Across from Hatana is a rocky area called Hạf Ahại (ship rock), as it looks a bit like the hull of a ship. This a nesting place for large sea birds that we call “Kanạpu” (gannets). It is also a nesting place for terns. Rotumans have always visited Hạf Ahại to collect eggs and sometime catch birds, for food. We must only ever take from the island what we need, so it remains a good nesting place for the birds to return to, season after season.
To prepare the eggs for eating, we take a green coconut (niu vạrvạri = when the inside flesh is soft for eating; niu ma’ata= ripe for eating). We cut off the top and drink the juice. Then we crack the egg in to the hollow of the niu, add some salt water to taste, replace the top of the niu and put it in the koua (traditional earth oven) to cook. The moisture from the soft flesh and the salt water helps to poach the egg and add flavour. This traditional way of cooking the eggs is a special treat; “an lei lei” (delicious).
Here is a link to my video of the birds of Hạf Ahại. I hope you enjoy it.