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Catalina Hey Paoa, Helga Thieme, Stephanie Pauly – Three Island Women

Dec 2, 2020

While I try to avoid anything resembling formal portraiture, I do enjoy watching for moments to catch an image that says something about a person. This is usually in the instant before or just after they realize that I'm aiming a camera at them (if they realize it at all). We got to know a number of Islanders, both Rapanui and others who settled there – here are three if them. The longer we are away, the more we miss these wonderful people.

Catalina Hey Paoa (above)

One of the grand old dames of the Island. We got the know her because she is a good friend of Terry's, who we spent a lot of our time on Easter Island either staying with or house sitting for. Catalina is charming and simply fun to be around. She’s one of the Rapanui we knew who grew up on an Island without running water, electricity or regular contact with the mainlan, I'll post an picture of her brother, Jacobo Hey Paoa (friend, former governor, etc.) soon. I have a few images of Katalina, but this one says it all for me. She's in her nineties at this point and, according to Terry, pretty much stranded in an apartment on the mainland during the age of COVID. We have a copy of a wonderful, phenomenally illustrated, basic dictionary of Island terms and culture, in English, Spanish, French and Rapanui. It is on Amazon: Rapa Nui Lengua y Cultura.

Helga Thieme

Helga, hard to catch not laughing sometimes, is a German Chilean who moved to Easter Island with Napa, a Rapanui. She edits and publishes the wonderful little freebie-on-planes-etc. magazine MoeVarua. Every visit, before leaving, I would give her jpegs of my color exposures for her use. Over the last 20 years of so she has contributed much to the Island. Thanks to Terry's translations (Helga speaks English but needs help there) her MoeVarua sports both Spanish and English text. Presently Helga, having some health issues, is working hard to convert the magazine to a non-profit to be managed by Rapanui.

Link to Helga's MoeVarua on line:  https://moevarua.com/en/

Stephanie Pauly

We met Stephanie early on, before the Island was properly connected to the mainland via computer, when negotiating our extended stay on the Island. She happened to be around when we desperately needed someone to translate for us. As a 45 year old German teacher on vacation, she met and married a Rapanui, choosing a very rough, almost cave existence on a very islolated island. Her book about her experience can be ordered from Amazon – but only in German (ouch). When I was photographing Tapati, we would often find ourselves trying to stay out of each others view. When leaving to return home from our second trip I sold her my 100-400 Fl lens. It would have taken her months to get it, and cost almost 40% more than what I could replace it for – one of the many ways island life can be expensive. Paco, hr husband, died in a brush fire a couple of years back now, and Stephanie wound up returning to Germany.

Link to an article on a German web magazine: https://www.koeln-beste.de/stephanie-pauly/

Here it is as a PDF translated into English

 Again – all of these have been added to the Easter Island Folio, whee they can be downloaded Page 10 Here

I've gotten a little behind on postings, what with the election, COVID, holidays, updating my computers to a new system, having fun learning to make our own baguettes and raisin bread, etc. But, in spite of the fact that new exposures are scarce right now, I have plenty to work on here… as I mentioned in a previous post, a large number of images that at the time of the project did not feel like they related to the original focus of what I was after, have become, with the passage of time, more and more important and meaningful. And there’s lots more.