Meet Eveline. She’s a badass.
Eveline is an indigenous Rapa Nui from Easter Island. She is fiercely proud and protective of her homeland. Eveline does not suffer fools gladly. If you make fun of her language or giggle over someone’s loincloth, she will call you out on it. She wants you to know the facts about Easter Island and the Rapa Nui people and will fill your brain with as much knowledge as you can handle and then some more for good measure. She can dance the traditional dances, sings traditional songs, and rolls her own cigarettes.
When you live in one of the most remote places on Earth, a speck of land amid a vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, badassery seems to come with the territory. Survival on Easter Island has never been easy and periods of confinement and enslavement that nearly wiped out the Rapa Nui only made them tougher.
Eveline has a warrior spirit and, though it does not make for the most easygoing of tour guides, I think that’s awesome. She grated on the nerves of some of the people in my tour group, most of whom only ever travel on group tours like this one. You get the sense that she is on an urgent mission to preserve and disseminate Rapa Nui culture and history to the world, which may not always make for a breezy, lighthearted tour. The reason that’s awesome is that with Eveline you know you’re not getting the touristy treatment. Unlike the some of the hokier cultural shows we saw in other places, there’s no way in hell that Eveline’s going to pander to the tourists. She is there to show you things as they are, rather than what you would like to see. Amen to that, sister.