Yoann Cronsteadt

Yoann Cronsteadt

This story has been supplied by Hawaiian Airlines inflight publication, Hana Hou.

Story by Sonny Ganaden  |  Photos by Elyse Butler

Yoann Cronsteadt is at his day job delivering diesel drums to the docks at Fa‘a‘ä, near the airport in Papeete, Tahiti. “Come look what we do,” he says, hopping out of the company truck and positioning an old tire behind it. The truck’s driver passes fifty-gallon drums to Yoann, who drops them from the bed to the ground, creating a mushroom cloud of dust. It’s dangerous, physical work; one mistake and Yoann loses a foot.

“Ever been to the Tuamotus?” he asks in broken English to HGH accommodate my bad French. “That’s where these barrels are going. Good life out there— could be just me and my va‘a.” Driving back to the depot we rumble through a back alley, avoiding feral dogs and shirtless men on mopeds. “Hawai‘i is best at surfing,” says Yoann over the reggae music bleating from the radio. “But we’re the best in the va‘a. And some of those Hawaiian guys are old already; they’ll never catch us. We’re too young—et comment dire? —hungry.” He smiles and shows me pictures on his phone of his new bride and two blue-eyed pit bulls. “Mes bébés,” he jokes…

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