The tiny Cook Islands are in a flap over the arrival of the world's most powerful woman.
Even before news of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit for the Pacific Islands Forum was officially announced this week, the main island of Rarotonga was abuzz with preparations for her visit.
US security officers combing the island before the announcement only served to add to the excitement.
Cooks Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna said the visit by Mrs Clinton, who touched down in Rarotonga late last night, was a major milestone.
He wants to speak to her about help in protecting his country's precious fishing resources, which are being plundered by poachers.
Planning for the visit has not been without its hiccups.
As security officers roved the island, her team was demanding 10 SUVs.
The Cooks Islands Government was already hiring cars from citizens to make up numbers in the Pacific leaders' motorcades and told the Americans there simply weren't enough.
The Palau representative's motorcade was just two vehicles - a motorbike and a car.
Rarotongan locals have high hopes for Mrs Clinton's visit.
The Moana Gem and Pearl Shop usually shuts at 4pm but is staying open until 7.30pm in the hopes of catching more customers.
However, they're unlikely to see the woman herself as she is being given a pearl necklace by Mr Puna.
Shop owner Raymond Newnham said business had picked up during the forum.
He and his wife sell upmarket jewellery and have seen more high-roller visitors than usual.
Across the road at the T-Shirt Factory, Ty Connal hadn't noticed much difference in sales volume.
But he hopes having the likes of Mrs Clinton in town will boost tourism rates.
“[Leaders] are here for a purpose, they're not here to shop around. We're hoping to see more people following on from their visits; that would be beneficial for us.”
But not all aspects of Mrs Clinton's visit have been welcomed.
Drivers have spent the past few weeks practising for the motorcades that will cart her and other leaders around.
The locals complained they were going too fast, especially as helmets and seatbelts are not compulsory.
There was also a debacle over whether foreign security forces would be able to bring their weapons into the Cooks.
New Zealand has a don't ask, don't tell policy when it comes to American presidential security carrying arms.
Its law was even temporarily changed to allow former president Bill Clinton's secret service to be armed.
But Cooks Islands Police Commissioner Maara Tetara has staunchly refused to follow suit.
Secret service weapons will be taken away at the arrivals hall and returned on departure.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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