Posted: Apr 08 2011
While I was in Ahe this past week, harvesting pearls and soaking up the things I love about the pearl farming life, I reflected back on this 38 year voyage of my family's.
My earliest memories are all connected to fishing events like getting pulled into the water while shore fishing at the pass and the sting of being too young to go live-bait fishing at night in the outrigger with my brother, dad and Raumati, our island mentor.
The memories go on and I now suspect that they were linked to the vague feeling of un-ease I felt during my last years of student life in America. The feeling was lifted when I went to visit my father in hopes of being helpful in his brave new endeavor of farming pearls. He had just relocated to Ahe after living on the main island of Tahiti for 15 years.
My father had previously made his living as a fine wood worker/builder and the last thing he built in his shop was a beautiful little wooden boat. It was with that seaworthy craft that he started his next business and turned the page to a new chapter in our family's life. The feeling of coming home and the excitement of being pioneers in a new industry kept me on and I was joined by my girlfriend Celeste a couple years later. We married soon after and raised our two children there.
The process and the people that made up my pearl farming existence have been instrumental in my coming of age. I am grateful for that and have long wanted to communicate our family's story and values through pearls. For many years I thought I could channel it through the good people who resell our pearls who can be found on our Friends and Partners page. Also, the logistical complications of dispatching product from Tahiti has been a major roadblock in our pearls arriving at their final destination.
Change has been in the air for us though. The demands that come from putting family (and especially children) before all else, have relocated my immediate family to a colder but endlessly interesting existence in Portland, Oregon, USA.
Ten years ago my father immigrated to New Zealand for the educations of my younger brother and sister. As chance (if you believe in that sort of thing) would have it, his New Zealand chapter ended almost at the exact moment our Portland chapter began.
In my mind, the circumstances are evidence of a feeling that I've always had. Kamoka has it's own heartbeat. It is bigger than me, my father or the innumerable employees, volunteers, friends and family that have participated over the farms 20 year's of existence.
Thank you for reading this far and for tuning in while we embark on the final chapter of our pearl's journey.