Teremoana Napa doesn’t have much cash turnover at her hut, out the back of the market. It’s a labour of love, explaining Rarotonga’s least-known fruit, and how best to enjoy them.
I could see the delight in my sons’ eyes as she sliced the top off a passionfruit then showed them how to use it as a spoon. Or when my four-year-old first tried uto, a sprouting coconut.
Punanga Nui is looking to double the huts’ rents from $30 to $70 a week. For someone like Teremoana who sells her fruit on behalf of others, out of the goodness of her big heart, it’s a hefty rise.
The market is one of our biggest attractions. But look around, and one can see imported goods starting to shoulder out local produce and drums and Manihiki pearls.
The market should show off the best of the Cook Islands – and that’s why we should treasure those like Teremoana who give so generously. (Even when it’s giving me a telling off!)