Hours passed as the moai was inched very slowly and carefully upright. The
9.5-ton experimental statue with topknot was delicately maneuvered onto its
platform in a gradual process with levers sticking into the surrounding
stones like needles in a pin cushion. By 5:00 pm the replica moai was
raised fully upright with a final groan of effort from the team of Rapa Nui
men whose strength and sweat brought about the success of this experiment.
An instant later, the rain came down with a driving force that washed the
entire workforce and onlooking experts into their cars and back to town.
And then the sun came out, the afternoon was silent, and not a soul was in
sight but a lone moai, a herd of horses, and a giant double rainbow over
arcing into the surging waves of the Pacific.
Tomorrow will be a day of assessing whether we have enough wood and rope to try
another transport experiment.