Archive for June, 2012

Team Build Up

June 22, 2012

Go-Kart Team Build Up

At Kingston Park Raceway, with colleagues. It was raining like hell. Never got so wet in my entire life. But it was great fun. Shall never forget. Very successful team build up.

Impossible to take photos of the race itself . Too much concentrated on the action, too much rain and on top of it it was dark. So here are some group photos instead, taken after the race

Peter, John K., Scott, Richard, Tai, Paul, John C., Michael B. and Jarod

Wet, wet, wet. Trying to warm up under the heater

i purchased a T-shirt, just to have something dry to wear

The official team photo

The winners and the looser

 We ended up in a South End restaurant, with our soaked clothes. Everyone started by ordering a cognac, to try and warm up

Peter Magoulick

John Cooper

Richard Stewart

 jarod and his girlfriend

BBQ @ Birkalla 

BBQ at my place with my colleagues. Master Scotsman did a great job

Tai, Jarod, Richard, John, Sharon, John K, Linda, Ralph

Mister Roco 

Tai, Jarod, Richard, Scott, John C., Sharon, John K, Linda, Ralph, Kelly

same, less Tai, +me

Multiple Teams @ Restaurant Cha Cha Char

3 tables, 3 different teams

John, Jarod and Richard

Excellent dinner. Great steaks. This place is highly recommended.

check on

Cook Islands

June 5, 2012


Les Iles Cook

A week in the Cook Islands, in the hart of the South Pacific. Nostalgic trip for Wanda who lived there some 28 years ago. Visited Raratonga, the main island, as well  as beautiful Aitutaki, a smaller island 500km up North, with it’s amazing lagoon. Met Graeme from New Zeeland and his family, who were there to attend a wedding.  

Une semaine dans les Iles Cook, au coeur du Sud Pacifique. Voyage nostagique pour Wanda qui a vécu la-bas un certain temps, il y a de cela 28 ans. Avons visité Raratonga, l’île principale et également la merveilleuse Aitutaki, une île encore plus petite, 500km plus au nord, avec sa lagune spectaculaire. Avons rencontré Graeme de Nouvelle Zélande et sa famille. Ils étaient la pour célébrer un mariage.


the paradise / le paradis 

¨slow down and take it easy¨  – ¨réduisez la  vitesse, et allez y molo¨ 

Raratonga is a small island. It takes 30 km to drive around it. So no need to hurry to get anywhere.

Raratonga n’est pas très grande. Le tour de l’île fait 30 kilomètres. Alors inutile de se presser, on est tout de suite ou on veut. 

Around the Island / Autour de l’île

la lagune et la barrière de corail à l’horizon

Reef and crashing waves on the horizon 

grosse vague sur le récif

south coast beach

our hut /notre cabine

sous les cocotiers c’est la plage….

Paul having a swim

Raratongan Beach Resort, this is where Graeme used to work 

enjoying and relaxing



in front of our hut / en face de notre cabine

Carmen with Madeleine

The clan

front:Wanda, Hope, Ariana 

back: Carmen, Ethan, Jeremy, Paul, Graeme

Ethan, Carmen, Madeleine, Graeme

Ariana, Wanda, Graeme

Wanda and Hope

Old places and acquaintances

Daniel and Wanda

Daniel used to work at the Raratongan hotel where he gave tennis lessons. He is now retired but is still very active with the church

The house where Wanda lived some 28 years ago,the garage extension did not exist at the time

la maison ou Wanda habitait il y a de cela 28 ans 

seems more a shag than a house / ça ressemble plus à un cabanon qu’à une maison

Sebastian’s school / l’école de Sebastien

The big tree in front of the school / le grand arbre devant l’école

Daniel’s daughter, she was nine at the time 

Wanda and Sebastian at the time



Banana Court pub, famous in the whole Pacific. Is apparently nowerdays tamed, compared to what it used to be

Enjoying a good meal in the Flame Tree, one of the best restaurants on the island

beautiful painting from a local artist (unfortunately lost his name)

the crab

The Vakas

Seven vakas from 7 different Polynesian islands, including Tahiti, Tonga, Cook Islands, New Zeeland and others. A small armada travelling for several months through the Pacific, going from one island to another. They had a 4 days stop in Raratonga.  

Sept vakas (catamarans) venant de 7 îles Polynésiennes différentes (Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, Iles Cook, Nouvelle Zéelande, etc… Une petite armada voguant d’une île à l’autre durant plusieurs mois. Ils font escale pour 4 jours à Raratonga 

faisant bon usage de l’énergie solaire / making good use of sun energy


Highland Paradise, great show 

traditional dancing

Cook Islanders are known to be the best dancers in the whole of Polynesia 

Les habitants des îles Cook sont réputés pour être les meilleurs danseurs de Polynésie

fire dance


with the traditional welcome flowers             photo Wanda M

our room / notre chambre

cruising over the lagoon 

blue, blue, blue

le grand bleu

our vaka /notre vaka

le guide et le capitaine / the guide and the captain

One Foot Island, Wanda going snorkling 

Wanda en route pour la ¨plongée avec masque et tube¨ (I discover French has no specific word for “snorkling”, one must make a whole description….I now understand why I was always struggling with this word…)

Tree crab, never saw that / crabe grimpeur d’arbre, jamais vu ça

and the rain came /et la pluie arriva

photo Wanda Michalak

Two more from Wanda’s file

boarding the plane to Aitutaki, 45 minutes flight

breakfast in Aitutaki, the best papaya ever