then on to Edgworth Davidʼs bore hole (often called Darwinʼs Hole, as you know). Apparently the program ends there, although that canʼt be right because there has to be canoe racing. Perhaps thatʼs later in the day. Canoes are coming in from the outer islands (by “Nivaga II”) and community elders are coming too.

In the evening there will be an official dinner at Vaiaku Lagi Hotel but guests will be limited to twelve from each island. Thatʼs scheduled to finish at 2130hrs, which apparently is end of the dayʼs activities. I thought there would be a fatele afterwards but apparently not.

Then the Couple retire to the Defence Force Complex (i.e. what we call the ʻNavy Houseʼ) and they get to sleep in Brendanʼs apartment (brand new mattress however) and the Royal security bods get to sleep in Lurchʼs apartment.
Next morning, at 1000hrs, up, up and away!

The communities are entering into the spirit of it all, of course. Itʼs a very special occasion. The cost is enormous. Imagine how much food thereʼs going to be. There might only be 100 or so at the VLH for the official dinner but there will be feasting all over the place I expect.

Seems like itʼs going to be fun. Of course, it should fun – in FUN.
Best regards, John

14 / 09 / 12 - 12 : 00

Theyʼll be arriving on the afternoon of 18SEP and leaving the following morning. I understand they are going disembark directly into a canoe, which will be held on the shoulders of many strong lads. Thatʼs the traditional greeting for members of the Royal Family (and other VIPʼs) but this will probably be the first time that it has done at the airport.

On the previous occasions (Prince Philip 1958, Princess Margaret 1978, Queen and Prince Philip 1982) the canoe has met them at the side of the ship. It was planned that they would only stay four hours, because of the lack of adequate accommodation for an overnight stay.

However, the local community were offended by that (rightly so). A compromise was reached when Brendan (Navy commander) offered his
quarters. The Palace accepted that. Brendan and one of his staff will be off-island anyway and the remaining guy will move out for the night so the Royal Couple can have the whole compound. A new mattress is coming from Fiji for Brendanʼs bed.

I donʼt suppose theyʼll make much use of it because from what I hear a very special fatele is planned at the maneaba and that is likely to go half way through the night. It was like that when President Rabuka came to Tuvalu for the 20th anniversary celebrations. He was enjoying himself, including joining in the dancing, and Iʼll be the locals are hoping that will happen with the Royal Couple. They might just do it too. It will be a sensation here if they do
– very different from the Royal visits of the past.

I think they will be visiting Nauti Primary School. Itʼs a popular venue for important visitors and gives the kids a chance to put on a good show. I understand the community is repainting the outside of all the buildings – no pay, just local pride.
Other than that I donʼt know the programme but I will ask Eti to find out.

Best regards, John

14 / 09 / 12 - 10 : 00

Today we are having a clean-up morning, and will have a practice afternoon, all for the Royal visit. Same next Friday. What fun (in FUN)!
John, Alofa Tuvalu counterpart in Funafuti

07 / 09 / 12 - 10 : 33


Le film que nous avons tourné dans lequel apparaît Eliala est sur notre site dans la rubrique reportages. La rencontre avec Eliala était vraiment intéressante.

… On continue à parler du voyage, de l'environnement en citant l'exemple de Tuvalu et à distribuer les BD dans les écoles. Ci-joint quelques photos lors des distributions à Tanna au Vanuatu et aux Louisiades. C'est vrai que pour l'instant ce ne sont pas les gens au mode de vie le plus « polluant » à qui nous remettons les BD mais la vie à l'occidentale les fait un peu rêver et nous pouvons espérer que les BD leur en donneront une image moins idéaliste!

Nous attendons d'autres photos et vous les envoyons quand on les reçoit.

Merci beaucoup,

Claire et Gaëtan Ozenne
Association "au fil des milles"

09 / 07 / 12 - 12 : 31

Voici une affaire qui nous concerne tous, SANS EXCEPTION !

La sortie en salle du film : http://www.severn-lefilm.com/"Nos enfants nous accuseront"

Pour que ce film soit en salle (film qui dénonce les méfaits de la mauvaise alimentation et des pesticides), il faut qu'un maximum de personnes regardent la bande annonce dans les 2 jours qui suivent. C'est le nombre de visites dans les 2 jours qui fera emporter la décision de sa mise en distribution grandes salles. Faites le suivre rapidement, s'il vous plaît, à tous vos contacts, merci par avance. Voici la bande annonce à visionner et à transmettre.

