Tonga

Peace Corp Volunteer in Tonga A Putu (Funeral)

This was the third funeral I have been to in Nakolo. It is amazing to me how this will take precedent over many things, but not everything, I don’t understand it. We had planned a regional sports day in Nakolo the same weekend, which had to be moved to Fua’amotu because of the putu, but we had school and it seemed like an average day.

Peace Corp Volunteer in Tonga Youth group

So some months ago I heard a knock at the door. I answered and there was a young woman who spoke very good English. She said her name was Asolua and invited me to go to her youth group dance practice. I was slightly overwhelmed as I usually am. Knowing I would never remember her name and the dance would probably be uncomfortable and excruciatingly long I thanked her and said I would think about it. My neighbors also invited me for dinner that night so I chose to eat, at least that has a time limit.

Tongan Feasts

 Tonga Thursday March 12, 2009 8A.M. (Wed March 11, 3P.M. in Michigan)

 

Peace Corp Volunteer in Tonga ‘Apitanga (Mother)

Well the answer came on Toetu’u or Easter weekend. There was some sort of camp Friday night. I didn’t really get it but it seemed that we would go to church in the evening and then have a sleepover, boys in the hall and girls in the preacher’s house. Ok fair enough I will go. So I went to the church service and afterwards there was some sort of meeting. I could tell that they were voting, but I didn’t know why.

Peace Corp Volunteer in Tonga That’s What It’s All About

So I know I have been griping a bit lately about being sick and the truth is I don’t know what I am doing here. Sure I am supposed to teach English, but how and what and I don’t speak Tongan and where to start and on and on. “Well just do something” I said to myself. But what? Something easy and fun and we can try to make it all fit curriculum like later. Maybe a song? So I brought my song book to school and as soon as Sione saw it he was delighted.

Peace Corp Volunteer in Tonga Environmental Lesson

Feeling overwhelmed hasn’t done much help for my planning. Luckily here in Peace corps Tonga we are a family and Jesse set a day as Peace Corps Tonga Environmental day. So I decided to do something. Trash pick up came to mind as the most accessible when dealing with a group of primary school students. Still I needed something more, different. What do I have, know, do that the other teachers don’t? So I choose to make it a recycling awareness lesson.

Peace Corp Volunteer in Tonga‘Eva to the sea

So I went out eva because I didn’t have anything else to do. As I was walking Kisaia, my neighbor asked if I wanted to go to the sea with her and her friend. This seemed intriguing, and I wanted to see if my ankle could handle the coral hill now, or if I needed more rest. We walked down and on the way Kisaia stopped and cut a coconut leaf and carried it down with us. It is a funny sight to walk down a path following a 7 foot coconut leaf as I couldn’t see her at all anymore. When we reached the beach I learned the reason for the leaf.

Peace Corp Volunteer in Tonga Sewing

For those of you who know me, you were probably wondering when I would write about sewing. I planned on buying a sewing machine when I moved in to my house, but it proved to expensive and a fan and plates and such were more important. Plus I have been rather sick so no time to sew. Well now that I am feeling better I get a call from Alexis another volunteer. She has been working with a group who want to learn sewing and they are looking for a teacher. I am in! We talked and it was decided that first they needed someone to look at/ fix/ troubleshoot their machines.

Peace Corp Volunteer in Tonga Dreams

One of my life goals is to dream in another language. It is a silly goal I guess as I have absolutely no control over weather or not it will ever happen. Sure I can study other languages, but there is no guarantee I will dream in them. Still it seems like fun so there it is my silly goal.