5.21.2003

The last time I was in Rarotonga was 1994. The most interesting thing I noticed about the water surrounding the island is how clear and warm it is. I felt like I was in a giant swimming pool. The second most interesting thing about the water is that it is full of sea cucumbers (called rori in Maori, the primary language of the Cook Islands). These dark gray sausage shaped creatures are considered a delicacy here. To eat them, you simply pluck one out of the water and squeeze its spaghetti-like guts out, which you eat on the spot. Then you throw the rori back in the water. It will regenerate its guts very quickly. Roris have a defense mechanism similar to lizards, which will sacrifice a tail to escape a predator. If a sea predator attacks a rori, it will expel some of its intestines, which the predator devours while the rori makes its getaway. Are you getting hungry yet?
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On June 21, 2003, Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair moved from Los Angeles to the South Pacific. Our first stop is Rarotonga, a tiny island in the South Pacific. We're bringing our two young daughters with us.

This is our story, one photograph at a time.

WEB EXCLUSIVE
The Island Chronicles: MARK FRAUENFELDER and CARLA SINCLAIR continue their experiment in South Pacific living. Read their latest dispatch exclusively on LAWeekly.com!

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