Pour que Monsanto & Consorts ne soient pas leur futur...

Nous recommandons également "Severn, la voix de nos enfants" du même réalisateur, qui présente des alternatives, tout en nous faisant voyager (dans notre siège). Canada, Japon, Charentes, Corse.

Merci pour eux !..

03 / 07 / 12 - 09 : 58

02 / 07 / 12 - 11 : 07

19 / 06 / 12 - 09 : 38


07 / 06 / 12 - 18 : 54

A quelques jours du départ de sa délégation au Sommet des Nations Unies sur le Développement Durable de Rio, l’Association 4D publie avec l’Institut de l’Energie et de l’Environnement de la Francophonie (IEPF), une note de décryptage sur les enjeux de la conférence internationale.

La note de décryptage est disponible sur le site de 4D :
Note de décryptage

07 / 06 / 12 - 13 : 07

(voir Français plus bas)

Talofa !

The 1st edition of the "Tuvalu King Tides festival" -Tuvalu E! The Tide is High!*- took place in Funafuti-TUVALU, from Feb 26th to March 1st, 2010.

During 2 days, traditional competitions and demonstrations have shown some aspects of Tuvaluan Culture through sports, handicrafts, dancing, singing, food and Tuvalu’s unique talent in improvised story-telling and dramas. The objective was to raise awareness about what will be lost if the nation of Tuvalu was to disappear. Parallel awareness activities on climate targeted both children and adults, focusing on what we all can do to try to turn the tide.

A few overseas TV documented the event and a multi-camera shooting was put together by Alofa Tuvalu. This was edited in Paris into two 52 min plus a 30 min Fatele that were handed out to many concerned Tuvaluans and screened to an audience in December 2011.

Returning from our 2011/2012 visit, the videos were cut again to fit the You Tube format and are now posted on the Alofa Tuvalu channel


*This first edition was made possible by the unified efforts of many Government ministries and NGO's. It is part of The "Small is Beautiful" (SIB) plan, one of UNESCO's Decade of Education for Sustainable Development Remarkable Actions, launched with, as a primary objective, the preservation of Tuvalu's cultural heritage and identity.

Talofa !

La 1ère edition du Festival des Grandes Marées -Tuvalu E! The Tide is High!*- s’est déroulée à Funafuti-TUVALU, du 26 février au 1er Mars, 2010.

Pendant deux jours, différents aspects de la culture Tuvaluenne ont été exposés au travers de compétitions traditionnelles et de démonstrations: sports, danses, chants, nourriture, et expression du talent unique des tuvaluens pour l’improvisation de récits et le théâtre.
L’objectif était d’amplifiier la prise de conscience de ce qui est menacé, si la nation de Tuvalu disparaissait. En parallèle, des activités sur le climat ciblaient petits et grands focalisant sur ce que nous pouvons tous faire pour inverser la tendance.

Quelques télévisions étrangères ont couvert l’événement. Alofa Tuvalu a organisé une captation à plusieurs cameras. 2 segments d’une heure et 30 min de fatele ont été montés. Ces videos furent remises aux Tuvaluens impliqués et diffusés publiquement en Décembre 2011.

Au retour de la mission 2011/2012, les videos furent remontées en 10 activités et postées sur la
chaîne You Tube d'Alofa Tuvalu.


*Cette première édition a été rendue possible par les efforts combinés de nombreux Ministères tuvaluens et associations. Elle fait partie du plan “Small is Beautiful”, l’une des actions remarquables de la Décennie de l’Education au Développement Durable de l’Unesco, lancé avec pour objectif premier la préservation de l’héritage culturel et de l’identité de Tuvalu.

04 / 06 / 12 - 15 : 50

09 / 05 / 12 - 10 : 48

Samedi, Cyril Josset, Secrétaire Général d’Alofa Tuvalu, était invité par Tine, l’Ambassadeur de Tuvalu à Bruxelles et son épouse Lilian, à participer à une après-midi de collecte de fonds en faveur des victimes des inondations dévastatrices à Fidji.

Au retour Cyril écrit : “ Chères Amies, ce fut d’abord un spectacle de danse très agréable à voir, un peu dans le style des danses hawaïennes et tahitiennes puis une dégustation de mets locaux…, je crois bien que c’est la première fois que j’ai mangé du tapioca, et peut-être aussi la dernière !!! Au final, € 8000 ont été récoltés pour FIDJI…

08 / 05 / 12 - 18 : 00

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