Golden Oldies Mamas Prepare to head Home

Emotions were in high supply today for the group of 41 elderly Cook Islands’ men and women that were in lockdown for the last month and residing at the Atiu Hall in Favona, Auckland.

Following the official announcement of a repatriation process for returning Cook Islands and residents last night, the group were immediately informed that they would be relocated to another premise where they’ll undergo a further 14-day supervised quarantine before returning home.

Although the news of staying back a little while longer was met with unease for some, especially for those desperately wanting to get back home – the group is remaining calm, united and overall, positive.

Today they cleaned out the Atiu Hall- returning it to its ghostly empty state, packed all their possessions and were bussed out to the Holiday Inn motel, where they’ll commence quarantine.

It was a bitter sweet moment to bid the group farewell for fellow Cook Islander, Thomas Wynne, who had been one of few Cook Islanders on the outside, to provide assistance for the mamas and papas during their stay in Favona. With the amount of time spent with the group, he felt the emotion train hit him when they waved “Aere ra” today.

Here is a short report from Wynne’s account of today’s happenings.

“???? ????? ?????? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ???? ????..??? ???? ??? 14 ???? ?????????? ?? ??? ??????? ???….???? ? ??? ??? ? ??????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ???? ??? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ??????..??? ?????????? ??? ?????? ?????? ??????? ?????????-?????..??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ????????? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????????. ?? ??? ???..??? 41 ????? ??? ??? ..??? ???? ???? ??????? ?? ?? ?????..?? ??? ??????..?? ???? ?? ????..??? ??????? ?? ????? ???? ??????? ????.”

The first repatriation flight is scheduled to depart Auckland on Saturday 9th May, arriving into Rarotonga on the afternoon of Friday 8th May. There are potentially two repatriation flights planned and more details will be released as they are firmed up.

 

Written by Thomas Tarurongo Wynne