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French Polynesia is one of our family’s ALL-TIME favorite places to visit and we love sharing it with you! If you have a special love for the ocean, then this trip has your name all over it. The water in Tahiti is unreal--it is some of the clearest, most crystal-like, turquoise water you will ever see--and we spend about 50% of our trip adventuring and exploring it (no filters needed!).
We’ll snorkel with rays and sharks, paddle board, kayak, and practice free diving. We’ll explore parts of the island that tourists rarely see and hike to caves, cliff jump, and enjoy picnic lunches. We’ll trek through extinct volcanoes and lush jungles, slide down natural waterslides, and learn to crack open coconuts.
The deep, rich culture of the Tahitians is beautiful, they are some of the most giving and generous people we have ever met! They’ll teach us how to perform their traditional dance and drumming, how to weave and create using materials from the earth, and how to prepare delicious local food. By touring the island we’ll learn to appreciate and understand how their history and culture has influenced their life today. A powerful few days will be spent volunteering with an incredible local organization that was started by a group of teenagers who noticed that their reef was dying and decided to do something about it. And don’t forget the overwater bungalows--we wouldn’t dare take you to Tahiti without staying in those for a few days!
Of course, we’ll worship with some of the most welcoming members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday and begin and end each day with personal scripture study and gospel-centered group devotionals that will help you understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the role it plays in your daily life.
SAVING THE OCEAN REEF
Most people don’t know this, but up to 70% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean and its coral reefs.
Unfortunately, our reef and our ocean is in danger.
The combination of local threats (overfishing, pollution, and destructive human contact) with global threats (increase in ocean temperature and over-acidification of oceans) have endangered up to 75% of the world’s coral reefs.
Based on current trends, all of the world’s coral reefs will die by 2050 and that will have drastic consequences to our way of life. Efforts are being made to protect current coral reefs as well as restore coral to reefs that are dead or dying. Just like planting trees in a forest, healthy coral can be replanted to bring reefs back to life.
In Tahiti, we will volunteer with an organization that was started by a group of local teenagers that realized their backyard (the ocean) was dying. They decided to do something about it and after thousands of hours of research, they partnered with some marine biologists and other scientists to develop a way to help save their reef.
This Summer you will have a chance to get close to the problem AND the solution as you help gather broken coral and replant it as a small step in saving our beautiful ocean. Also, chemical sunscreen? Stop using it.
TRIP VIBE: Virgin Pina Coladas in Paradise, Snorkeling with Sharks, Fireknife Dancing
SOCIAL CAUSE: Ocean Conservation and Saving the Reef
TRIP PACE: Easy Going
PHYSICAL FITNESS LEVEL: Moderate
The culture in Tahiti is incredibly hospitable--people are so important to them and getting through a to-do list is not. Because of this, our trip tends to move at a relaxed pace because that is just how the island works! We have a full itinerary packed with incredible adventures, but there is also plenty of time to sit down, talk story with the locals, soak in the beautiful scenery, and just be present. If your life is already fast-paced and crazy, then this trip will be the perfect opportunity to slow down and find the beauty in every day. For this trip, you must be able to swim.