What is the difference between Tonga and America?  I love that question mainly because there is no possible answer to it.  Or rather there are 1,000,000 ways to answer making it too broad a question for anyone to pose in conversation.  So instead of attempting to answer that question I will just relate another of my observations for your amusement.

At school we have a flag and a flagpole.  The idea is each day we raise the flag as we sing the national anthem.  Ok nothing delightfully odd here I know.  Earlier this year the rope wore out and we had to go without a flag for several weeks.  Fortunately within the month we acquired a new rope and we could raise the flag again!

Then I noticed that a student had to climb the flagpole everyday to put the rope up.  Now my Tongan is not perfect by any means, but I am sure no one but me questioned this.  The kids seem to like to volunteer for this and no one, students, teachers or parents is concerned about them falling on the concrete step below.

I feel like this would be questioned in America.  Whether it was by the teachers or parents regarding the safety of the climber or just inquiring why we don’t leave the rope out at night.  Maybe it would be the children questioning the new routine, why we have to climb everyday when we never did before.  Maybe Americans wouldn’t question any of these things a nd I am just assuming they would because I do.  The rope is short, maybe to short to tie off every night?  Maybe leaving the rope out all day and night will wear it out faster?  Either way no one sought out the answer.

So I, the American, had to ask.  As it turns out the rope is often stolen so people can build traps for the wild pigs in the bush.  Not what I was thinking, but hey at least I know.  I guess I never tried to build a wild pig trap in Michigan and therefore never had to go searching for rope.  So knowledge is great and I am off to watch the kids climb the flag pole once again.